By Gerald V. Paul
“Hail! Grenada land of ours,
We pledge ourselves to thee.”
With these words, people from Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique began celebrations Sunday at the Church of the Nativity of their 41st anniversary of independence, marked from Feb. 1 to March 7.
“Grenada, Grenada, I give my life to thee, unto eternity
God bless thee from above, my land, my home, my love.”
The anniversary, guided by the Grenada Independence Planning Committee in collaboration with the Consulate General in Toronto, saw worshipers huddling in the collective warmth of the Isle of Spice, out of the cold, under the theme Moving Forward in Unity to Build a Stronger Nation.
And they prayed.
“We pray Lord that you strengthen parents to promote family unity, instill love and respect for each other, the home, encourage healthy dialogue in the family and motivate their children to believe in themselves. Help the parents to be an inspiration to their children by their own examples.”
It was a time to reminisce on their Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell’s words, echoed from last year and thematic of his visits to Toronto, that he sees the future in the “eyes of our children and we hear it in their voices raised in song. We see it in the young men and women who are among the brightest and the best one can find anywhere.”
Mitchell stressed that hope has returned to his nation.
“We give thanks for the extraordinary blessings that we enjoy each day and the longstanding core values and principles that we hold dear that guide our paths as a people.”
The Camera interviewed Mitchell in Toronto when he’d just came to power with a resounding majority where he called for unity, noting the time has come as a nation to take a more collaborative, comprehensive and long-term view of national development for the benefit of the next generation.
“We have to begin to lay a foundation steeped in selfless nationalism.”
All proceeds from Sunday’s offering will be donated to three charities in Grenada.
Upcoming events according to Hon. Consul General C.J. Augustine-Kanu include: Feb. 6 flag raising ceremony at Toronto City Hall at 11:30 a.m.; Feb. 14 independence gala at Spirale Banquet Hall, 888 Don Mills Rd. at 6:30 p.m. and March 7 Spice It Up event at Rox Night Club, 1600 Steeles Ave. W.