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(SNO) — Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has made a call for the recognition of ordinary Saint Lucians who go about their daily business, despite their “individual hardships”.
In his Independence speech last Friday, he described such people as “our soldiers of patriotism”.
“These are the people to be celebrated,” he stated. “The every-day people who understand that Independence came with a responsibility to ourselves and to our country.”
Chastanet said such people are:
-The mothers who worked all their lives to put a hot Bouyon on the family table.
-The vendors who saved every dollar to put their children through school.
-The dedicated farmers who gather the strength to plant and replant their crops even after devastating storms.
-The fishermen who continue to venture out to sea, even after getting lost in the Atlantic.
-The bus driver who takes home that last load of passengers from the bus stop, even in the rain.
-The hotel workers, without whom, we would never be named World’s Leading Honeymoon Destination.
-The media personalities who have become legend: Rick Wayne, Tim Poleon, Dave Samuels, Primus Hutchinson, Winston Springer, Juk Bois, and the many others, who challenge us to be better leaders.
-The taxi drivers who are great ambassadors for our country.
-The sanitation workers who clean up the city in the wee morning hours.
He went on to say that despite the recognition of such people, the government has its role to play, although a government cannot be successful without its people.
“But no government can be successful without a people, united in the commitment to others, a devotion to charity, to duty and to patriotism,” he said. “It’s that humility, that community spirit, that ‘All-In’ mindset that strengthens us to work for the good of Saint Lucia.”
Chastanet called on all citizens to look at some of the island’s achievements.
“Two Nobel Laureates in one generation in Lewis and Walcott, outstanding medical doctors, engineers, public and private sector workers, sportsmen and women, musicians and artistes recognized internationally, legal luminaries, and a world heritage site,” he noted. “Is this not who we truly are capable of being? Innovators, builders and achievers? Let us make the choice to build a nation where we nurture our young talent, such as the next undiscovered Daren Sammy, Mindoo Phillip or Levern Spencer. Let us encourage and get behind the next Chef Nina, the next Jallim Eudovic. Just look at what young Mr. Dujon has been able to achieve by turning seaweed into fertilizer.”
He pointed out that Saint Lucia must get behind initiatives such as the Sports Academy and the after-school coaching programmes.
“Where we can discover raw talent early on and give our young people an alternative to join clubs and not gangs,” he stated. “As a government, we continue to call on Saint Lucians to rise up and take control of our destiny, to feel so inspired by the achievements of our outstanding sons and daughters that we begin to change course in our habits, attitudes and thinking and commit to higher principles and ideals of responsibility for our national development.”