The essay below was penned by Joel Vidal, participant in the “Children of Helen Alliance Proud to Be St. Lucian Essay Competition”, organised by the Literary Competition on National Pride Committee in Florida.
Sons and daughters of Saint Lucia; love the land that gave us birth. On December 9th, 2002 a little lady, pregnant with love and beauty delivered a little baby boy, who, 12 years later reflects on the nurturing and love that she so selflessly continues to give. Even still in my pubertal years, I have much to thank her for and to be proud that I am the offspring of my mother, Lucia.
As she sat me down, reminiscing on her journey, she told me of the Caribs and the Arawaks, the vicious battles between France and Britain over her. But her face glistened, as she recounted the day February 22nd, 1979, when she severed herself from grandmother Britain’s naval strings to have her independence.
“It was a moment of celebration!” she exclaimed. “As I journey through, there were pitfalls, there were moments of instability, politically and economically, but thank God you were blessed with older brothers who stood resolute; George, John, Allan, Michael, Winston, and later on Vaughn, Stephenson and Kenny.”
When I hear tourists boast of hospitable citizens, lush green vegetation, the world’s only drive-in volcanoes, the Pitons, botanical gardens, unpolluted beaches, Twin Peaks of Excellence-Nobel Laureates Honourable Derek Walcott and Sir Arthur Lewis, Darren Sammy – first Saint Lucian to captain the West Indies Team, Nina Compton – Top Chef’s runner-up, and the many Saint Lucians who are excelling in various endeavours, how can I not be proud to be Lucia’s son?
You are welcome to visit my homeland. I will teach you Kwèyol phrases like “Sent Lisi sé an bèl pe’ye”, for truly Mother Lucia, my sweet Saint Lucia is beautiful and I am proud be her son.
Happy 36th Independence! Indeed it has been a journey.