Thursday, 26 February 2009 – “A call to
continue working together and reflecting on the country’s outstanding
achievements while anticipating an inevitable resurgence in the world economy,”
was the theme of a message delivered by Saint Lucia's Deputy Ambassador to the
United Nations, Sarah Flood-Beaubrun on Sunday February 22nd 2009 in
Mrs. Flood-Beaurbun spoke before a packed congregation at St. Matthew's Roman
Catholic Church on Brooklyn's historic Eastern Parkway in both English and
Creole as nationals celebrated 30 years of Independence, Flood-Beaubrun cried
forth wisdom, unity and the marshalling of resources to keep Saint Lucia on a
sustained path of prosperity.
"We have the resources: our people, our sand, sea and sun tourism product, a
good standing in the financial community and a Saint Lucian Diaspora with the
resolve to make things better for themselves and our country," she said,
highlighting the accomplishments of statesmen Sir John George Melvin Compton and
Sir George F. L. Charles in the political arena as well as Sir Arthur Lewis and
Derek Walcott who have bestowed "The Helen of the West" with the highest per
capita Nobel Laureate standing in the world.
"Today we have come to the right place; to place our needs before God, our
Creator - and whether in the United States or Saint Lucia we recognize that our
civil institutions and our countries' characters reflect our belief and
adherence to the basic tenets of Christianity," the former cabinet minister told
the attentive audience.
Over the past week, Saint Lucians in the New York Tri-State area have gathered
in impressive numbers to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Independence from
Great Britain through cultural presentations, poetry readings, a flag raising
ceremony at Brooklyn's Borough Hall, and a lively reception hosted by Saint
Lucia's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Dr. Donatus
Both Flood-Beaubrun and Dr. St. Aimee congratulated overseas-based Saint Lucians
for their significant contributions to the development of the United States as
well as of their home country through remittances for relatives, Christmas
barrels, education of relatives which combined have added up to tens of millions
of dollars, bolstering the local economy and giving hope and encouragement to
those on island who are faced with limited resources. "You have truly taken on
the mantle of responsibility that Independence means ... and have truly lived
the meaning of Independence," said Flood-Beaubrun.
Ambassador St. Aimee delivered Prime Minister Hon. Stephenson King's message to
overseas-based Saint Lucians who this year are celebrating under the theme "A
Journey to be proud of...A future to look forward to."
"You, by your own personal achievements and advancement in the world
environment, in academia, commerce, culture, entertainment, sports and
enterprise, have lifted Saint Lucia's flag even higher than the great nations of
the world," noted Prime Minister King, who said this is why in recent times
Government has thought it essential to place renewed importance on ensuring that
the Diaspora plays an even greater part in the process of national development.
The Government of Saint Lucia has established an Office of Regional Integration
and Diaspora Affairs, specifically to support its citizens residing overseas,
who continue to demonstrate an interest in Saint. Lucia's national development
The Prime Minister warned, however, that as Saint Lucians celebrate their
individual and collective achievements, "we must endeavour to explore new
opportunities and possibilities that present a platform for further and future
advancement. While we may be proud of the past, we cannot be contented with our
achievements of the past and must therefore continue to strive with even greater
ethos, purpose and energy, as we venture further on our journey.
"You must keep your faith in God, and trust, that you will be able to use the
talents that He has given you to navigate your way with confidence through the
mist, the fog and the turbulence that punctuate the journey," the Prime Minister
noted, calling on nationals, regardless of political persuasion, to look with
confidence towards the future and be prepared to play their part in shaping it.
Father Caleb Buchanan, chaplain of Brooklyn's One Caribbean Radio, said Saint
Lucians across the Diaspora had much to contribute to peace, unity and
reconciliation at home as well as at the level of the international community.