Message from Prime Minister Dr Kenny D. Anthony on the occasion of the celebration of the Festival of Light and Renewal, December 12, 2003
Message from Prime Minister
Where once this period was also spent celebrating non-events in our history, the Festival of Light and Renewal has evolved as a cultural showcase of illuminated creativity with a spirit of caring and sharing, of peace and good will as we approach Christmas and the New Year.
Our theme this year is dedicated to a celebration of our children. It is: “Children – Illuminating the Way for a Brighter Future”
Nothing holds more truth,
especially in these times when we have come to appreciate the importance of our
children to the nation now and for the future.
When it comes to our children, not all of us do all that we should and too many of us do what we shouldn’t. However, the society is moving apace in the direction of giving more deserved respect to our children.
Horror stories there still are, but equally, there are stories of achievement, example, perseverance and attainment of set goals.
The decision to designate a Year of the Child in St. Lucia is testimony of our commitment to put and keep our children on the national agenda.
Their voices have been and are
still being heard as they too become more aware of and appreciate our
recognition of their rights as equal human beings.
Our tradition of caring and sharing around this time is not only restricted to our children. This is also a time when each of us veritably becomes his brother’s keeper and her sister’s sister.
The good will we share in this season is not simply an expression of seasonal offering. It is rooted in our tradition of living as communities of people with like minds, experiences and aspirations.
If the strength of our community-mindedness determines the level and depth of community activity, then it is imperative that, especially in these times, we encourage community cooperation at a greater level.
It’s a time to share more than
food and drinks; one during which we must also continue to care for and share
with those who are less fortunate.
It allows us to ponder on where we are now and what we’re doing for today and tomorrow. It is also a time of the year that beginning the countdown to the end of this year and the beginning of yet another.
We have come long ways from celebration of December 13 as Discovery Day and National Day. As we prepare for the beginning of the year 2004, let us put this year’s seasonal celebrations in the context of their coming on the eve of the 25th anniversary of our Independence.
If a Silver Anniversary is anything to look forward to, then even more so should be our preparations for observance of the 25th anniversary of our ceremonial pulling down of the colonial flag.
As we celebrate the Festival of Light and Renewal this year, let us therefore celebrate our children’s collective role as illuminators of the path towards a brighter future.
Let’s allow the spirit of good will and community concern for each other to be the basis for our celebration of the spirit of togetherness of our young and growing nation.
Season’s greetings to all.
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