50th Anniversary Message To Grenada By Prime Minister Honourable Dickon Mitchell

PR – At the heart of any nation is its people–driven by trials, pain, fears, hopes, dreams, and  successes. On this most special day, I stand with you not only to celebrate our 50th  anniversary of independence but to honour the memories of those who have so diligently and steadfastly paved the way so that we can have a better future.  

Today we stand on their shoulders faced with a new challenge to inspire and create a  better future for the next generation to come, which is our collective responsibility. 

Our nation’s success lies in the hands of its people–the architects of the future and we  must embrace new innovations, foster inclusivity, and champion sustainable growth.  

As we raise our flag on this Independence Day, we use this opportunity to celebrate YOU our people, our journey and look toward a future of great hope and prosperity. 

I highlight our heroes and sheroes, those who work at the forefront of our country and  those who labour tirelessly behind the scenes, ensuring that our country moves forward no matter what.  

Believe it or not, our heroes and sheroes come from all walks of life. Our police officers,  teachers, doctors, nurses, orderlies, farmers, fishermen and women, construction workers,  cleaners, drivers, musicians, artists, sportsmen and women and all the workers who have  built this nation and shaped our communities.

Our national heroes are none other than you- the people who fought a little more than the  others, a little harder, a little more determined than those next to them, carrying the torch a little further so that others can pick up and take it a little further on to a never-ending finish  line of nation building. 

Flawed as they may be, they were determined in their efforts to make Grenada a better  place, a more just place, a more equitable place, a better place for all of us. You the people  are who we honour today. They inspire us by their everyday actions to make change and sometimes by their extraordinary actions that inspire us. 

Kalinago warriors like Captain Duquesne, Levera, Marquis, and Antoine who fought against the invading French, and today inspire us with their determination and sacrifice,  leaving a legacy of resistance despite the overwhelming odds stacked against them.  

Let us not see Leapers’ Hill as a final act of death or even sacrifice, but one of freedom and determination. They are the beginning of our national myths and founding culture. 

Rebels like Julien Fedon and Joachim Philip, who in the face of humiliation and  discrimination, decided to defend the “Rights of Man”. 

They inspired the Grenada Revolution to succeed for four and a half years, building and inspiring Grenadians for another generation.  

From the heights of Fedon’s Camp to the charge of Freedom Hill, we all continue to seek  change and equality. Newspapermen and legislators like William Galwey Donovan who  insisted that it was far better to be a naked freedman than a gilded slave in his fight for  representative government in Grenada, and TA Marryshow who took up the mantle of  Donovan’s charge and would see it through when he got elected to the Legislature to  continue the fight begun by the Kalinago, by the maroon, and by those who continued to  build and create our nation. 

And so- Sir Eric Matthew Gairy, with the baton passed by him, shook the fabric of the  society by his social and political revolution of the 1950s and armed with a mandate from  the population obtained this nation’s independence 50 years ago, to the date, from British  colonial political rule. In doing so he turned on its head the anemic and limited view that  small countries like Grenada were nonviable. After 50 years of independence, we can say  emphatically that Sir Eric was right!

We also celebrate the Grenadian women who have led the struggle for not just their own  equality but for the nation. Women like Dr Dame Hilda Bynoe, Lady Cynthia Gairy,  Sylvester and Gertrude Protain who had to struggle not only for the rights of the nation but their own civil rights in the centuries of discrimination. 

One Journey 

Our Independence journey has been one of resilience, progress, and great aspirations and in the face of our many challenges we have shown unity and strength, as is so  magnificently on display today. This remarkable journey has been the defining factor  shaping the very essence of our nation. Let us continue that collective journey fueled by  vision, determination, and unity. A journey to build a better Grenada. 

A journey to create better opportunities for our children and grandchildren.  A journey to provide better healthcare for all. 

A journey to provide better education for all Grenadians.  

One Future 

Having acknowledged and learned from our shortcomings over the last 50 years, we now need to shape the next 50 years. 

Let us make it our duty to shape a future where all Grenadians can share in the dreams of our nation. 

A future where all Grenadians can enjoy equal opportunities. 

A future where all Grenadians can be proud of who we are because of where we come from.  

For this bright future to be realized, it will require a shared commitment from all of us,  recognizing that the seeds we plant today will blossom into prosperous fruits tomorrow if we continue to work towards the goals. 

But we must plant now! We need to foster an environment where opportunities are accessible to all, regardless of background, gender, or socio-economic status. Let us work towards eliminating disparities ensuring that the benefits of our nation’s progress reach every corner of Grenada. 

Let us empower marginalized persons and communities so that they too can enrich their lives and communities because we know that social cohesion and unity are the bedrocks of our nation. 

We have always cared for each other. 

We come together in our churches to pray for each other. 

We celebrate together at Sporting and cultural event:-Carnival, Big Drum Dance, Saraka,  and Carriacou Regatta, to show pride in our unique cultural heritage. 

Today, as we are together to celebrate this golden jubilee, we must be stronger, more  determined, and more united in our desire to make Grenada a better place: Because we all  want what is best for our children and grandchildren. 

Because we all call these three beautiful islands Sweet, Sweet, Petite Martinique, Carriacou  and Grenada – simply home. 

So, as we take a moment to reflect on our last 50 years; our trials, tribulations, our  disappointments, our pain, our successes, let us remember the lessons of the last 50 years, let  us remember that our darkest years were when we were disunited, when we were intolerant  and when we were not prepared to share with each other. Let us ensure that as we go  forward into the next 50 years that we go forth united, together, stronger as we aspire, build, and advance as one people and ascend, up, up up! 

I love you Grenada, I love my people. 

May God continue to bless this beautiful nation of Petite Martinique, Carriacou and  Grenada. 

Happy 50th Anniversary of Independence!