PM Douglas praised for transformation in tourism, agriculture, education, housing and landownership as he celebrates birthday 60

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, JANUARY 16TH 2013 (CUOPM) – Constituency, Party, community and government officials joined St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister and members of his family in showering congratulations and expressing appreciation for his contribution to the social and political development of St. Kitts and Nevis.

“I am confident that he is going be around with us for a long time, because the people continue to impose their confidence in him, because the people see him as a genuine, caring man. So let us all be focused because he is very focused. Inspite of all of the challenges, he continues to be focused and I want all of us to be focused because there is a job to be done,” said Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Joseph Edmeade.

There is a job to be done and that we must re -focus, because we have just seen the light at the end of the tunnel. We have had some tremendous difficult times in the past. We have begun to see the light. We cannot afford to turn back. We must carry on, on the path which we have set ourselves, the path to transition, a path to ensure that the commitment we gave, that every family in this country must have within it, a graduate,” said Mr. Edmeade.

“The revolution of homes. You know how many are still crying out for their own homes? We have not finished the job.

General Secretary of the St. Kitts-Nevis Trades and Labour Union, Mrs. Diana Williams-Humphreys lauded the 60th birthday celebration of “our esteemed National Leader Dr. Denzil Douglas.”

“Comrades I am sure you all can agree that there is none other like our great leader and there would be none after. On behalf of the executive of St. Kitts Nevis Labour Party, we would like to say thank you to Dr. Douglas for leading this great party over the last 20 plus years, and we can all agree that in his own unique style, he has done justice to the position; he has ensured that under his leadership, each and every person who becomes a member of this party feels welcomed and appreciated; he has ensured that the party has lived up to its motto for the good that we can do,” said Williams-Humphrey.

“We have seen as Mr. Edmeade said, a transformation in St. Kitts and Nevis. A transformation in various areas, tourism, agriculture, education, housing and landownership. There is no other like Dr Denzil Douglas. I would like you to join with me and wish our esteemed leader many more years of health, happiness and productivity and we can tell you that we have one leader in the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party, One Party, One Party, Dr. Denzil Douglas,” said the General Secretary.

Former minister, Mr. Cedric Liburd praised Prime Minister Douglas for the improvement in the quality of life for all of the people of St. Kitts and Nevis.

“I want to commend you for your leadership and I want to say to you in this country do have confidence in you and that you will continue to lead this party and make sure that the thousands people who are out there, still to be employed and whatever it is, to make sure that they are able to uplift those people throughout this country because we look forward to you for your leadership,” said Prime Minister.

Her Excellency Mrs. Astona Browne described Prime Minister Douglas as a “man for all seasons.”

“He has the capacity, the capability of delivering in every spare that he is called upon to serve. He is great Leader, an excellent parliament and today I would want to say that the Prime Minister who is the head of Government is for me and I am certain for all of us here, the best that the region has ever had,” said Mrs. Browne.

“We look to him for guidance and advice. They regard him as the Dean of the Prime Ministerial Corps, and I would want to even take that a little further out of the region, maybe into the international community, in the Commonwealth is regarded as one who has the experience and who can give the leadership, the guidance, the advice and who can speak with authority on the issues,” said the ambassador.

She said she has had the opportunity to work closely with Prime Minister Douglas and “can attest, as most of you can, to the fact that there is no issue that can cause him to stumble. He is a medical doctor by profession, but he speaks with the authority of an economist and he speaks with the authority of a legal mind.”

“I just want to use this opportunity Prime Minister to let you know how much we appreciate you and your service to this country, they say that fathers would have the capability of leading the family, providing for them; you are a father of our nation. What you see around you is just a small portion of the many people who appreciate all that you have done for us. We wish you all the best and many more years of continued health and productive leadership,” said Mrs. Browne, who as Permanent Secretary heads the Anti-Crime Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister.

Mr. Peter Douglas brought greetings and best wishes on behalf of the family.

“People are praying. Our prayers are working. So stand firm and do justice to your people, your government, your family and yourself. Do not bend, do not bow. As head of the family, we are fully behind you and everyone else is also behind you. Keep it up,” said the elder Douglas.

Long time friend Mr. Halva Hendrickson described Dr. Douglas “as a very good natured man, a friend who you can always depend on. Some people may say this and some people may say that, but his heart is golden, pure gold. He would look after you as a friend and look after the country like it was his own and he has so much empathy for people.”

“Sometimes I would say to him that (former Prime Minister) Dr. Simmonds used to finish work at 4 to go and play tennis, but you leave in at late evenings and sometime even in the wee hours of the morning, just to get up and do it all over again the very next day.

But that is how he is, a man full of commitment and he has not been there for two and three years he has been doing it now for so many years and he has not changed, he is the same man.”

Mr. Hendrickson recalled: “When we were was struck by hurricane George in 1998, I was with him in Washington and we were making a presentation to the World Bank and the World bank said they don’t normally give funds to countries because they have bad experiences. He talked to all those high officials at the World Bank and he said you will have to forgive me, because I speak with so much passion because I am from St. Kitts and Nevis and I know how the culture has been affected and I can’t go back home without your help. The woman replied, Mr. Prime Minister you don’t have to apologize, we share and feel your passion and even though the World Bank does not normally give loans and help for housing etc. we will make an exception. So that is the man I am so proud to call a friend for so many years. Let us wish him a lot more than the sixty years.”

St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party Organiser, Mr. Linkon Maynard: For those of you who did not know my first interaction with then Denzil Douglas was in third form doing a book called ‘Miguel Street.’ He thought me literature in third form and that is where I met the Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas.

I want to reflect on something that was said to me by one of my mentors in the Labour Party that is the late Clarence Fitzroy Bryant. He told me that the reason why a Political Party exists is not to be a debating society, but is to be in power, to have power.

This gentleman took over the reins of the Labour Party in 1989 and I had the pleasure of being the party organizer from the time he took over and also the campaign manager from 1995 and I think that we have to recognize what we need in a leader.

A leader of a political party is that person who can deliver what that political party needs to have and he has done that historically four times, never forget that. That is a leader I don’t know what other people think a leader is supposed to do, but if a leader is not going to deliver that, he is not going to be a leader of anything.

So I want to say this afternoon that if we are thinking about a leader, we have to think about a leader who is going to make sure that the Labour Party stays in power and this is the man.”

On behalf of St. Christopher Six, chairperson Ms. Ruby Taylor brought Happy 60th Birthday greetings.

“Dr. Denzil Douglas and I go back a long way. We were born the same day, same year, same month. I don’t know who is the senior but I believe he is the senior one. Also we were in school neck and neck together and we actually took the exam in school with the most outstanding student to be offered a scholarship from the Sir Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw, but I am proud today to say that Dr. Denzil Douglas is the one who won that scholarship. Unfortunately I went to United States to become an electrical engineer and to date that is where I still reside. I want to say, you have a great Prime Minister. Hold on to him and I hope he lives to see another sixty years with his great leadership,” said childhood friend, Euriel Williams.

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