Sir Cuthbert tells Federation: ‘Press on, beloved nation, onward yet,’ thanks fellow citizens for their strong co-operation, support, and respect

Sir Cuthbert Montraville Sebastian delivering his last message as Governor General of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, JANUARY 3RD 2013 (CUOPM) – Sir Cuthbert Montraville Sebastian GCMG, OBE, MD, CM, who demitted the office of Governor General of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis is wishing the entire nation that “the indestructible and all encompassing wisdom of God, illuminate your public and private lives as you step forward into the new year, 2013.”

“Time at last has crowned my long endeavour of seventeen years of service to the Federation of St. Christopher and to my fellowmen. And now, this is the moment when publicly, and with tenderness, I bid you farewell as your Governor-General,” Sir Cuthbert told a moving ceremony at Government House on Tuesday to mark his retirement.

“I became your Head of State at one minute past midnight on 1st January 1996, and I shall retire, relinquish that position on 1st January 2013. This is indeed the moment when my soul remains impaled on its memories. But this is also the amount when my soul’s peace is preciously crowned with your co-operation. It was most heartfelt and strong. What more could I have asked?” asked Sir Cuthbert in the presence of Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas; members of the Federal Cabinet; Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Curtis Martin and other parliamentarians; Deputy Governor General of Nevis, His Honour Mr. Eustace John and Mrs. John Premier of Nevis, the Hon. Joseph Parry and his Cabinet and form Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda, Sir James Carlisle; former Governor Sir Probyn and Lady Inniss and senior government and other officials.

His Excellency Dr. Sir Cuthbert Sebastian taking the Royal Salute as Governor General of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.

“I will forever hear your footsteps coming to my office. All in one moment of time, the sunset hour will overwhelm my heart. But it is nevertheless time for me to retire. I shall miss from my office window, the view of the cool mysterious, Springfield cemetery. The echoes of the telephone will forever linger in my ears, and the strains of the National Anthem will forever enchant me. Yes! many times my thoughts will return to the past. Yes, indeed, many a time my thoughts will drift backwards, and I know that I will think of the path we have trod together,” said Sir Cuthbert.

He pointed out that the beauty of these memories will intertwine with sadness: but “I also know that these memories will nevertheless endure with the joy of my being blessed to have them.”

“Nor would I ever try to avoid entertaining my memories, no, not for the world. If I try to erase their sadness, the joys would also be diminished, and this I cannot afford. Indeed I also know that with true devotions I shall always serve my country in however simple a capacity, because my sea of human effort will slumber never. True it is that I have inherited some of my father’s splendour, but I must also admit that I would measure my personal success in terms of the contribution I made to my fellow human beings,” said Sir Cuthbert.

Sir Cuthbert Sebastian inspecting a Guard of Honour for the last time as Governor General of St. Kitts and Nevis.

In paying tribute he said:

“I thank God with all the faith that lies within me, for the privilege of service. I thank my Queen, Elizabeth the Second of Great Britain, for thinking me worthy of being her Representative. I thank the Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Dr. Denzil Douglas, and his Government, for having recommended me to Her Majesty. I also proffer my thanks to the Deputy Governor General for Nevis, His Excellency Mr. Eustace John, and his gracious Lady, for their co-operation and sincere welcome on my every visit to our beloved Sister Island of Nevis. I must also thank my Secretarial Staff – past and present, and the Government House Staff in general, for their willing and perfect service. I must give a word of thanks to my fellow citizens for their strong co-operation, support, and respect.”

“Endings bring new beginnings, and so to my successor I wish the best of luck in whatever future awaits him. I always lay great stress on the value of human relationships; and so to every man, woman and child I say that with the chalice of God’s own being, I commit you to the beloved Son, the Christ child, whose birth we recently celebrated, and whose radiance universally enfolds everyone. Give to your thoughts the gleaming quality of God. To your spirituality, give the dignity, the timelessness, the beautifully fragrant perfumes of Frankincense and Myrrh. To the entire nation once more, may the indestructible and all encompassing wisdom of God, illuminate your public and private lives as you step forward into the New Year, 2013. Press on, beloved nation, onward yet! and may the Good Lord bless us all.”

Sir Cuthbert with present and former staff of Government House during his 17 years as the Queen’s Representative. (Photos by Erasmus Williams)

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