(PRESS SEC) – A bust was unveiled in the late Dr. the Rt. Excellent Sir Simeon Daniel’s honour yesterday, Thursday, April 20th, 2017, during a moving and patriotic ceremony in Charlestown, Nevis.
Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, while delivering remarks, noted the presence of representatives from a cross-section of political parties, religious denominations and other stakeholder groups who attended yesterday’s unveiling ceremony to pay tribute to the late National Hero.
This diversity, Dr. Harris said, epitomized the unity that Dr. Daniel so cherished and championed.
Sir Simeon Daniel, was known for, among other things, helping to found the Nevis Reformation Party (NRP) in 1970; assuming the portfolios of Minister of Finance and Nevis Affairs from February 1980 to 1983 under the coalition government of the People’s Action Movement (PAM) and the NRP; establishing the Bank of Nevis Ltd. in 1985, and serving as Nevis’ first Premier from September 19th, 1983 to June 2nd, 1992. In 1996, Sir Simeon Daniel formed the law firm Daniel, Brantley & Associates with now-Minister of Foreign Affairs and Aviation, the Honourable Mark Brantley.
“I believe that Sim Daniel would have loved this moment. It is a lovely moment when the people of Nevis and the people of St. Kitts come together to honour the contribution of one of our own. This, to me, is part of the significance of today,” the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis declared to thunderous applause.
“I feel delighted as a son of this Federation, but more so as a son of a Nevisian father and a Kittitian mother,” Prime Minister Harris noted, while adding that, “I believe that it is fitting that an important message that should come at this occasion is that we as a people must learn to honour our own – and honour our own for their outstanding contribution.”
Amid a burst of applause, the Honourable Prime Minister continued: “Today, we are here because Sir Simeon Daniel towered above the politics, and beyond the politics he saw Nevis as an island that for him needed appropriate representation. He walked the alleyways and byways, attempting to deliver a better Nevis. History would record that he accomplished that very well, and we want to hail him for his contribution of service on behalf of the people.”
Dr. Harris went on to say that, “In fighting for Nevis, he was fighting for our Federation [and he showed] his ability to manoeuvre beyond the island politics [in pursuit of] greater good and greater advantage coming from the unity of our Federation.”
Prime Minister Harris then stated that Sir Simeon Daniel’s “commitment to the maintenance of the Federation” is an ethos subscribed to by his Team Unity administration.
“In order to maintain it [the Federation], we recognized that Nevis had to feel as a welcome partner in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. We are committed as a Team Unity Government to ensure always that Nevis feels itself to be a special part of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. When Nevis rises, St. Kitts and Nevis as a Federation rises also and, for me as the head of the Team Unity administration, I pledge always to ensure fairness, equality and empowerment for all the people of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis,” Prime Minister Harris said.
“Someone said that Dr. Daniel, our National Hero, was committed to unity. Indeed, unity is a philosophy for development. Unity must become the modus operandi for all of us, particularly those of us in small-island states, of which we in the Caribbean are the quintessential small island-states. When we act from a vantage point of unity, we can do what we are doing today. We can celebrate Dr. Daniel’s contribution to the landscape of Nevis and to the landscape of St. Kitts and Nevis without taking notice of the party colour because, when we are committed to the agenda of unity, party is submerged. Country is what must take precedence,” Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris further stated as applause resonated from the crowd.
Prime Minister Harris also said that, “National Heroes, by their very designation, do not belong to family. They do not belong exclusively to party. They belong to the country, and it is their values and their service that we offer up to the rest of the country, to say that these are values that can help us on the path of nation-building.”
On National Heroes Day (September 16th) in 2013, the Order of National Hero – the nation’s highest award – was awarded posthumously to Dr. the Rt. Excellent Sir Simeon Daniel, who had died one year earlier on Sunday, May 27th, 2012.
On Tuesday, August 25th, 2015, His Excellency the Governor-General Sir S.W. Tapley Seaton GCMG, CVO, QC, JP formally conferred the title of National Hero on the late lawyer and politician during a special Investiture Ceremony at Government House. His widow Lady Sheila Daniel accepted the award.
Other posthumous recipients of the Order of National Hero are the Rt. Excellent Sir Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw (awarded in 1996), the Rt. Excellent Sir Joseph Nathaniel France (awarded in 2004) and the Rt. Excellent Sir Caleb Azariah Paul Southwell (also awarded in 2004).
The Order of National Hero was bestowed on Dr. the Rt. Excellent and the Rt. Honourable Sir Kennedy Simmonds, St. Kitts and Nevis’ first Prime Minister and only living National Hero, in September 2015. His Excellency the Governor-General Sir S.W. Tapley Seaton GCMG, CVO, QC, JP formally conferred the title of National Hero on Sir Kennedy during a special Investiture Ceremony at Government House on Tuesday, June 28th, 2016.