BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, September 13, 2019 (PLP PR Media Inc.) — Quoting from the Scriptures to drive his point home, Dr Colin Cannonier, keynote Speaker at the 20th Annual Prime Minister’s Independence Lecture Series, said that Kittitians and Nevisians who have the tenacity to work hard are enjoying the fruits of their labour.
“As the Scriptures tell us, working hard with faith in mind can lead to great things and if a person has faith and works hard, then, they will eat the fruit of their labour; and blessings and prosperity will be theirs,” said Dr Cannonier. “As a country, we have always had an enduring spirit passed on from generation to generation and it is that spirit that will allow us to continue, endure, and prosper.”
The Prime Minister’s Independence Lecture Series was held on Thursday evening September 12 at the Sir Cecil Jacobs Auditorium of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank in Bird Rock, St. Kitts. In attendance were among others, Governor General His Excellency Sir S.W. Tapley Seaton, GCMG, CVO, QC, JP, and Prime Minister Dr the Hon Timothy Harris.
Ambassador His Excellency Jonel Powell chaired the programme, Invocation was delivered by Rev Dr Analdo Bailey; welcome remarks were delivered by Senior Minister and Minister of Labour, Ecclesiastical Affairs the Hon Vance Amory; and Senator and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly the Hon Akilah Byron-Nisbett introduced the speaker.
“We have the ability to make better decisions if we all have what is necessary to succeed,” observed Dr Cannonier. “If we all have quality education; food to eat; a safe place to sleep at night; access to quality healthcare, and we all feel cared for, I believe we can have a sustainable and resilient community. With our energies centred on a coordinated, integrated approach to meet the needs of all citizens, transformation is possible.”
The keynote speaker, who was born and raised in Basseterre, St. Kitts, told the large audience at the Sir Cecil Jacobs Auditorium that being an island-nation did not mean it is isolated, as it means that people are an oasis of knowledge that expresses fertility of thought, talent and skills in a way that makes the rest of the world take notice.
“When we consider where we stand in our development with the rest of the world, we ‘hit above our weight’,” observed Dr Cannonier. “Of the 194 countries, we are smaller than 190 of these but we leave behind more than 120 countries when it comes to our level of development.”
As the country moves forward, everyone must remember that wisdom, patience, courage and determination can carry them far. He strongly recommended that they can choose hope and unity over despair, apprehension and disorder.
“Of course, we are human and sometimes we make mistakes or things do not go our way,” said Dr Cannonier. “But as a saying goes, a mistake that makes you humble is better than an achievement that makes you arrogant. Additionally, avoid being distracted by destructive criticism. According to Elbert Hubbard (an American philosopher), to avoid criticism is ‘to say nothing, do nothing, be nothing’. In the end, with perseverance and effort, we can discern what is constructive and what is envy.”
Kittitians and Nevisians have come from a long line of sacrifices and struggles, and according to Dr Cannonier they understand that greatness is earned and not given. Their journey as a country has been a prime example that those who work hard, doing the best they can with what they have, in the situation they find themselves can make things happen.
“Most successes never come easy or fortuitously,” advised Dr Cannonier. “Success comes because someone made a decision, a commitment, a plan and put in the work. They decided that although it could be easier to ignore, live in comfort, and go about their life, they were compelled to do something that required more or different or both.”
Attending the lecture series which was part the country’s celebration of its 36th anniversary of independence being observed under the theme ‘Unify, Transform, Enrich: Uplifting Communities for Independence 36’ were the Deputy Prime Minister the Hon Shawn Richards, Minister the Hon Eugene Hamilton, Minister the Hon Lindsay Grant, and Minister of State the Hon Wendy Phipps.
Also present were Federation’s First Prime Minister and only Living National Hero the Right Excellent Dr Sir Kennedy Simmonds, and Lady Simmonds; Former Cabinet Ministers, Mr Richard Caines, and Ambassador Constance Mitchum; Ambassador Michael Powell; Residents Ambassadors, His Excellency Tom Lee of the Republic of China on Taiwan, and His Excellency Abelardo Fabio Hernandez Ferrer of the Republic of Cuba; and Chargé D’affaires Mr Marco Guzman of the Republic of Venezuela.