ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA CELEBRATE 38TH ANNIVERSARY OF INDEPENDENCE FROM UNITED KINGDOM

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[Caribbean News\Antigua & Barbuda Independence]
Prime Minister Gaston Browne: "Today, we celebrate with pride, the contributions of all citizens and residents, to include: our nurses, doctors, teachers, police officers, soldiers and the other public servants, as, well as, those in the private sector for their sterling contribution to nation building."
Ambassador Dr. Walton Webson: "We have come from bondage in the sugar cane and cotton fields, colonial beginnings, to a place of strong self- governance at home, with men and women who pursue all fields of endeavor with reason, excellence, and skill."
Photo: Facebook

Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne.

Today, Antigua and Barbuda is celebrating their 38th anniversary of independence from the United Kingdom.

Antigua and Barbuda gained their independence on November 1, 1981. The first prime minister to serve the newly independent territory was Prime Minister Sir Vere Bird, who held this position until 1994.

The OECS (Organization of Eastern Caribbean States) noted that this year, Antigua and Barbuda is celebrating their 38th Anniversary of Independence under the theme: "Embracing Our National Pride".

On Facebook, current Prime Minister Gaston Browne (in office since 2014) said the following:

"Today, we celebrate with pride, the contributions of all citizens and residents, to include: our nurses, doctors, teachers, police officers, soldiers and the other public servants, as, well as, those in the private sector for their sterling contribution to nation building. "As we celebrate our 38th anniversary of our country’s independence, we ought to give thanks to the Most High, The King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords for the progress that we have made, despite the great challenges. "Let us continue to put our shoulders to the plough; to multiply the fruits of our independence. "Let us embrace our national pride, with full respect for the preservation, maintenance and enhancement of our environment. "Let us build a future, where the infinite ingenuity of the Antigua and Barbuda people will burst forth as a gushing pipe, releasing unfathomable wealth and goodness. "Once again, happy independence. "May God bless you and bless our beloved country."

H. E. Dr. Walton Webson, Ambassador & Permanent Representative to the United Nations for Antigua and Barbuda gave the following message:

"As we the citizens and friends of Antigua and Barbuda celebrate this 38th year of nationhood under the theme “Embracing Our National Pride” I am especially proud that we continue to be a peaceful nation where cultural heritage is experienced in the daily life of each citizen and friend and where this Antiguan and Barbudan experience make our society, the place we call home, a place of which we are so proud.

"We have come from bondage in the sugar cane and cotton fields, colonial beginnings, to a place of strong self- governance at home, with men and women who pursue all fields of endeavor with reason, excellence, and skill. With this foundation, our nationals and citizens have ventured out onto the global stage creating a diaspora that is capable, confident and has made its mark well above our 108 square miles. At the same time, we have not forgotten our roots and continue to give back to those in our twin islands. The contribution of remittances of the diaspora continues to be an integral part of our economic development while returning talent continues to build the human capital that makes our island stronger.

"The collection of United States-based organizations contribute immensely-through school supplies drives, village summer camps, care packages for the elderly and indigent, supporting preschools, feeding programs, cleanup campaigns, healthcare, and book drives, etc.… I am proud of the many initiatives undertaken by concerned citizens and pleased to know that Antiguans and Barbudans feel it necessary to maintain that connection to home.

"I know it is not always easy in the goings and comings of life to always remember but it is this time of the year when we can pause as a nation to say thank you. Thank you to our brave ancestors for making the ultimate sacrifice. Thank you to the early leaders who fought colonialism. Thank you to those you paved the way to statehood and many thanks to those who on 1st November 1981 took the steps to Independence.

"Thirty-eight years later we are sure that our forefathers and mothers will beam with pride to see that the economy of Antigua and Barbuda has grown to 14 times the size when they handed it on to our generation. We have increased employment and created more employment opportunities than ever before; we are more prominent as a global partner and lend our voice to causes that are critical to our nation’s development. One of the key issues is that of climate change.

"This will have a long-lasting impact on this generation and those to come. As a people, we will fight the concerns of climate change with the vigor and resolve as was fought against colonialism. We will leave our next generation with a more resilient country better able to fight the challenges of climate change.

"I join with Prime Minister Gaston Browne in saluting one of the hallmarks of this Independence season as we recently celebrated the opening of the fourth landed campus of the University of the West Indies. We see this as a bold step to prepare the next cadre of leaders and decision-makers, by making education accessible for students right at home. We invite nationals, citizens and their descendants to consider pursuing tertiary education within our shores. It will truly be a linking of ideas and people across the region, from the diaspora and around the world.

"On behalf of the Government of Antigua and Barbuda and the New York Offices, I wish to extend to nationals, citizens and friends Happy Independence."

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