Students, parents, my fellow educators, I wish you all a happy
Independence Day. As St. Vincent and the Grenadines celebrates
39 years of sovereignty, my hope is that we all spend some time
truly reflecting on what it means to work together to enhance
national pride. When we consider that national pride is the love
and devotion we feel for our blessed Hairouna, we realise that our
Independence theme is not only patriotic, but more so, achievable.
As a nation, we can all work together to improve our country; no
one is too small or too big to play his or her part.
Students, you can help to enhance national pride by continuing to
perform well locally, regionally and internationally. Represent
yourself and your country to the best of your ability in your
academics and in your sporting and extra-curricular activities.
When you perform well, St. Vincent and the Grenadines performs
well. You are a representation of our nation. As such, your part in
enhancing national pride is to ensure that your representation is
always a positive one. Be mindful of your social media presence –
the world is watching so watch what you post online. What you
post reflects on you and by extension, St. Vincent and the
Grenadines. Let’s work together to make sure that what the world
sees is a proud nation filled with youths with endless potential.
Parents, your role in enhancing national pride starts by instilling in
your children a love for our country. Children live what they see
and hear, so set good examples for them. Instead of only pointing
out the negative things about St. Vincent and the Grenadines,
foster ingenuity and critical thinking skills in your children. These
skills will ultimately facilitate improvements in the vulnerable areas
that exist in our small island state. Speak with your children about
the way things were – pass down national traditions and customs –
play old-time games with them and keep our unique Vincentian
culture alive and well. Your words and actions can help to enhance
national pride for this the land of the blessed.

My fellow educators – your part in enhancing national pride is a
challenging, but attainable one. You are expected not only to
facilitate and develop the excellence that is our young people, but
also to create avenues for their expression of national pride. I am
quite certain that all schools throughout St. Vincent and
Grenadines there will be or have been some ceremonial
acknowledgement of our island’s auspicious liberation. However,
students need to see our country being celebrated year-round. This
can easily be done by integrating love for our country into the
hidden curriculum. Link the tidiness of their classrooms to the
tidiness of our country and its effects on tourism and our economy.
Encourage open and respectful debates on topical issues and how
they can affect them as students and citizens of St. Vincent and the
Grenadines. Drill the importance of their contribution towards the
development of the country. Continue to be excellent exemplars of
what it means to be proud upstanding citizens of our beloved SVG.
Students, parents, my fellow educators, let us all work together to
say like Alston Becket Cyrus:
I love you St. Vincent
Home of the blessed St. Vincent
St. Vincent, St. Vincent
I love you!
Happy 39th, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. May God continue to
bless you and keep you.

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