Greetings my fellow citizens and residents,
I am deeply honoured to stand here today in the symbolic shadow of a great man, our nation’s First National Hero, The Right Excellent Sir Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw. This year holds a special significance, for it marks a quarter-century of paying tribute to those extraordinary individuals who laid the foundation of our great nation. This moment is a testament to our enduring spirit, solidarity, and unwavering commitment to progress and prosperity.
On this day, we remember the remarkable legacies of our national heroes—those individuals who, from humble beginnings, rose to become the guiding lights of our nation. Their stories serve as a powerful reminder that greatness resides within us all, waiting to be awakened through dedication, focus, and a relentless pursuit of positive change.
The Right Excellent Sir Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw exemplified the indomitable spirit of our people. Raised by his grandmother in St. Paul’s, he faced adversity with resilience and determination. His journey from a machine shop in the old Sugar Factory to the leadership of our nation is a testament to the power of shaping one’s destiny.
Sir Robert fought for justice, equality, and our right to self-determination. His legacy as the “Father of Independence” continues to inspire us all.
Today, we also honour the memory of Sir Caleb Azariah Paul Southwell, a tireless advocate for the rights of our people. His unwavering commitment to justice, as demonstrated during the 1965 Sugar Industry workers’ struggle, highlights the strength that can be found in our small but mighty nation.
Sir Joseph Nathaniel France, a champion of social justice and healthcare, left an indelible mark on our nation. His dedication led to the naming of our general hospital in his honour.
Sir Simeon Daniel, the first Premier of Nevis and our fourth national hero, significantly improved the lives of Nevisians and reminds us of the importance of local leadership.
We also recognize Sir Kennedy Alphonse Simmonds, our only living national hero, who served as the first Prime Minister of our Federation.
These heroes’ legacies remind us that dedication knows no bounds. They urge us to see failures not as setbacks but as opportunities to grow sustainably, develop maturely, and build resiliency. As they did, we too can transform our lives and our nation.
But heroes are not just found in history books; they walk among us every day. They are the educators shaping young minds, the healthcare workers saving lives, the community leaders forging bonds, and the individuals who, through small acts of kindness, make our nation stronger.
On this National Heroes Day, I challenge each of us to recognize the hero within ourselves. We can all be heroes in our daily lives, not through grand gestures but through simple acts of kindness, and empathy, and being our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers.
Today, we have the distinct opportunity to acknowledge our contemporary heroes. These remarkable individuals have actively contributed to the advancement and enrichment of our society and nation, embodying the ideals of true patriotism through their courage, innovative spirit, and unwavering commitment to service.
Awarded for long and meritorious service, or for loyal and devoted service to the Nation, the Companion of the Star of Merit is bestowed upon:
- Daniel Arthurton – Agriculture, Farming, and Small Business Development
- Ima Stanley – Nursing
- Ian Queeley – Law Enforcement
- Carmen Ward – Education
- Ingrid Berridge – Education
- Prisca Hyligar – Education and Religion
- Dr Osbert Liburd – Agro-Business, Corporate Business and Diplomacy
- Cynthia Williams – Education
- Mitchell Slader – Trade Unionism/Labour Relations
- Avril Noel – Education
- Peter Jenkins – Sports and Community Activism
- Eldora Samuel – Education
- Rubie Taylor – Social Security
Awarded for outstanding and meritorious service to the Nation, the Medal of Honour is bestowed upon:
- Felix Hodge – Law Enforcement
- Sydney Matthew – Music and Sports (Table Tennis)
- Altagracia Nero – Entrepreneurship
- Austin Williams – Law Enforcement
- Joseph Liburd – Law Enforcement
- B Janetta Morgan – Education
- M Astona Browne – Public Service
- Lenos Douglas – Law Enforcement
- Charles ‘Ronnie Rascal’ Davis – Culture, Music, and the Arts
- Margaret Douglas – Education
- Lynn Williams – Culinary Arts
- Allister Williams – Culture
- Alva Bradley – Broadcasting
- Donald Freeman – Sports and Community Activism
- Patrick Wallace – Law Enforcement
- Austin ‘Deco’ Huggins – Sports
On behalf of a grateful nation, I extend our heartfelt gratitude to these individuals who have inspired us all with their actions, showcasing that every one of us has the potential to make a positive impact and become a hero in our daily lives.
As we celebrate this 25th National Heroes Day and look forward to our nation’s 40th anniversary of independence, let us remember that our togetherness, resilience, and compassion are the pillars upon which our great nation stands.
We have shown the world that, despite our size, we are a force to be reckoned with—a nation of heroes in the making. Together, we can face any challenge, overcome any obstacle, and continue to shape the destiny of our beloved St. Kitts and Nevis.
As we reflect on the past and embrace the future, let us carry the spirit of our national heroes in our hearts and embark on a journey to become heroes in our own right.
Happy National Heroes Day, and may God bless our nation as we march confidently toward the grand celebration of our 40 years of independence.
Thank you, and may we continue to be the heroes our nation deserves.
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