The Government of St Kitts and Nevis through The Ministry of Sustainable Development in partnership with the Independence 40 Committee recognized eight individuals on Tuesday 19 December 2023. They were recognized and gifted Lots of land for their contribution towards forming a legacy in the identity of the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis.
The recipients are designer of the National Flag Edrice Lewis-Viechweg; Creator of the National Dish, Jacqueline Ryan; The designers of the National Wear, Dwayne Weekes, Dr Joylette, Grace and Vaughn Woodley; and the composer of the National Anthem Kenrick Georges, deceased. In his stead, his daughter Kenricia Georges received his reward. However, during the ceremony, Sandra Cotton, a relative, accepted on behalf of the family and Kaya Archibald who was nicknamed the Independence Baby, born 19 September 1983 also received a plot of land.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Shez Dore-Tyson, said it is her Ministry’s mandate to empower citizens through wealth creation and asset increase.
Minister of Sustainable Development et al, Hon Dr Joyelle Clarke said it was entirely a partnership among the technical teams within the Departments that make up the Ministry of Sustainable Development. These include Physical Planning, Lands & Survey, Land Sales, and Urban Resilience and Development. The Minister said the partnership was extended to the Cabinet where the Attorney General was highlighted for his involvement within the legal framework and processes therein.
She said, “You all have worked tremendously well in empowering Kittitians and Nevisians through land. It is the mandate of the government. Importantly, the distribution is not only important but symbolic in recognizing the importance of 40 years and what these persons have done for us. So, giving a piece of the rock is the very least that we can do for you and your generations.”
Prime Minister, Hon Dr Terrance Drew reiterated that the gift can contribute to each of the national icons’ wealth profile and they in turn can have assets to pass on.
He said, “Your contribution is well-received. We should thank our people but we should also thank them in tangible ways. Something that they can point to, that reflects the grateful heart of a grateful nation. Today, this ceremony is bringing all of these persons who have really made a significant contribution to the identity of our nation, to distribute to them something that they will have forever. We thought the best gift that we can give to them is a piece of the rock.”
The special ceremony was part of the year-long Independence 40 celebrations.