Friday, June 7, 2013

July 10, 1973 to Now: ...The Bahamas Independence Generation... ...and the story of Majority Rule and Independence... ...The 40th Anniversary

Independence Generation Should Tell Of The Struggle

By Llonella Gilbert - BIS:

NASSAU, The Bahamas -- Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie said as a proud member of the generation that ushered in The Bahamas’ Independence on July 10, 1973, he feels that while Bahamians cross the bridge to the future, they must see the bridge as a connection to those of the Independence Generation.

The Prime Minister was speaking at the Official 40-Day Countdown Launch Ceremony in Celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Independence of The Bahamas in Rawson Square, June 4, 2013.

“Truly, the significance of celebrating the 40th Anniversary is that this is the last time that both generations will be able to work side by side in marking this pivotal event in our country’s history,” he said.

“This is the last time that we will be able to hear the voices of the Independence Generation and I implore you to listen.”

Prime Minister Christie said the Independence Generation must tell their stories to those who have come afterward.

“We must have them tell us their stories. It may simply be a retelling of a grandmother’s Independence morning experience; it may be the airing of the complete Portraits series; it may be an interview with a member of the Women’s Suffragette Movement, however we do it, it must be done.”

The Prime Minister added that he believes that part of what is right for the country, on this Independence journey, is to record, preserve and honour The Bahamas’ history and culture.

“We have been, in many respects, negligent of our heroes and our history.

“It is vital that every Bahamian, of every background know their history. “Every Bahamian student should be able to tell the story of Majority Rule and Independence.

He said proper attention must be given to these things.

“Our Bahamian heroes must have permanence in the Bahamian Story. We must write it well, so that even after death they live.”

Prime Minister Christie also explained that during his last term as prime minister, he appointed the National Cultural Development Commission with the mission to organise and formulate a wide range of policies and positions on cultural matters.

He said the framework for a National Honours system was passed and this year, deserving Bahamians will receive the country’s own award.

“This public honouring will not only draw the necessary attention to these individuals, it will be the best way that a grateful nation can say thank you.”

The Prime Minister said the National Independence Committee is also working with The College of The Bahamas on hosting the 40th Anniversary Independence Conference.

The conference, which will be held June 12 – 14, 2013 and is open to the public, will do much to help further educate and examine what the future of The Bahamas can be.

“The aim of the conference is to examine the context and construction of the Bahamian nation; investigate the challenges emerging in the post-independence period; discuss contemporary social, cultural, economic and political issues that have emerged since 1973; and explore future prospects for nation building and development.”

Prime Minister Christie said in planning the celebrations for the Anniversary, the committee felt it was critical to host events that will showcase Bahamian arts and culture.

“I have said before that it is important to the development of our national identity and to the deepening of our Bahamian culture that our artists have a high level of support.

“We often enjoy and celebrate what other nations in the world have offered us and we forget that we have produced many cultural icons who have influenced them.”

June 05, 2013