In­de­pen­dence Day Starts in De­cem­ber!

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

Cel­e­bra­tions for the for­ti­eth an­niver­sary of Saint Lu­cia's In­de­pen­dence are set to be­gin this month. The plan­ning com­mit­tee's chair­per­son, Jea­nine Gi­raudy-McIn­tyre, prom­ises the is­land can look for­ward to over a year-long ex­pe­ri­ence to com­mem­o­rate this mile­stone.

Al­though Saint Lu­cia was granted In­de­pen­dence in Fe­bru­ary 1979, this year's re­lated cel­e­bra­tions will of­fi­cially be­gin on De­cem­ber 12, 2018 with a grand launch at the Fes­ti­val of Lights and Lantern Pa­rade.

The cer­e­mo­nial tagline, web­site and video will be re­vealed along with a logo cho­sen by the com­mit­tee af­ter a short com­pe­ti­tion ear­lier this year. Cel­e­bra­tions will end on De­cem­ber 19, 2019.

Gi­raudy-McIn­tyre says her com­mit­tee will go beyond pro­mot­ing only gov­ern­ment­backed ac­tiv­i­ties. In an ap­peal on Mon­day she said: “I want to en­cour­age the pub­lic to come out, par­tic­i­pate, lis­ten keenly to what is go­ing to take place and en­cour­age ev­ery­one to know we are all in be­cause it's our jour­ney and our fu­ture.”

She urged all or­gan­i­sa­tions, groups and the di­as­pora to sub­mit ideas to the 40th In­de­pen­dence Plan­ning Com­mit­tee. Peo­ple can also ar­range to have In­de­pen­dence-themed ac­tiv­i­ties marked on the cal­en­dar of events for the year-long cel­e­bra­tion. She added: “We also want to pro­vide op­por­tu­ni­ties for max­i­mum eco­nomic spin off.”

Buf­falo Od­lum is the co­or­di­na­tor of the plan­ning com­mit­tee. He made a spe­cial ap­peal to cre­atives, artists and cul­tural ac­tivists to of­fer their ideas for the up­com­ing scope of ac­tiv­i­ties. He said, “There's a lot to cel­e­brate af­ter forty years and we're look­ing to en­com­pass ev­ery sec­tor and ev­ery as­pect of our so­ci­ety in Saint Lu­cia, in all the di­as­po­ras. It's a very ex­cit­ing time, we have a very hard­work­ing team and we've been spend­ing day and night try­ing to plan, and co­or­di­nat­ing how we're go­ing to bring the cel­e­bra­tions to­gether.” He en­cour­aged the pub­lic that Saint Lu­cia has a lot of achieve­ments over the past forty years to cel­e­brate. The cur­rent pres­i­dent of the Na­tional Youth Coun­cil, Jeshrun An­drew, is the rep­re­sen­ta­tive for young peo­ple on the plan­ning com­mit­tee. He says that there's a spe­cial fo­cus on youth ac­tiv­i­ties for an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions and more ideas are still wel­come. Two of the planned youth ac­tiv­i­ties are Youth Par­lia­ment, which will have its first sit­ting in Fe­bru­ary and the sec­ond in April, and Strides of Unity, an is­land-wide run.

The pub­lic can ob­tain more in­for­ma­tion and the spec­i­fied cal­en­dar of events by De­cem­ber 12, 2018, when the plan­ning com­mit­tee will make fur­ther an­nounce­ments. For more in­for­ma­tion con­tact in­de­pen­[email protected]

Jea­nine Gi­raudy-McIn­tyre (at the podium) and mem­bers of the plan­ning com­mit­tee promise that next year's In­de­pen­dence Day ac­tiv­i­ties will not be the only cel­e­bra­tion to com­mem­o­rate forty years.

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