September is a special month for the nation of St Kitts and Nevis, both at home and abroad, as residents and citizens around the world, celebrate National Heroes day on the 16th and Independence Day on the 19th. It’s an occasion that marks the history and achievements of the nation through state recognition, as well as by commemorating individuals who have contributed to the nation’s development by, in the words of the country’s motto, putting “Country above Self”.
This year September was a special month for WMG too. We were privileged to play an active part in showcasing these special events on behalf of Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris. With communications at the heart of key messaging, in the written form, through images and video, everyone across the Federation, along with Kittitians and Nevisians abroad, were able to feel inspired and uplifted. They shared and took part in a number of events, speeches, parades, dinners, church services, presentations by students, community and hospital visits that demonstrated the Prime Minister’s genuine commitment towards nation building where everyone has a stake in and benefits from, its growth and development.
We started on the 9th when we visited, McKinght’s Community Centre where local residents took part in “Discussions for Prosperity”. The event was attended by the Prime Minister, the Premier of Nevis the Honourable Vance Amory, the Honourable Ian Liburd and was chaired by His Excellency Ambassador Jonel Powell. It was live streamed enabling both attendees the opportunity to ask questions, as well people who could not attend but watched the event online and on television. They made their contributions by calling in.
On the 12th we announced the appointment of Les Khan as the new CEO of the Citizen Investment Unit at their conference “St Kitts & Nevis Redefining Global Citizenship, Leading the Way Again!” Developers, service providers and agents were able to hear about the reforms which the CEO had initiated and heard how, under his leadership, the Citizenship by Investment Programme would be of a platinum standard. The Prime Minister’s opening address can be seen here: PM’s address to the CIU conference
That evening, across the water in Nevis, we attended the Inaugural Independence Day Lecture presented by Larry Quinlan, CIO with Deloitte, who highlighted both the benefits and risks of social media.
Later on that week students from a range of schools attended the Nevis Preforming Arts Centre and took part in conversations about independence including asking perceptive questions about the state of the nation. The event gave young people, who would not normally have the chance, the opportunity for their voice to be heard by the PM, the Premier and other key influencers and decision makers.
The celebration of National Heroes Day took place at the specially designated National Heroes Park. We paid a visit there the day before to see how the final preparations were going and colleague Rondon Carr took the opportunity to capture the PM’s invitation to the nation to attend the ceremony. PM’s invitation to National Heroes Day ceremony
The highlight of the month’s celebrations was the spectacular Independence Day parade at Warner Cricket Ground. Once the PM had undertaken his inspection, the uniformed services for national security such as the police and armed forces paraded with the very young members of the scouts group against a backdrop of compelling foot tapping marching music.
After the ceremony we visited the JNF Hospital and very movingly saw the dedication and hard work of nurses and doctors there. Although there were no Independence Day babies, the PM revealed his softer side as he took the opportunity to meet some new born babies.
The month concluded appropriately with the National Consultation on the Economy at which stakeholders from across a range of organisations were able to actively consult and participate in discussions on the priorities for the next budget. It really was an example of participatory government at its best.
Political communications is more than ensuring your message is received loudly and clearly. In an era of citizen journalism, it’s about enabling society to participate in democracy well after polling day, helping their elected leaders to deliver the promise of yesterday, as well as to meet the emerging needs of the future, in a dynamic and responsive way.