Independence Baton Relay transcends Political Boundaries and Ignites Unity among Citizens – Richard Frederick

Minister for Housing and Local Government, Richard Frederick
Minister for Housing and Local Government, Richard Frederick

Over the years the Independence Baton Relay, incorporated into Saint Lucia’s Independence Anniversary celebrations, has been  getting bigger and better. This year seems to be no exception.

Minister for Housing and Local Government Richard Frederick,  disclosed on Monday that the baton relay event is coming around well.

The event began on Sunday February 4, in the Castries South East constituency and  lasted up to Sunday (February 11) the activity had proceeded to Castries South where it ended, and was then handed over to the Castries East Parliamentary Representative in the person of Prime Minister Philip J Pierre.

“As we speak …the baton is now in Taiwan and Saint Lucians are participataing (Monday) in the Diaspora over in Taiwan, and they are enjoying it to the max,” the Castries Central MP told reporters.

The minister also indicated that there were tentative discussions in place for arrangements to be made for the Baton Relay to continue in Morocco on Tuesday, meaning yesterday.

Today (Wednesday) the Baton Relay will continue in the Castries East constituency, “where we expect to have a blast”, said Frederick.

“So far…the baton relay has had the footprint of a programme that unites us, that transcends the political divide and bring out the best in our people,” he asserted.

“There are loads of people in the various constituencies who have made contributions throughout the length and breadth of Saint Lucia and those people remain relatively unknown,” said the Castries Central MP. “The baton relay is one exercise that brings the efforts of those people to national acclaim. I am indeed pleased that it is going on very, very well and things are happening in a manner that we expected…and it’s getting bigger and better.”

Frederick referred to the involvement of corporate entities in this exercise, such as Saint Lucia Helicopters who participated in the event. And in Soufriere, he said, MP Emma Hippolyte was fortunate to have “land, sea and air” activities included in that constituency’s delivery.

Noting that there may be lots more in store in terms of its presentation within the respective communities, Frederick declared: “The baton relay has brought out a lot of creativity in our people …and it has brought out a lot of friendly banter, it has brought out a lot of friendly competition and everybody wants to get involved.”

In the wider context of this national exercise, he underlined the participation of residents from the Vieux Fort South constituency, particularly within the Shanty Town community.

Said Frederick: “When we all thought the guys would not get involved in an activity like that, I was indeed elated and pleasantly surprised to have seen participation to its fullest extent from the guys in Shanty Town…it was a really good display and once again, let me complement the Vieux Fort South Constituency Council and all those guys from Shanty Town and across the constituencies that saw it necessary to get themselves involved in this exercise that undoubtedly unites us across the length and breadth of this country.”

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