By anguillian March 7, 2016 11:09





Revolutionary Leader Mr. James Ronald Webster

Anguilla’s Revolutionary Leader and Father of the Nation, Mr. James Ronald Webster, turned 90 on Wednesday, March 2, this week – a National Holiday in his honour. He spent the day quietly at his residence at Seafeather’s where he was visited by some close family members and friends.
Mr. Webster fearlessly led the 1967 Anguilla Revolution against the Central Government in St. Kitts of the late Premier Robert Bradshaw. He served as Chairman of the post-revolutionary Anguilla Council; became the first Chief Minister of Anguilla from February 10, 1976 to February 1, 1977 and again served in that appointment from May 1980 to March 12, 1984. He was privileged to have been serving at the time when Anguilla was formally separated from St. Kitts-Nevis, by an Order-in-Council in the British Parliament , on December 19, 1980 which was celebrated in Anguilla in January 1981.

Mr. Webster retired from active politics after 1984. In March 2010, the then Anguilla United Movement Government, by a proclamation signed by the Government, declared March 2 as Ronald Webster’s Day – a National Holiday – to mark his birthday. The activities included a parade of uniformed units and inspection by Mr. Webster, official speeches, an official boat race and a motorcade. The previous Anguilla United Front Government had declared a holiday only for schoolchildren.

In January 2013, at the approach of his 87th birthday, Mr. Webster officially withdrew from the official celebrations. In a letter to Chief Minister, Mr. Hubert Hughes, he cited among the reasons for his withdrawal – the high cost to the island’s public finances; the closeness of his birthday celebrations, and the overlapping activities, to the official Anguilla Day Parade and related functions; and his desire “to remain peacefully in communication with God who led him during the revolutionary years”.

Although Mr. Webster’s official birthday celebrations have been cancelled in lieu of his withdrawal, there are still a number of unofficial and casual activities on the island to mark the holiday for the Revolutionary Leader’s birthday. These are predominantly held in the East End/Sandy Hill area.

By anguillian March 7, 2016 11:09


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