By anguillian May 15, 2017 10:14




I am not a carnival enthusiast. However, I have had the privilege to see the Mighty Springer perform on several occasions. As he enters the stage, he energizes the crowd by shouting: “Let me see the hands of all the proud Anguillians!” Immediately the crowd responds to his appeal and listens attentively to his lyrics.
As we count down to Anguilla Day 2017, the fiftieth anniversary of the Anguilla Revolution, Springer’s appeal is relevant to all of us, not only those born in Anguilla but those who are Anguillian by choice. This is not a time for division between the born here and the come here (in fact such division is not acceptable at any time). This is not a time for division between political parties. This is not a time for bickering and complaining. It is time for celebration and thanksgiving. It is a time to remember and honour those who had the vision, determination and courage to fight for Anguilla. It is time to look forward to the work that still lies ahead. It is a time for commitment to continue building a better Anguilla.

There will be those who discredit the Anguilla Revolution; those who defend the actions of Robert Bradshaw and his administration. There will be those who ridicule Anguillians for the stand taken – and those who will claim that we have not progressed in fifty years. There will be those who seek to rewrite history or embellish stories to suit their own purposes – and those who try to convince us that what happened, really didn’t happen. There will be those who will protest, boycott etc., which is their right to do. However, as Anguillians it is important for us to know who we are as a people and the struggles that got us to this point.
We must educate ourselves by doing our research, reading the books that have been written on our history before, during and after the Revolution; by listening to the experiences of people who were directly involved in the Revolution. The stories will be many and varied. That is expected because fifty years ago is a long time, and memories and perspectives will be different. But several things are certain: fifty years ago was a time when we put country above self, when we worked towards a common vision, when we demonstrated courage and resilience and would not back down until we were satisfied that we had done what was best for Anguilla.
I encourage all Anguillians to display pride and patriotism at this important milestone in our history. Are things perfect? No. They are not! Do we have a long way to go? Yes. A very long way! However, don’t let anyone tell you that you have nothing to celebrate. Don’t let anyone tell you who you are as an Anguillian. Know who you are. Know your history.
We are Anguillian: proud, strong and free. This is the land of the happy, and every time we sing the national song we pledge to give our lives and love to Anguilla – and to uphold truth and honour. These words should hold meaning for each of us. They are what we should use to measure our contribution to fulfilling the vision, of those revolutionaries, to build a new Anguilla. Do we think about this when we sing or hear the national song? Sadly, some of us don’t have sufficient respect or appreciation for what the song represents – to even stand appropriately when it is being sung or played. But this is not the time to dwell on that. It is the time, however, for us to truly see the raised hands of the proud Anguillians. Will you put your hand up and be counted?

By anguillian May 15, 2017 10:14


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