Roseau, Dominica – October 24, 2008……….On the first anniversary of the formal opening of the Windsor Park Stadium on Friday, October 24, 2008, Minister for Education, Hon. Vince Henderson used the occasion of the 2008 National Youth Rally at the Windsor Park to call on Dominicans to remember the words of the late great Mr. Henkel Christian in a speech he delivered on November 3rd 1978- the date Dominica gained political independence from Britain.
In his address on a day of brilliant sunshine at Dominica’s premier sporting and recreational facility, Hon. Henderson reflected on Dominica’s achievements in the thirty years of political independence and recalled the words of Mr. Henkel Christian, the distinguished Dominican who was Minister for Education when the island gained political independence.
“My dear young people, we must endeavour to create a national image of the highest possible standards: the highest in economic production, in agriculture, in craftsmanship, the creative arts…. We need to cultivate the highest standards in social behaviour with a view to establishing international credibility and prestige among the nations of the world.”
Mr Christian stated further that “ young Dominicans must develop an impeccable appreciation of all that is beautiful, in spiritual and moral values; truth; honesty; justice; perseverance; courage; courtesy; politeness and kindness. In all these things our watchword should always be ‘Forward Ever -Backward Never’ ”.
Thirty years on, the Minister told the large crowd of students mainly from primary and secondary schools island-wide that the words of the late Henkel Christian are still applicable today.
The Minister saluted the hard work of some of Dominica’s young people and praised their leadership and perseverance and noted their excellent academic performance. Hon. Henderson also said that with the patriotism and love for country being displayed by young people, “we must be proud that Dominica’s future is secure. We must cultivate in our young people a culture of love and peace, service to country and fear of God.”
“As we gather here as young people let us commit ourselves on the journey together to remain true to our land, let us commit ourselves to respect one another. Let us commit ourselves to go to our villages, our community, towns and city and ensure that we too can make a difference,” Hon. Henderson concluded.