St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas told the Bermuda House of Assembly last Friday that he will return to the twin-island federation ever mindful of the fact that the blood that unites St. Kitts, Nevis and Bermuda “is stronger than the water that divides us.”
Dr. Douglas, who was invited on an official visit to the British Overseas Territory in the Atlantic by Bermuda’s Premier, the Hon. Dr. Ewart Brown, told the lawmaking body he was “deeply honored to have been invited to address this august institution and to bring greetings to the government and fine people of Bermuda, on behalf on my own government and the proud people of the federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.”
He told Bermuda parliamentarinas that Bermuda figures prominently in the hearts and minds of the people of St. Kitts and Nevis, and the interest in the Bermuda islands has been both substantial and of very long standing – and for very good reasons.
“The mere idea, Mr. Speaker, that there is a Kittitian community in Bermuda, with whom I will have the honor of interacting, bears powerful testimony to the extent of the bonds that connect our worlds. And it bears testimony to the emotional, familial, and historical linkages between the people of our islands and the people of yours. If anyone doubts the strength of these bonds, your Gombey troupes and our Masquerades stand ready to colorfully, dramatically, and vibrantly convince them otherwise,” said Priume Minister Douglas, who noted that some 60 percent of Bermudan families can trace their ancestry, in some way, to St. Kitts and Nevis.
“This statistic pleases me. It pleases me because I am keenly aware of the strength, the resilience, and the determination of the people of St. Kitts and Nevis. And we all know that throughout the world, the people of Bermuda are respected for their sense of focus, for their discipline, for their standards,” said Dr. Douglas, who pointed out that “these positive traits, being common to both your people and mine, are best explained by our shared genealogy.”
Stating that out of travail often comes triumph, Dr. Douglas said he believes that the intersecting and interlocking histories of Bermuda, St. Kitts ands Nevis bear out the contribution of Kittitians and Nevisians to the economic, political, and social development of Bermuda.
“Many years ago, the phenomenal infrastructural development that created opportunities for employment in Bermuda, was the pull factor for Kittitians and Nevisians of courage and determination who ventured into the unknown, those many years ago… to make their way to a land they had never seen and circumstances of which they could not be sure – all in their determination to build a better life for themselves and those who depended on them,” noted Prime Minister Douglas.
“The result was a social and economic symbiosis, the positive ramifications of which are, today, clear for all to see: Bermuda benefited from the dedication of the Kittitians and Nevisians who came here to be part of the infrastructural transformation process; Kittitians and Nevisians benefited from the opportunities provided by Bermuda to effectively transform a vision into reality. Most importantly, the uncertainties that had plagued the unmet needs of both parties were soon transformed into tangible and quantifiable progress for all. Today, therefore, on behalf of my government and people, I will formalize that cultural cooperation and bond between our people, which will open yet another chapter in the history of our people and our respective countries,” said the St. Kitts and Nevis leader.
Many nationals of Bermuda travel annually to St. Kitts and Nevis to attend social, cultural, and sporting events including the St. Kitts Music Festival, Culturama in Nevis and International Test Cricket Matches.