#Nassau, July 10, 2018 – Bahamas –
Her Excellency the Governor-General
Tuesday, 10th July 2018
My Fellow Bahamians,
On this 45th anniversary of our independence, I extend greetings to all citizens of this beautiful and sovereign archipelago given to us by the will of Almighty God, and I call your attention to the theme selected this year as our guide: “Celebrate Bahamas – We’ve come this far by Faith”.
Forty-five years as a sovereign nation is worthy of celebration. It also calls us, in the midst of our celebrations, to take the time to recognize that it is indeed only through our faith in Almighty God that we have been enabled to come this far.
Forty-five years ago, we took the bold step of moving ourselves to a higher status globally, and providing for all our citizens the opportunity to live in a free and independent land, using its resources for the common benefit, and growing together as a people proud of the traditions and legacies of our past.
This important milestone we now observe demands bold faith, bold action, all undergirded
by profound and constant prayer. In this way, we shall be able to demonstrate our faith in knowing that we can compete globally and nationally as a sovereign people, living together in harmony and peace, and making good use of the opportunities that will bring continued prosperity to all.
As we continue to build, I encourage all of our people to embrace even more fully the traditions of volunteerism and the duty of care, which have served us so well in the past. Remember that we are indeed our sisters’ and our brothers’ keepers, and that it is our responsibility to look out for those in our midst who have, through no fault of their own, become the victims of dispossession and need. These too are our fellow Bahamians, and we must carry them forward to the success which awaits us all.
Above all, we must invest in time and care toward our young people, for they are the adults of tomorrow who will lead and carry The Bahamas into the future. We must therefore do all we can to ensure their development into responsible citizens, properly prepared to assume the profound task of continuing to
develop this good and pleasant land. In doing so, we shall all reap the rewards the bright future will bring.
In order to achieve these lofty objectives, we must re-commit ourselves to those time-honoured and solid principles that brought us to the gates of freedom and peace. These include having respect for ourselves and others, respect for the laws which regulate our Commonwealth, and a solid determination to preserve peace and good order all across our land. They are the tried and proven standards that must be practiced and applied, and by faithfulness to them, we shall overcome whatever obstacles we encounter.
And so, we must look back and see how far we have come, and then, valuing the traditions and legacies of our past, firmly resolve to continue our forward march, practicing quality relationships within families, between neighbours, and across our communities. Observing these standards will surely keep us along the sure path to dignity, peace, safety and security.
In closing, I wish to quote from a speech made by my late husband, Sir Lynden Pindling, who served as Prime Minister at our first Independence Day forty-five years ago. He said, quote: “My fellow Bahamians, you would know that it took a great deal of hard work to reach this glorious point in our history, in order to fulfil our true and great destiny. As we lift up our heads to the sun rising over our beautiful Bahamaland, let us all march to glory, steadfast in our Christian heritage.
“With faith in God and Faith in our country and people, we can rise to whatever height we aspire to, and these can be achieved by our continuing efforts. Our raised flag is the signal of a new era for all Bahamians — a signal for us to take our place among the free nations of the world. We must remember that all of us are partners in this great effort to build a better Commonwealth of The Bahamas,” unquote.
I pray that Almighty God will continue to bless our Commonwealth of The Bahamas.
Happy Independence Day my fellow citizens!