MESSAGE OF THE HONOURABLE DARREN A. HENFIELD, MP,
MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF THE BAHAMAS ON THE OCCASION OF THE 47TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE INDEPENDENCE
OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF THE BAHAMAS
My Fellow Bahamians,
Once again, we are celebrating our country’s sovereignty. Gaining independence and our identity as Bahamians on 10 July 1973, remain the most memorable and historic occasion for many of us. Today, we stand as a united people, proud of our heritage, culture, political stability, economic growth and stance in the international community.
This year’s theme, “Pressing onward: A time of Hope, Triumph and Transformation”, is truly a timely one. In the past year, we have faced many challenges as a nation. The catastrophic landfall of Hurricane Dorian on 1 September 2019 followed by the deadly and lingering COVID-19 pandemic this year, have been recorded in the annals of Bahamian history as two (2) of the most infamous events having occurred in an independent and modern Bahamas.
Our elders often speak of the brutal hurricanes that wreaked havoc on our country’s infrastructure, natural resources and economy. Despite the devastation and deficit acquired from disastrous hurricanes over the years, we continue to overcome the challenges encountered and rise as a strong, resilient people. Our resilience is evident throughout the archipelago; neighbours helping neighbours and friends helping friends in an effort to rebuild and restore that which was lost.
My brothers, sisters and friends,
In the midst of our rise from a catastrophic weather system, we were confronted with the infectious coronavirus that resulted in a global health crisis. We were forced to close our border, educational institutions, places of worship, beaches, corporate offices and local businesses in an effort to mitigate the spread of this deadly virus while ultimately protecting ourselves. Today, our proactive measures have significantly reduced the spread of COVID-19 and limited the number of casualties in The Bahamas. We give honour, glory and praise to Almighty God for His continued hand of protection over us during this time. With the reopening of our border, we continue to place our hope in God and seek after His wisdom and guidance that will allow us to triumph over all adversities as it relates to our economy.
My brothers, sisters and friends,
On behalf of the Government and people of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, I express sincere gratitude to our diaspora and our many international friends for the assistance given in both the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian and during this COVID-19 pandemic.
Likewise, I say thank you to our staff in The Bahamas’ overseas offices, who continue to promote and protect our interest abroad while strengthening our diplomatic relations. Colleagues, we greatly appreciate your unselfish service and patriotism to country. We continue to support your efforts as you advance our country’s foreign policy in the international community.
To all Bahamians, I encourage you to remain steadfast in your faith and trust in Almighty God. May we forever stand as a united people and press onward; being mindful that with God’s help, we will continue to triumph over challenges.
On behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, I extend best wishes to all Bahamians for a Happy Independence.
May God continue to bless the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.