As the nation celebrates its 41st Anniversary as a Republican State, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley added two words–perseverance and persistence– to the nation’s watchwords saying these were necessary qualities if the nation was to experience continued growth and prosperity.
In his Republic Day message, Rowley noted that during National Patriotism Month, citizens had witnessed and celebrated the nation’s accomplishments in music, literature, film, photography and the performing arts.
“We have participated in educational heritage tours to sites which recall our past and embraced our First Peoples, whom we will honour with a one-off holiday next month, Rowley said. “All these activities help to define our identity and strengthen us as people who appreciate what we have created from the midst of our diversity.”
He said the nation must now remain “united around a common purpose and that should be to move our country in the direction of excellence.”
“Just as we declare our rights, we must accept our responsibilities – to family, to community and to country. To our national watchwords of discipline, tolerance and production, I will add perseverance and persistence, if, as a nation, we wish to ensure continued growth and prosperity,” Rowley said.
He noted that, under our Republican Constitution, citizens have affirmed that the, “Nation of Trinidad and Tobago is founded upon principles that acknowledge the supremacy of God,” and that they respected the principles of social justice and the equitable distribution of our nation’s resources.
He said the nation also believed in the dignity of the human person and in a democratic society in which all persons might play some part in the institutions of the national life. He added that men and institutions remained free only when freedom was founded upon respect for moral and spiritual values and the rule of law.
“These are the standards and values which we should action every day to ensure the positive development of our country,” Rowley said. “In choosing to become a Republic we took the reins of governance into our own hands, with a President appointed from the citizenry, as our Head of State. Just as we did in 1976, let us continue to trust in our capacity to make the right decisions for our country.”
“Upholding our democratic principles and institutions may not always be an easy task, but with hard work and faith in God, our journey will be successful.”
Rowley concluded by asking the nation to pray for our, “Caribbean brothers and sisters who must now rebuild their lives and their countries after the passage of Hurricanes Irma and Maria which have caused widespread devastation across the Caribbean.”