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50 is a big deal for real

For my 50th birthday, I had dinner at my favourite restaurant which was paid for by a guest.

I have no idea who he or she was but one of the bosses was there. Later I went back to Club Bananas and danced off my shoe heels upstairs to the Cave at Roger Spronk’s November Party which was epic….50 is a really big deal.

As I wait for more Martini Powers of the Washington Post for an additional podcast on the Empty Grave of Comrade Bishop before I complete my trilogy of “We Are Not Born Big and Stupid”. I am also taking in the episodes of The Resilience of the Spice Isle which is very interesting. So I decided to jump in with my two cents on why 50 is a big deal.

If you understand sports especially cricket and you are an opening batsman like me who played cricket in two leagues for various teams, I fully understand that 50 runs are a landmark because you will get applause and encouragement for the second fifty should come faster which I accomplished a couple times opening the batting for La Borie senior cricket team. So fifty for me is a big deal.

Our 50th anniversary as an independent country is a big deal for our people, especially those of us who survived adversities during the 50 years.

Some of us escaped death before the Revolution, during the Revolution, Invasion and several hurricanes and should be thankful that we are here today to share our experiences during our Golden Jubilee which was punctuated with political and social unrest of the 1970s and which ended in the October 1983 crises.

During this time we have been searching for a comfortable, viable political alternative for the NJM and the PRG during 40 of the fifty years because most people have identified with the positive plans and programs which were rolled out during that very contentious period in our history.

For most of the young people of that era, we would not trade our contribution to the Grenadian Revolution for all the tea in China or all the gold in South Africa because it was the best time of our lives and the life of our country.

Since the demise of the PRG, we have existed on the international political stage and the once revolutionary spirit was just lurking and looking for someone genuine to lift us up again as we did during the Grenada Revolution of 1979-83, when we stood for something.

During the last 40 years, our history was swept under the carpet until recently when a Junior history of Grenada was published for secondary schools by Dr. Nicole Phillip-Dowe.

A remarkable effort to put back our history in the classrooms again and the recent presentation of Dr John Angus Martin A-Z of our heritage seems that the framework is once again on track. In other words, some of us are beginning to feel Grenadian again thanks to this new NDC Government of the Hon. Dickon Mitchell.

Fast forward to the launch of the 50th anniversary of our independence celebration on the 31st October 2023 on the Carenage. The opposition was invited to be part of our Golden Jubilee celebrations but opted to have a public engagement instead, but later crying foul of not being part of the independence activities: We must understand that we cannot eat our cake and have it.

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I will not dwell on the circumstances in which we got our independence because I have dealt with it both in the print and electronic media. The most important thing is that we have it and can give us a chance to restart our Grenada for the next fifty years.

This year’s celebrations we had the opportunity to bring all of our people together to truly have a great celebration, something which did not happen in the last 50 years.

For us to be truly Grenadian, the main opposition political party should bury the hatchet of division and encourage its members to participate in all upcoming events, meaning the rest of activities throughout the year.

People who know my political orientation would be very surprised to hear me call for total participation going forward because for me and many others, our independence day is March 13th 1979 because of the circumstances in which we got our independence from Britain.

As I get older I fully embrace our history which gives me a sense of identity from our indigenous people to the present because according to Maurice Bishop, we are the makers of our history.

I have a strange feeling that this 50th-anniversary celebration will be epic. So far things are going well and could only get better with time and healing as we gel together to celebrate our history and all the outstanding contributions of our people.

I tip my hat to the independence celebration committee, all the sub-committees nationally and all the stakeholders for a job well done so far . I hope that the rest of the activities will also be highly organised as well.

I must admit that for the first time, this independence celebration is reaching me in more ways than I expected because of several factors including the launch on the 31st October 2023 on the Carenage, the theme song was properly done among other things.

Let us swallow some pride and try and celebrate our Golden Jubilee throughout this year as one people, one journey and one future because 50 is a big deal.

The above was written about two weeks before the 7th of February 2024 in anticipation of a mega celebration on our independence day, our golden jubilee and indeed it was magnificent.

The Government of the Hon. Dickon Mitchell along with the National Organising Committee rolled out a mega celebration which will be remembered by all.

The high points for me were the out-of-this-world drone show, the military display by the SSU, the Bikers forming 50, the epic fireworks and the massive turn out of people in a show of unity not seen for a long time in our country and this will stay with me forever.

Brian Lindsay-Campbell