Grenada stood tall last Monday at the Grenada Trade Center as Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) Timothy Antoine inspired Grenadians to forge into the next fifty years with excellence and vision.
The former Permanent Secretary in the local Ministry of Finance was addressing a packed gathering at the Trade Centre that came to witness the unveiling of the historic $50 note to mark the Golden Jubilee celebrations.
Governor Antoine noted that despite the different ups and downs, God has blessed the nation.
“As we reflect on the past half century…I think we will readily agree that there have been many glorious days, but also some grievous days but through it all, God has stood with this nation and we are forever grateful,” he said.
According to the ECCB boss, the idea of the commemorative note was inspired by Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell.
“This special commemorative note which we are launching this evening is the brainchild of Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell. When the Prime Minister called me last June and proposed this collaboration, I was immediately excited,” he said.
The Governor recalled that despite questioning the time required to complete what he referred to as “a unique piece of history”, the Monetary Council of which Grenada is a part undoubtedly decided to embark on this endeavour.
“…There was only one question in my mind – how quickly could we get this done? Because you see, typically the design and manufacturing and production, publishing of the note takes two years.
“I immediately called my Director of Currency Rosebert Humphrey …. and so a journey to this launch began… and I’m pleased to say that the Monetary Council gave unanimous approval for this special unprecedented issuance last July and once approved, we were officially off to the races.”
Praising the efforts of all the contributors involved in the process, Governor Antoine said that their work should be commended.
He highlighted the role played by slain Marxist leader, former Grenada Prime Minister Maurice Bishop in the establishment of the Monetary Council.
“Grenada is the first member of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union to obtain political independence. On the occasion of this day and Jubilee, Grenada is also creating another first with the launch of our $50 Commemorative circulation note simply called the Grenada 50, simply means we are celebrating the special occasion of The Golden Jubilee,” he said.
The ECCB Governor disclosed that the new commemorative note can be used in all member territories.
“This note will be legal tender throughout the currency union, which simply means while it will be only issued in Grenada, we can send it anywhere in the currency union,” he said.
The Grenadian-born economist implored his countrymen to see the value of the note and allow it to motivate them to achieve greatness.
“Fellow Grenadians, as you see, touch and feel (it), let it inspire you. Indeed, maybe inspire current and future generations of Grenadians to greatness, because G is for Grenada but G is also for greatness.
“Envision what could be and should be in our beautiful island space and vision what it will take and what will be your contribution to doubling the size of the Grenada economy over the next 10 years for example.”
Extolling the greatness achieved by the island’s 2012 London 400
Olympics champion Kirani James who was in the audience, Governor Antoine said it is vital for Grenada to go into the next 50 years with optimism and national pride.
“So as we set sail or if you prefer to take flight for the next 50 years, let us do so with a sense of purpose, passion, patriotism, pride. Most importantly, let us do it together, together and never forget with God, all things are possible,” he remarked.