Bishop Speech - Address on Marryshow Day,
York House, St. George's,
7 November 1982

The great Grenadian whom we are honouring today, in every sense of the word can be described as a genuine original.

Our dear and veteran comrade, Cacademo Grant, who worked organised and struggled side-by-side with this man, once had this to say about him:

Marryshow was truly a great men, a man you would like to be near.

Those of you who didn’t live one day with Marryshow, then you didn’t live a satisfactory life.

Comrades, T. Albert Marryshow is physically with us no longer, but his inspiration and example is something we must involve every day of our lives, his undying commitment and love for the people of his and our Caribbean must burn in us continually, his presence must always be inside us and alongside us.

In this way, remembering our brother Cacademo’s words, we can at least begin to lead satisfactory lives – lives, like that of Marryshow that give everything to our people.

Why is the memory and example of T.A. Marryshow so vital for us now in Grenada, and now throughout the Caribbean region?

It is because Marryshow was the creator of a tradition, a set of principles and attitudes that since March 13th, 1979 we have struggled to implement, consolidate and extend.

In a sense, of course, Marryshow himself was also the inheritor of a great tradition.

He grew from the earth of Fedon, a great revolutionary who fused the humanism and hatred of tyranny sweeping from the French masses in 1789 by was of the great Haitian upsurge with the fury of the rebel slave ground down in his own island by slavery and British colonialism.

The huge courage of Fedon and his comrades in 1795 gave birth to Marryshow in 1887, and perhaps we should note that almost a century divided them, and that Marryshow’s birth in 1887 was in fact almost the mid-point in time between Fedon’s Revolution and our Revolution.

So in every sense, comrades, he was also a continuer, a link, a great bridge between two massive blows at imperialism.

This great son of our soil was also a son of the working people, born just a stone’s throw from here in Lucas Street in St. George’s.

There was nothing special about his birth.

He inherited no money or property.

His only inheritance was that great fighting tradition of Fedon that runs in the blood of every Grenadian. Alongside his great contemporary, Tubal Uriah Buzz Butler, he lit the way for all of us present in this commemoration in his honour tonight.

Apprenticed to a carpenter, he later shifted trades and became a compositor and then a trainee printer.

But Marryshow soon found that his love for words and writing was uncontrollable, and as a teenager he turned to the tool and weapon that was going to serve the Caribbean people and cause them to marvel at him and admire him for the rest of his days – his pen.

THE MAN AND HIS PEN

Here was a man of complete eloquence, whose power of speech was only matched by his power with the written word.

As he leveled his pen at them, colonial administrators and governors who had sat behind the most expensive desks in England and idled their way through Oxford and Cambridge universities through right of birth; quaked and trembled.

And yet Marryshow had no university education, not even a secondary school education.

He learned to read and write without the benefit of electricity, he had no money to buy books, he had no access to vast libraries, bookshops or museums.

He learned his brilliance from the streets of St. George’s and the great hills and forest of our beloved Grenada.

He studied the hearts and hopes of his people.

His first great influence was the man whose newspaper he began to work for at the age of 17 years in 1904 – William Galway Donovan, the editor of the Federalist and Grenada People.

And what a fantastic combination that was!

Here was W.G. Donovan, half black Grenadian and inheritor of Fedon’s mighty struggle, half Irishman and inheritor of Wolfe Tone, of O’Connell, of the Fenians and the great Irish rebels and republicans who like the Caribbean people had spent centuries trying to free themselves from the British colonial stranglehold and who are still fighting, up until now!

And here was Donovan and his paper, which in its very title, was articulating the great dream of Marryshow – a united, federal Caribbean, one Caribbean, one indivisible people.

Again comrades, the more we look at our history, the more we see the connections we have with the rest of the struggling people of the world, the more we realise our destiny remains integral with the fortunes of the oppressed of the world.

And Marryshow, more than anyone before him, realised this and expressed this.

By 1909, at the age of 22, he was editor of the St. George’s Chronicle and Grenada Gazette, and by 1915 he had helped found The West Indian, and stayed as editor of that pioneering journal for nearly twenty years, headlining on every single issue the slogan that was to be his watchwords for the rest of his fighting life!

THE WEST INDIES MUST BE WEST INDIAN!

And yet his unquestionable commitment to the Caribbean did not make him simply a regionalist.

In 1917, he wrote a ferocious and historic attack on the racist state of South Africa in this Cycles off Civilisation.

And never forget that at his time there was no world-wide movement against apartheid, no United Nations, no great cluster of independent African States to support him.

The man he was attacking, General Jan Smuts, one of the early architects of the emerging apartheid state, was seen by the ruling class of the British Empire as an important ally, and bastion of the Empire, and Marryshow’s great defence of the African people came in the middle of the 1914-18 imperialist war, when millions upon millions of people from all over the world were uselessly dying.

Such words from an impertinent, unknown black man in an outpost of the empire would have been seen as treason.

And yet none of this deterred Marryshow, man of Grenada, man of the Caribbean, man of the rising world, from his defence of justice and truth, and his undaunted assault on all things racist, oppressive and inhuman.

In fact, in 1917, when the pillars of the ancient order were being torn down in Soviet Russia and when Lenin was directing the Russian masses to storm the palaces of the Tzar, T.A. Marryshow was sitting writing words in a small island in the Eastern Caribbean, a forgotten and remote part of the British Empire.

And the words pouring out from the great Grenadian’s pen read like an extraordinary prophecy of what has happened in Ghana, in Mozambique, in Angola, in Guinea Bissau, in Libya, Zimbabwe, in Cuba and Grenada – and what will storm through South Africa and Namibia in the months and years that are approaching.

Here are his words written in 1917 after he had heard and read about the great events taking place in Russia in 1917, a revolution which took place exactly 30 years after Marryshow’s birth:

Africa! It is Africa’s direct turn.

Sons of New Ethiopia scattered all over the world, should determine that there should be new systems of the distributions of opportunities, privileges and rights, so that Africa shall rid herself of many of the murderous highwaymen of Europe who have plundered here, raped her and left her hungry and naked in the broad light of the boasted European civilization.

Africa would then be free again to rise her head among the races of the earth and enrich humanity as she has done
before . . .

Comrades, thus spoke Grenada in 1917. Thus speaks Grenada in 1982.

MAN OF THE CARIBBEAN, MAN OF THE WORLD

T.A. Marryshow never forgot the rest of the world as he spent his life struggling for a united Caribbean.

In his own words, he was an enemy of the old style bramble politics, or as he called ‘parish pump politics’, and his anti-parochialism was manifested in his ceaseless struggles to unite the Caribbean, culturally and politically.

As founder and President of the Grenada Working Men’s Association, formed in 1911, he became a prominent figure in Caribbean labour organisations, and his energy and commitment was instrumental in setting up the Caribbean Labour Congress.

As president of this body in 1946, he persuaded it to take a supportive stand on the Federation.

In every forum in which he participated, he condemned the political tribalism that put territory against territory and one section of working people against another.

It made no send to him, he saw it as reactionary and foolish – his whole life was dedicated to unifying and bringing together all of his people who had been scattered and separated by the interests of British imperialism.

In 1921, he travelled to London, using his own money and under his own initiative.

He sought out the Colonial Office, marched in with all the dignity and independence that marked his entire character, and brought his eloquence to bear on the men behind the desks at the hub of the Empire.

At that time, the legislative councils of the Caribbean islands – with the exception of Barbados and Jamaica – had no elected members, and were all appointed by the British governor.

Marryshow spoke not only for Grenada, not only for his own island but for the entire unfranchised Caribbean.

As a result of his reasoning and argumentation, achieved without pleading or begging, the Wood Commission came to the Caribbean, and as a direct consequence of Marryshow’s mission, a measure of representative government was achieved not only for Grenada, but also for the other Windward islands, the Leewards and Trinidad.

And it is important to remember, as Book 1 of our locally written CPE Adult Education Reader reminds us that his historic victory of representative government for our region came as a direct result of dozens of years of struggles by T.A. Marryshow dating back to his formation in 1917 of the Grenada Representative Government Association.

The creation of a representative section of the legislative council meant that T.A. Marryshow became the elected member for St. George’s and stayed in that seat for 33 tireless, brilliant and self-sacrificing years, until his death in 1958.

He had struck a great blow for democracy throughout the Caribbean, and given the people a foot in the door of freedom, a door which was to be thrown open fully on March 13th, 1979 by the struggles of our people.

But of course, the emphasis of his public and political life was firmly upon creating a structure of regional unity, which found expression in his vision of FEDERATION.

It was a noble, democratic vision which sought to reintegrate a divided people to bind our islands together in one fraternal, united mainland.

From 1929 when he attended the first regional conference on regional integration in Barbados, through the years until the West Indies Conference of the Caribbean Commission in St. Kitts in 1946 and the Montego Bay Conference in 1947, Marryshow personified Caribbean oneness, he was in himself the symbol and dynamo of unity, the ‘Father of Federation’.

In 1933, he was the advisor to the Federal Conference in London, and played an integral role in the Planning Conference for Federation in Jamaica in 1957.

In 1958, when what had been just a compelling idea in his brain because a political reality and he himself became one of his country’s two federal senators to the Federal Parliament, he could only utter the unforgettable words –

This is my dream come true.

Today, I am a member of that august body that I dreamed into existence.

THE MARRYSHOW STANDARD

Marryshow died in the same year, 1959, and over his bones grew division, faintheartedness and a withdrawal to insularity.

Suddenly there was no Marryshow to heal these wounds and bind the parts of the whole together once more.

And so, comrades, we have to continue his unfinished work to bring together again everything that was lost.

That is not a mere sentimental or nostalgic gesture for us in Grenada, it is a part of our blood, ours mixed with Fedon’s, mixed with Butler’s, mixed with Marryshow’s.

It is a part of the responsibility of the tradition handed down to us, part of the task passed to us from the giants of our history who have laid the foundations for us and our progress.

For when we consider Marryshow, we see an extraordinary man who grew from the ordinary earth that we all share.

In a way, we can see him as the most ordinary of men who grew from the most ordinary of backgrounds.

And yet this working class boy of St. George’s became the greatest journalist and prose stylist of his age, because the founder of our country’s first labour movement, because in himself the standard of honesty, integrity and truth.

One of the greatest singers of his generation, the mighty Paul Robeson, told him his voice was one of the most magnificent he had ever heard; that he should become a professional singer.

His poetry was compared to that of the great black American, Paul Lawrence Dunbar.

He was a sportsman, a humourist, a democrat and a struggler for human progress: and perhaps the nearest to a complete human being that our region has ever produced.

He was not only a firm anti-colonialist, he also firmly refused to compromise his principles regardless of the consequences, a quality which always got him into the bad books of the British colonialists.

In fact, up to 1921, the British never called his name but only referred to him as ‘this dangerous radical’.

And what a nice compliment that was!

A strong kind of principle continued right through his life.

During the late 1940s, the colonial system was challenged by a worldwide struggle which campaigned for placing all colonies under the rule of thee League of Nations (later to become the United Nations).

The British therefore elaborated a scheme to get the West Indies colonies to say to the UN that they wanted to remain with Britain instead of obtaining independence.

In pursuance of this trickery and deception, the British requested Marryshow to go to the Hague in Holland to read such a statement for them.

Of course, Marryshow with his customary courage and uncompromising attitude to colonialism, bluntly refused, and so it fell to Grantley Adams to go before the Security Council to try to make out the British case that West Indian countries wanted to stay as colonies.

And so comrades, in honouring and remembering him yet again tonight and as we do on this date every year, what does his message from the past bring us at this present moment, how is he speaking to us now?

He is demonstrating to use and telling us a standard, that we, as Grenadians and Caribbean people, must seek to emulate.

If we pause and examine ourselves and our Revolution by the Marryshow standard, we can, of course, find many places where we have fallen short, but we can also find other places where we are proud to have touched him.

We know he would have approved of our declaration in the early hours of March 13th, 1979 that our Revolution,

is for work, for food, for decent housing and health services, and for a bright future for our children and grandchildren.

He devoted his own life to those things, and we were merely carrying on his concerns and those of Fedon and Butler.

We felt his closeness on July 14 and 15 of 1979 when we hosted the Grenada Summit and conferred with the Prime Ministers of St. Lucia and Dominica.

His same spirit of Caribbean solidarity was present at that meeting when all three Prime Ministers spoke of the creation of one united Caribbean, and when it was decided that travel restrictions between our islands would be eased, and in the future between our shores, passports would be irrelevancies.

T.A. Marryshow was with us when we signed the Declaration of St. George’s, gelling the region that we would erase the traces of colonialism in our countries and move forward together in a non-aligned policy towards peace and progress.

And his spirit travelled with us to Lusaka in Zambia a month later.

Following his example of a rejection of parochialism and national selfishness, we spoke not only for ourselves, but also for Zimbabwe’s independence and for all small island states, not only in the Caribbean, but throughout the Commonwealth, the islands of the Pacific, the Atlantic, the Indian Ocean and any other small national territory like ourselves which had been set apart by both geography and imperialism.

We asked that there should be more assistance for states like ours from the bigger and richer Commonwealth countries to give us free access to their markets, that they offer us greater financial help with less debt traps, that they create a Basic Needs Fund for the small island states, that they help us to be more self-sufficient in our energy supplies, and less dependent upon their oil by giving us the technical assistance to help us discover our own energy sources.

NOT ONLY FOR OURSELVES

 Comrades, we spoke not only of Grenada and for Grenada.

We wanted nothing for ourselves that our neighbours and brothers and sisters in the neighbouring islands couldn’t enjoy too.

We have never said that only Grenada matters because for us that would be impossible as the heirs of Marryshow, Fedon and Butler.

We have always believed and still believe that what is good for us is also good for the entire Caribbean, although we would never force our view on our sister islands.

But, we know we all suffer from the same underdevelopment, the same scars of colonialism, the same trade imbalance, the same exploitation by the transnational corporations that try to suck us dry.

And so, what we labour to find for ourselves, we shall labour to find for the rest of the Caribbean.

And the fact is that three years after the Lusaka Conference, the mighty presence of Marryshow still accompanies us when we travel around the world to seek assistance, co-operation and friends and allies who will help us without trying to dictate to us.

When Comrade Coard was in London last month at the Commonwealth Finance Ministers’ Conference, we saw the same pattern, the same insistence that Grenada fights for the entire Caribbean, that we saw with Marryshow’s long journey to London in 1921.

There we spoke out for all small island states in the manner of Marryshow.

We proposed that the Commonwealth appoint a panel of experts to conduct a special survey of the problems of small island states, recognising that over half of the nations of the Commonwealth fall inside this category – including Grenada, St. Lucia, Barbados, the Seychelles, Tonga, Kiribati, Ascension Island, Bermuda, the Bahamas, Montserrat and St. Vincent.

Comrade Coard, like Marryshow of old, was fighting for all these countries, battling to secure more favourable repayment periods from the International Monetary Fund in Toronto a few days later, fighting to improve the situation of our small farmers and their counterparts right through our Caribbean, Marryshow’s Caribbean.

T.A. Marryshow was with us too, comrades, when we were in Paris a few weeks ago, inspiring us in our conversations with President Mitterrand of France.

We could feel his joy when the generosity of the French government was expressed in substantial aid from their fund for aid and co-operation secured not only for us, but for six of our closest neighbours too.

This was the first time ever this fund had reached out towards the Eastern Caribbean, being normally directed to former French colonies and the Portuguese-speaking nations of Africa.

As this month’s Caribbean Contact declares and acknowledges:

Several million dollars’ worth of economic aid will start trickling into the Eastern Caribbean early next year as part of the effort by France’s new Socialist government to step up its aid to the Third World.

This bonanza will largely thanks to Grenada!

And we could add not only thanks to the Grenada of today but thanks to the Marryshow tradition for we are simply carrying on his work, his sustaining love for the Caribbean – and not by words alone, for indeed Marryshow was a man of magnificent words, but every word was matched with a deed, with a real, concrete action.

He did not simply compose elegant sentences and write emotional poems to Caribbean unity.

He lived that unity, worked tirelessly for it, travelled oceans and continents to bring it nearer and finally, if only temporarily, he helped to bring it about.

That is our was too, comrades, our tradition, our commitment.

And that is what we pledge to continue and consolidate on this day, the day when we remember Marryshow.

UNITE OR PERISH

Comrades, like Marryshow, we recognise the strength and necessity of workers’ organisation and have promoted their regeneration and re-invigoration by scrapping all the dictator’s anti-trade union laws and giving the choice to all workers to join which trade union they please.

And Marryshow was also a great house builder.

Next time you walk along the Carenage look at those houses next to the Empire Cinema.

And next time you walk along Tyrrel Street watch the house opposite the University of the West Indies centre – they are the houses that Marryshow built, workers’ houses and for just three dollars a month for twelve years, the houses were theirs!

Think what Marryshow would have done with our Sandino Plant, with our pre-fabricated houses from the government of Venezuela, with the no-interest loans from our House Repair Programme!

We built them in the spirit of Marryshow.

He promoted sports for all, like the Revolution does, and he built parks.

He was cheering with us in Tanteen when our netball sisters played like lionesses this August, and he will be singing with our National Performing Company as they tour the USA right now and during the next month, and he will undoubtedly soon be laying the bricks of our House of Culture.

And because he loved beauty, culture and sport, Marryshow was a man of peace.

He knew that peace is the ideal of every working person.

He was with Comrade Louison in La Paz, Bolivia, at the OAS conference when we first put forward our determination that the Caribbean shall be, and must be, a Zone of Peace, when we articulated the principle of ideological pluralism and friendship and co-operation between all nations of the Caribbean and of the wider world.

He would have understood our concept of the wider Caribbean, that languages and national boundaries and the different identities of the ex-colonial powers must never be factors that separate the one people of the Caribbean Basin, whether they are from the Bahamas or Suriname or Jamaica, from Mexico, Panama, Nicaragua or El Salvador, from Curacao, Haiti or Cuba, from Guatemala or Grenada – one people, one history, one Caribbean nation!

Tonight we remember, comrades, what Marryshow’s mentor, W.G. Donovan inscribed upon his newspaper, something that reached right through Marryshow and came directly to our Revolution, the remarkable words –

Better a naked freeman, than a gilded slave.

Tonight as we remember those words, we also remember that just as we do not interfere in the internal affairs of other nations, so we will accept no bullying, no intimidation, no interference, no bribery, no blackmail or whitemail from any person or government.

We are certain that if Marryshow and Donovan could look around this meeting tonight and through the villages of our own country, and certainly be confident that they see no gilded slaves in Free Grenada!

Only free men, free women, free children in our small island, a world of freedom.

A VITAL UPCOMING PERIOD

Comrades, the next three weeks will be vital for us.

We have over one hundred [100] activities leading up to Bloody Sunday, two major regional conferences here in Grenada, and the meetings of the heads of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States and the heads of the CARICOM states.

And as we know, the existence of these regional structures in themselves owe a huge amount to the vision and lifetime’s work of Marryshow, which makes them of particular significance to us, as there is undoubtedly a huge amount to be done to carry on Marryshow’s work.

For us in the People’s Revolutionary Government, the continuation of Marryshow’s visionary work is the priority for these meetings – to boldly extend and sustain his efforts, to build on his foundations, to make these meetings genuinely meaningful to the lives of the poor and working people of our Caribbean

We are not going to cuss or fight any other nation; we are going with our heads and hearts open to build upon our history like Marryshow went to Barbados in 1929, like he went to St. Kitts in 1946 and Montego Bay in 1947.

We go to St. Lucia and Jamaica in 1982 to continue Marryshow’s work, to find real answers to the massive problems facing our people.

What can we do as a Caribbean people to help our farmers sell their products?

What can we do as a Caribbean people to develop much more just and equitable terms of trade with the European countries?

What can we do as a Caribbean people to secure better prices for our cocoa, our bananas, our nutmegs – or our arrowroot, our sugar or our bauxite?

How can we bring closer the New International Economic Order?

How can we begin to control the massive imperialist cultural onslaught on our people’s minds and consciousness?

We shall be recommending plans to develop a regional maritime transport system, recalling the days when we had the Federal Maple and the Federal Palm plying between our islands.

WE SHALL DEFEND UWI

We shall be resolutely defending our regional university, the University of the West Indies, arguing that it must stay intact for the benefit of all Caribbean people, as it is a part of our Marryshow inheritance that we cherish and hold dearly.

We shall be putting forward proposals for much greater cultural and sporting interchanges.

We shall be recommending ways of promoting mush deeper friendship and understanding between our people, and putting forward a policy of bulk-buying of certain expensive imported goods for the region, so that we can collectively cut our import bills and east strain on all our budgets.

In other words, comrades, we are approaching these meetings in the Marryshow tradition with positive, unifying proposals.

We want nothing to do with sectarianism, conspiracies or cliques, we want an agenda which serves our people, the Caribbean people, and confronts and seeks to resolve their multiplicity of problems.

We remember the words of the man whose life and work we are celebrating today:

A West Indies in a world like this must unite or perish.

This is not the time for parish pump politics.

We must think nobly, nationally, with special regard for the first fundamentals of a West Indian unity, and a West Indian identity.

Comrades, we go to St. Lucia and Jamaica with these words ringing clearly in our minds.

THE INTELLECTUAL WORKER

As you know, comrades, for you have been at many openings and public sessions – Free Grenada has been the venue of many Caribbean conferences.

We have had conferences of Caribbean workers, Caribbean and American lawyers, Caribbean trade unionists, Caribbean journalists, just to name a few.

Later this month, we shall be hosting two more regional conferences.

One will be the first ever international conference to be held in our sister island of Carriacou on the subject of Education and Production in which we aim to demonstrate the excellence of Camp Carriacou as a Conference Centre, while emphasising the meaning behind our slogan, that “Education is Production too!’

The other is a conference of Caribbean Intellectual workers, some of the most remarkable and talented people of our region, who will come together here in Grenada to discuss and affirm the cultural sovereignty of the Caribbean.

Historically, intellectuals, or what we used to know as the ‘intelligentsia’ – authors, journalists, artists, poets and scholars – have seen themselves as alienated, apart from the ordinary working people of region.

As such, they tended to distance themselves from the people’s struggles, living abroad or in ivory towers of dreams and sheer individualism.

This conference is designed to help to create intellectual workers out of intellectuals, to form a policy and a plan of action that will make cultural and intellectual work, in the words of one of the conference’s organisers, the brilliant Barbadian novelist George Lamming, ‘an essential part of the lives of all our people.’

We shall be host to many outstanding minds and imaginations from Michael Manley of Jamaica to the great Caribbean poet Martin Carter of Guyana, from Paul Keens-Douglas to the Minister of Culture of Nicaragua Ernesto Cardenal, from Trevor Farrell to George Beckford and Don Robotham, from the 1982 Nobel prize winner for literature Gabriel Garcia Marquez of Colombia, to the legendary Harry Belafonte who was last here in 1955.

Scarcely have so many extraordinary Caribbean people come together for such an event, and comrades, they are coming together in Free and Revolutionary Grenada!

So earlier on this evening, we formed a Committee of Grenadian Intellectuals, which will formulate ors own programme and proposals for bringing the arts, all aspects of national culture and scholarship closer to our people, so that intellectual work stands beside manual and productive work, and takes us towards the same ends and objectives: the full economic, social and political emancipation of our people, and a way of life which imitates none, which mimics none, which is slave to none, but which reflects the originality and genius of our struggling people and our developing nation.

Thus our intellectuals, like our workers, farmers and fishermen will be producers too, and catalysts in creating and reflecting a new life for our people, as well as guardians of our culture who ensure that the imperialist cancer cannot penetrate and destroy the new values and definitions we are building for ourselves through our own unique process.

A VERY SPECIAL DAY

Without doubt, today is a special day in many ways.

It is the day of T.A. Marryshow, but it is also a day in which we also remember great events and other gigantic people.

Today if the 65th Anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution, that epoch-making event in Russia in 1917, which has paved the way for so many enormous changes, not only for the Soviet people, but for the entire world.

In 1917, as Marryshow wrote his Cycles of Civilisation, he knew of the massive blow struck against backwardness and tyranny in Russia.

Listen to Marryshow as he expressed his joy in his unforgettable language and style as he beheld the triumph for the masses of St. Petersburg and Moscow an ocean and continent away.

A great spirit of democracy and socialism is coming to do God’s work of leveling up and leveling down.

Today, we also commemorate Palestine Liberation Day, and we are happy to have a Palestinian comrade with us who has given us the latest information of the heroic struggles of their people against the murderous Zionist aggression backed up to the cowardly hilt by US imperialism.

We can hardly find words to express our shock and shame at the barbarous forces that massacred your people in Beirut.

We mourned with you for the loss of your innocent lives but we also clench firmly our Caribbean fists to fight on with you.

We can only say that your agony was also our agony, but that your certain and inevitable victory and joy will also be ours.

Our Party, our People’s Revolutionary Government and our free people are with you.

Last month we marched through our streets in solidarity with you, and one day, must as you are visiting free and revolutionary Grenada, we shall be visiting you in free and revolutionary Palestine.

OUR CULTURE IS OUR DIGNITY

Comrades, in our presentation this evening, we have truly traversed the world.

In dealing with Marryshow, this is inevitable because of his worldliness, his universal vision.

But let me end by saying that this day, Marryshow Day, will from this year, also be known as National Day of Culture in our country.

Marryshow, as we have noted, was a cultured man, and a true forerunner of the organised intellectual who strives to use his brain, his art, his scholarship to serve his people.

He would have been the first to sponsor and take part in the intellectual conference on culture and sovereignty we are hosting later this month.

For our culture is how we live, how we produce, what we grow, how we make our democracy and freedom, how we change and transform our earth, how we organise our hopes, dreams and aspirations, how we love one another.

And how, as we change the world, we are changed ourselves into new men, new women, new Caribbean people.

The great man once said, and it was on March 13th that he said it, comrades, as if he already knew what that would mean for us, March 13th 1950 in the Market Square where we have had many of our own meetings:

From earliest times, I had thought in terms of human dignity, that a man, no matter how poor, could lift himself and become somebody in the world.

I read avidly in my youth, and the quotation ‘I never did believe, nor do I now believe that Providence ordained one set of men, spurred to ride and the others saddled to be ridden’, had a profound influence and inspired me!

Our culture is our dignity, the dignity the Revolution ion has brought us and the dignity it sustains in us.

We are sovereigns of our dignity, of our pride in being we, and we are proud of our consistent victory over the forces that try to make us their imitators, their mimics and their puppets.

Our Revolution has put on the agenda of the Caribbean people, a new way, a new view of ourselves, a new determination in our destiny.

For this we thank and honour T.A. Marryshow, the prince of West Indian journalists, the father of the West Indian Federation, the oldest statesman of the West Indies, and all those Caribbean masses, our ancestors and their ancestors that have brought us to the freedom of being what we are and being what we are, determined we shall be, and determined we shall walk in a conscious, organised, productive and united way along the glorious new path that will bring peace, happiness, justice and social progress to all of our free and patriotic people.


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