The Grenada Revolution Online

Gairy Speech - Premier's Address Marking the Completion of the Third Year of Successful Government

[circa 24 August 1970]

Your Excellency, Dame Hilda Bynoe and Mr. Bynoe, the Chief Justice [P. Cecil, Acting Chief Justice of the Associated States] and Lady Lewis, Ministers of Religion and Government, Ladies and Gentlemen:

As I crave your indulgence at this point, I know that I am not taking you unaware, as I forewarned you through the radio that I was going to make a statement at this function.

It is all in the spirit of giving thanks in public to the Good God, the Supreme Architect of the universe and to those He used as instruments in showering His blessings upon the Government and people of our State during the las three [3] years, beginning August 24, 1967, to the present time.

First, we give thanks for our success at the polls on August 24, 1967, in spite of the odds that were against us.

My statement would be based on equal precision of facts and figures. It is not without God's blessings that within a few days sin we assumed Governmental responsibility that Grenada participated in the Montreal Exposition of 1967 - the World's biggest fair in recent decades and in that fair Grenada was outstandingly the smallest participating country. It was also the consensus and it was loudly expressed throughout Canada that Grenada presented the most impressive address of all addresses delivered. We wish to record our grateful thanks for the tourist boom that flowed from that famous Expo '67 address when I invited the peoples of the World to visit our State and of course, which invitation was strongly supported by the activities of the Grenada Tourist Development Board - which lies within my Ministry - and particularly the activities of the Executive Secretary, Mrs. Gert Protain and of course, the Chairman, Mr. Neville DaBreo.

It was not without significant blessings also that on my way from Canada through the United States that the Borough of Manhattan, on the 15th of September [1967], took an unprecedented step to declare that day 'Grenada Day' in New York. An official document with the Borough's seal and the signature of the Borough's President, Honourable Percy Sutton, Was handed to me and which now adore my office.

My Government was then to face the question of budgetary arrangements for 1968 when everyone knew and when the previous Government expressed that all of the 1967 $14M was spent out and some of the 1968 uncollected revenue committed. But again, with divine guidance we were able to find ways and means of raising and spending not $14M but $16M. It was in the first half of 1968 that I was guided and inspired in the form of a Lady Governor, Dr. Hilda Bynoe, as the first within the British Commonwealth of Nations, thereby lifting the level of respect and recognition hitherto paid to our women folk. The very many expressions of congratulations received were indeed gratifying. First, the fact that her Gracious Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II saw wisdom in my choice and not only appointed her, but within six months awarded her the highest honour she could bestow on any woman. Let God be praised.

In spite of what would be termed a blitz of venom, invective and malice, my Government established one of the most practical forms of entertainment and education, particularly for the younger people, in the form of a national zoo. All visitors to our State who have seen our national zoo have been showering praises upon us for our wisdom and for the orderly arrangements; the wide variety of species; the general layout and picturesqueness. It is said that our zoo compares very favourably against the best in the world. Our thanks are hereby recorded.

Thanks must also be recorded for the inspiration given us to initiate a process of beautification in the town of St. George, acquiring and cleaning up the Esplanade, washing the face as it were and giving it a new look with children's theatre, bars, and restaurants, a variety of boutiques with the latest styles including the minis and the afros. A place patronized by visitors as well as nationals, young and old alike. Still on the beautification, some may well recall the South Eastern end of Burns' Point, now oriented into the popular and veritable China Town. Decorative roundabouts are established, to give east to traffic and to lend picturesque and aesthetic beauty to our city - roundabouts admired by all honest beholders.

We give special praise and thanks to God for the inspiration and guidance, the strength, the fortitude and courage to plan and present what, to some, appeared to be a miracle, an unforgettable phenomenon, the first and only actual showcase of Caribbean history, out industry, our economy, our culture and our skills - the ever popular Expo '69. Now that Expo has come and gone, gone only in the sense that the activities and the buildings are no longer there, its immeasurable and incalculable contribution to regional togetherness and its other far-reaching benefits - social, economic and otherwise - would live on and grow from strength to strength. Let God be praised.

We wish here also to record our praise and thanks for the miraculous way in which we have been inspired to push a youth programme, intensifying and diversifying education in quality and quantity, constructing within three years 14 school buildings, a fact that is unmatched in the history of Grenada. So it is also in health with the erection of 8 [eight] new buildings as visiting stations and nursing school. Sports too have been given a new face lift, with a Ministry exclusively concerned with youth development and sport; a national coach appointed for the first time in the history of the country: financial, moral and material support to all forms of sports are also given.

For the first time in our history, Grenada, though not too successful participated in the Commonwealth Games, thus adding another milestone in the record of sports for us. It is with a thankful heart that we record this acknowledgement.

The respect, friendliness and love shown to us by bigger countries like Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Surinam, Venezuela and Canada, among others, are indicative of God's special blessing upon us. God has indeed blessed us in profusion in establishing the confidence of these countries and their investors in us, resulting in a boom in our tourist industry, a boom in our hotel and building industry and giving effective forms of employment to thousands of our people. The reputable Chase Manhattan Bank, the international chain hotel of Holiday Inn, the computing company, glass manufacturing Company and Skinner College of business studies, among others,, are satisfied with the social, economic and political stability that the State now enjoys. Yes, indeed, the investment climate in our State today is commensurable with the buoyancy of our natural climate with your world-famous "S's" of the Sea, the Sand, the Sun and the Spices. For this record our grateful thanks.

Large sums of money collected in the form of licences for oil exploration call for thanks, while we hope and pray that oil and other minerals might be found within the precincts of our shores. It is definitely not without God's significant blessings that this year we have emerged from Treasury control, while at the same time we are upgrading Civil Servants' salaries to the level of an additional $2.5M. I am sure that every Civil Servant would join us in giving thanks to Him who gave us the wisdom to find money such as we have been finding. I know that Civil Servants would be ever grateful and thankful to God and would be ever mindful to us, the instruments through which God has brought this measure of prosperity to them. We join in saying thanks.

We give thanks to God the universal spirit, the universal mind and intelligence, for Carriacou and Petit Martinique's involvement in a wider horizon of activities comparable to those in any other parishes in the State. We are grateful for the progress of the people of Carriacou and Petit Martinique, who, from all appearances, were completely forgotten by previous Governments.

Today, Grenada is the centre of yachting activities in the Eastern Caribbean. God be praised.

We give praise and thanks to God for the wisdom, knowledge and understanding bestowed upon our Government and the initiative and leadership in which we are followed by both large and small nations in many things too numerous to mention. But to name a few - steps to allow people of 18 years to exercise their franchise; the establishment of pre-primary schools; giving recognition to children between the ages of 2 and 5; the establishment of junior secondary schools; meaningful participation in international fairs like Caribana, Surinam etc., and as I said, too many to mention.

Finally, we wish to record our grateful thanks to God for my personal prosperity and the great measure of prosperity that is being showered upon the Government, our people and our State.

I must also publicly record thanks to God for His protection over me personally, my Government and the State of Grenada as a whole, against the enemies who set out themselves to cause harm, injury and embarrassment to us and those who are against the progress and prosperity of our State.

We must all give God the praise and the thanks for inspiring the prompt and firm action in dealing with what could have been a serious threat to the peace and quiet of our State as a result of subversive activities in some of our neighbouring islands.

If God has blessed us to do all of the forementioned, considering they are only a small part of the many things we have achieved, we ask you here, and all those within the range of my voice wherever they may be and wherever they may listen, to give my Government your prayers, your blessings and your support, so that we may be able to bring about greater measures of prosperity for all of you in this generation and generations yet unborn.

May God bless you good people.

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