Minister of Social Services, Community Development and Gender Affairs Gloria Shillingford has made a call to Dominicans at home and in the Diaspora to unify in accordance with the theme of this year’s Independence Celebrations.
The Member of Parliament from the constituency of Wesley made the call while addressing the nation at the launching of the Independence Celebrations, stressing that only in unity can we continue to press forward as a nation.
“It is with pride and dignity that I call upon Dominicans locally and abroad to rally together for the celebration of this great event over the period 18 September to 4 November 2011. This should be a great season for all Dominican. The theme for this year’s celebrations is ‘Celebrating 33: Joining Hands in Unity’. This theme calls upon every citizen to join hands to build our beautiful country. We have journeyed together for 33 years and have seen changes in government, natural disasters, and social unrest, but at the end of it we have stood firm as a people and we will continue to thrust forward in unity,” She said.
Shillingford believes that the sense of pride that we experience at independence time and the commitment to unity that exists should extend beyond that season and should be a part of each one’s contribution to national development.
“The spirit of unity and togetherness which is being called for is indeed [needed] not only during the Independence season. Rather, it should be a lifelong commitment made by every citizen of this country. I, therefore, call upon families, churches, schools, social groups, communities and every organization to make this commitment yours for the good of our nation. As you join hands with your compatriots to celebrate 33 years in unity and love, let us always remember that if we are to achieve development as a nation, we need to put country before self,” she said.
Independence Celebrations officially open on 24 September at the Old Mill Cultural Centre, beginning from 5 pm.