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Over 500 attend inaugural New Year's gala of PM Harris

Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis Dr The Honourable Timothy S. Harris (left) greets feature speaker, Dr Milton Brown. Photo: Provided
BASSETERRE, St Kitts & Nevis- The inaugural Prime Minister’s New Year's Gala of the Federation’s leader Dr The Honourable Timothy S. Harris held on Saturday, January 02, 2016, was a tremendous success with over 500 persons in attendance. Many more had wished to attend but could not be accommodated because tickets were sold out.

Held under the theme “Inspiring a New Era of Unity and Prosperity," the gala, which promised to be a spectacular celebration, met all expectations. Hundreds of nationals of St Kitts and Nevis arrived at the St Kitts Marriott Resort’s Royal Ball Room and were greeted with luxurious decorations of fabric coloured in shades of cream, gold, peach and soft pink paired with breath taking floral arrangements.

Before giving the welcome remarks, Prime Minister Harris greeted elegantly dressed guests on the red carpet, exchanging New Year’s greetings with warmth and humility. He then took to the podium to give welcome remarks to a packed audience.  

Prime Minister Harris spoke with pride about the many achievements of the Team Unity Administration in just ten months after the February 16 General Elections, noting that the Administration intends to continue to work with the best interest of the people at heart. In highlighting the Basseterre High School as one such achievement, Prime Minister Harris said “We ended the shift system that had created trauma in society for three years. Less than one year and we were able to fix that problem that we inherited and on the fourth of January we shall have the official opening of the temporary location for the students and teachers at the Basseterre High School.” He promised that the government will provide the staff and students with a brand new modern facility within 18 months.

Prime Minister Harris thanked all the members of the Federal Cabinet and underscored that each member continues to play an important role in the creating of “a genuine partnership to advance this Federation on a higher and better path of growth and development so that not only us but the generations after us can look back and say we have done well.”

Prime Minister Harris, reflecting on the genesis of the Team Unity Alliance, explained that “Team Unity of course is a people’s movement and when some brave person in time writes the history of how this movement began, several persons who are now unknown will come to the fore and it will surprise you of the diverse group of people who had the idea that Unity’s time was now.”

The highlight of the event was without doubt the featured address delivered by renowned Medicinal Chemist, Researcher, Medical Doctor and Georgetown University Professor, Dr Milton Brown.

Dr Brown has a Ph.D. in synthetic chemistry from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and an M.D. from the University of Virginia. Dr. Brown specialises in the design, synthesis and evaluation of new drugs and is recognised as one of the top translational drug discovery scientists in the US today.

During his address, Dr Brown recounting his first encounter with Prime Minister Harris and Deputy Prime Minister, the Honourable Shawn K Richards, in the summer of 2014 at Georgetown University Medical Centre said that he felt like he was meeting family. He said that it was at this time that both Prime Minister Harris and Deputy Prime Minister Richard shared with him Team Unity’s vision for a prosperous and healthy St Kitts and Nevis.

“My heart was warmed to see unity not only in words but in action and there was a true concern for the present and future improvement of health care delivery for the people,” said Dr Brown, further revealing that he was even more impressed by the prime minister’s vision of making St Kitts and Nevis the standard of health care delivery in the region. 

Dr Brown commended the Team Unity Administration on the accomplishments thus far, adding that Team Unity is keeping the promises made to the people during the campaign and cautioned that there is still much more to be done. He committed to assisting the government saying, “today I publicly pledge that you have my unconditional support and the support of Georgetown University.”

Speaking directly to the youth of St Kitts and Nevis, Dr Brown said “I am here to tell young people that Team Unity loves you and supports you and has visions for you, and there is nothing that you cannot do,” further indicating that he has plans to personally provide internship for the young people of St Kitts and Nevis.

The Gala also featured opera singer Davida Browne, Dr Burnell Nisbett, who entertained the audience with many jokes, soloist Mr Jermaine James, who beautifully sang “The Holy City” and Honourable Ian Patches Liburd, who rendered some of his compositions. The Governor General, His Excellency, Sir Tapley Seaton graced the head table with his presence. Former Governor General, Sir Cuthbert Sebastian was also in attendance as well as the Federation’s first Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Sir Kennedy Simmonds and Lady Simmonds. Her Excellency Sherry Tross, Head of the OAS Office of the Ombudsman, ministers of the Federal Cabinet with their spouses and members of the diplomatic corps were also in attendance.

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