PM Chastanet views the National Monument as a ‘symbol of togetherness’
Prime Minister Allen Chastanet says the unveiling of the national monument will be viewed by Saint Lucians and visitors every day as ‘a symbol of our togetherness.’
The unveiling of the monument on Thursday near the Castries Waterfront was indeed a truly momentous occasion. It formed part of continuing activities to mark the 40th anniversary of this country’s independence.
Government officials, dignitaries and members of the public looking on gathered for occasion.
Sculptor, Jallim Eudovic hailed the monument as a symbol of ‘All for one – One for all.’ The renowned and enterprising 38-year-old, son of the island’s foremost ‘wood carver’ Joseph Eudovic delivered an emotional presentation to the gathering, in which he declared that the piece was reflective of Saint Lucia’s journey to Statehood and its people.
“This is your sculpture St. Lucia,” declared Eudovic. “From Gros Islet to Babonneau, from Castries to Dennery …from Micoud to Vieux Fort, from Laborie to Choiseul, from Soufriere to Canaries and from Anse la Raye back to Castries, this sculpture is symbolic of how far we’ve come and where we want to go.”
He added: “Let us translate the sticks and oars that our forefathers used to get here as the symbol of transcendence and let us use them to rise above mundanity, to rise above mediocrity …hatred, and to rise above pettiness. Let us use them to rise upon the caucuses of the vessels, which brought them to this fair island.”
Eudovic asserted: “The Pitons are not the only majestic things upon the landscape, we are a majestic people.”
Speaking at the unveiling Prime Minister Allen Chastanet urged the gathering to celebrate the achievements of its outstanding citizens.
“We can never stop speaking of our two Nobel Laureates, Sir Arthur Lewis and Sir Derek Walcott who should forever serve as examples of St. Lucian spirit to inspire every one of us,” said PM Chastanet.
He underlined the significance of remembering “our other outstanding St. Lucians who’ve come from our little island in the sun and the need for us to recognize and appreciate the innovators, builders, and achievers who have contributed to the development of our nation.”
Culture Minister Senator Fortuna Belrose said the monument leaves behind a memory for the nation, which will last a lifetime.
Said Belrose: “We plant this sculpture as a permanent symbol of that celebration of unity and peace that characterize our 40th Anniversary of Independence under the theme ‘All In’.”
The Minister continued: “We leave this edifice for generations of our country as a reminder that we can break down barriers and achieve anything that we want with the right attitude and mindset, of cooperation, team work and partnership.”
Jalim Eudovic has garnered international acclaim for his work and has staged exhibitions globally, in countries such as Africa, Paris, Martinique and England.
Chastanet noted that the sculpture was strategically placed, as “this is one of the main entrances into the capital from the north; right on our waterfront, for all to see,”
According to Chastanet, monuments withstand the test of time, outlive their creators and tell the people of a country what was important to their culture that needed to be memorialized.
“It is my sincere hope that this Independence Monument will instill in all of us a sense of national pride,” the PM asserted.
“It goes without saying that this year has been one of the most amazing Independence Celebrations we have seen in our country,” he said.
While congratulating local Eudovic, he also acknowledged the input of all who made the monument and the event possible.
Chastanet added: “Today we also commemorate and celebrate the bilateral agreements that began in 1979 with the international community represented here. We appreciate the support and generosity given to us over these 40 years and we join the student representatives as they carry the flags of so many of our international friends.
“We recognize, especially, our friends from the Republic of China Taiwan for their enormous contribution to this monument.”