Vance Amory with Director of Social Security Timothy Hodge.
ANGUILLA–The 12th annual Walter G. Hodge Memorial Anguilla Day Lecture programme, hosted jointly by the Anguilla Social Security Board and the Anguilla Community College (ACC), was held on Thursday, June 15. Open to the public, attendees were treated to an evening of delightful steel pan music courtesy of the Albena Lake Hodge Comprehensive High School (ALHCS) steel pan orchestra, followed by a comprehensive and thought-provoking lecture presented by guest speaker Vance Amory of Nevis, and then ending with an informal food buffet, conversation and a most appreciated slight sprinkling of rain.
During the chrome steel pan inauguration ceremony, Michael “Dumpa” Martin, the ALHCS pan instructor said, “In 1992, when I started, there was no pan in Anguilla.” He said he had taught some of the students in the orchestra since grade three in primary school and they had continued to progress to the professionals they were today. He thanked the school system, specifically Chief Education Officer Rhonda Connor and ALHCS principal Joyce Webster-Stuart, for supporting him in his dream to develop the steel pan orchestra and the Social Security Board for sponsoring the new chrome pans. Following the remarks, the orchestra played a medley of traditional and Caribbean tunes.
The evening then transitioned to the lecture delivered by Amory, who was introduced and welcomed by ACC President Dr. Karl Dawson. Dawson briefly covered Amory’s extensive experience with the government of St. Kitts-Nevis, noting that it stretched back to the early 1980s when he held the post of Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance in Nevis, to the mid-1990s through 2017 when he served two terms as Premier of Nevis, up to the present time, when he still serves as a member of the national Assembly.
Amory, using the theme of his lecture titled “The Revolution Continues,” touched on the lack of economic and social representation issues between Anguilla and the government leadership of St. Kitts that led to the Revolution 51 years ago, stressing that the issues were not with the people of the islands of St. Kitts and Nevis, but instead with the leadership. He said, “Revolutions have been happening since the beginning of time, when the population decides that there must be a better way for governance that will eradicate oppression and improve their lives – a people cannot live without hope for long without erupting socially.”
He went on to say that even though we live in small countries with limited resources, we have to ensure that we continue to assert ourselves, to give our input and make our voice heard on all political, social and economic issues affecting our countries. He said we cannot allow ourselves to be rolled over by larger entities, the laws and policies of which could possibly cripple our economies and we cannot be silent in the face of unfair or unjust practices that negatively affect us. He stressed that we must continue to be vigilant and active in the governance of our island by continuing to invest in our population, especially the young, to ensure that they gain the skills necessary to continue the initiatives, dreams and vision of Anguilla’s past revolutionary leaders.