Castries Mayor, Peterson Francis, has called on his countrymen to be ‘authentically patriotic’ as Saint Lucia observes its 38th anniversary of independence.
The call comes against the backdrop of an attack yesterday on a Cruise Ship visitor who was pounced on by two thugs who robbed her of her gold chain before fleeing.
Francis said in a statement to the Times that the robbery, which occurred near the Castries Market, could have been stopped by anyone.
He asserted that it cannot be expected that the City Police Officers will be in every nook and cranny of Castries.
Francis observed that as a result, the Castries Constituencies Council (CCC) requires partnership with members of the public in addressing crime.
“I can assure you that someone saw what was taking place. The corrective measure to this situation starts with us. It starts with a sense of pride in country- a sense of patriotism,” the Mayor stated.
He called on citizens to pledge to assist City Police Officers with their mandate.
According to Francis, this will require a change in the collective consciousness of the people.
“Get active and do something now. Be authentically patriotic,” the Mayor declared.
“Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country. Ask what you can do for yourself as well. It is both sad and ironic that in a time of steady and fervent patriotism we seem to care so little for our nation and the City of Castries”.
He spoke of the need to reflect deeply and with purpose, saying that the 38th Anniversary of Independence is about all Saint Lucians, notwithstanding party colours and differences in religious belief.
“It is about all of us demonstrating a sense of patriotic attachment to our national flag. Let me remind you that a demonstration of patriotic attachment to our national symbol is not limited to flying our national flag at our homes, on our vehicles or in our business places, it is indeed much more profound than that”, said Mayor Francis.
He noted that nationalism necessitates Saint Lucians joining hands and committing themselves to pursuing a singular national goal.
The Castries Mayor described this year’s Independence theme: “I am Saint Lucian” as ‘appropriate.’
“Our theme for this year’s celebrations could not have been more appropriate, strengthening our commitment to nation building,”Francis said.