Premier (AG) Hon. Dr. Samuel Joseph Delivers a Message to Montserrat on the 50th Anniversary of CARICOM

My fellow Montserratians, CARICOM’s 50th Anniversary celebrations have begun here in Trinidad and Tobago where the 45th method of the Conference of Heads of Government is also being held. We have an impressive cadre of meetings and activities that promise to be quite a celebration. As you recall the Caribbean Community, CARICOM came into existence on the 4th of July 1973, with the signing of the Treaty of Chaguaramas by 4 Caribbean Heads of Government. These four Founding Fathers were Prime Ministers Errol Barrow of Barbados, Forbes Burnham of Guyana, Michael Manley of Jamaica and Eric Williams of Trinidad and Tobago. Today we honor the immense tribute to their memory and legacy: CARICOM 50 years strong, a solid foundation to build on.

My remarks will be brief because I mostly want to call attention to the fact that CARICOM’s 50th anniversary is a celebration steeped in Montserrat’s history. Shortly after the treaty was signed by the four original signatories, former Chief Minister, The Right Honourable P. Austin Bramble O.E, proudly added his signature in large script for all to see. Indeed, we pay special tribute to this eminent son of Montserrat soil for his brilliant courage, conviction and farsightedness. I am apt to believe that this helped to pave for a radical new way of thinking that would eventually transition Montserrat from a British colony to internally self-governing overseas territory. So, if you contemplate it for a moment, today you’re also celebrating Montserrat as the only overseas territory with a full membership in CARICOM. Today, we honor and make special mention of The Right Honorable Austin Bramble, 92 years strong, and the only surviving signatory of the CARICOM Treaty of Chaguaramas. 

In this regard, CARICOM’s 50th Anniversary ought to be commemorated and will be celebrated by succeeding generations of Montserratians. The Cabinet will therefore authorize Montserrat’s own calendar of activities, as an appropriate means of celebrating this historic Milestone. To be included are a flag-raising ceremony, panel discussions, School visits mass distribution of the e-copy of the I Am CARICOM Logo, a program of patriotic songs and videos on various media platforms, including a special CARICOM interview with Mr. Austin Bramble and inspiration audio clips by well-known Montserratian radio personalities. 

Finally, Montserratians and Residents of Montserrat, I entreat you to consider that the things which unites us as a Caribbean Community far outweigh the little that divides us. And so, today, with heart and hands let us reaffirm I am CARICOM. 

Thank you.

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