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CARICOM 50th Anniversary National Address

by Acting Premier, Dr. the Honourable Samuel Joseph

My fellow Montserratians…

CARICOM’s 50th Anniversary celebrations have begun here in Trinidad & Tobago, where the forty-fifth Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government is also being held. We have an impressive Calendar of Meetings and Activities that promises to be quite a celebration.

As we recall, the Caribbean Community, CARICOM, came into existence on the 4th of July 1973 with the signing of the Treaty of Chaguaramas by four 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 honour and pay 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 OE, 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 far-sightedness. I am apt to believe that this helped to pave the path for a radical new way of thinking that eventually transitioned Montserrat from British Colony to internally self-governing Overseas Territory. So… if you contemplate it for a moment, today, we are also celebrating Montserrat as the only Overseas Territory with full membership in CARICOM. Today, we honour and make special mention of The Right Honourable Austin Bramble, 92 years strong and the only surviving signatory of the CARICOM Treaty of Chaguaramus.

In this regard, CARICOM’s 50th Anniversary ought to be commemorated and will be celebrated by succeeding generations of Montserratians. 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 eCopy of the ‘I AM CARICOM’ logo; a Programme of Patriotic Songs and Videos on various Media Platforms including a special CARICOM Interview with Mr. Austin Bramble; and Inspirational Audio Clips by Well-known Montserratian Radio Personalities.

Finally, Montserratians, I entreat you to consider that the things which unite us as a Caribbean Community far outweigh the little that divides us. And so, today, with heart and hand, let each reaffirm “I Am CARICOM”!

Thank you.
4th July 2023
Port of Spain, Trinidad