The story of the 25th anniversary of the ruling Unity Labour Party is the story of the Labour family, “the story of you, because this labour family gathered on the tarmac tonight is an unbeatable and an unstoppable coalition of interest and people across St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”
This was the pronouncement by Minister of Finance, Camillo Gonsalves at Sunday’s rally to mark the party’s silver anniversary.
Gonsalves, who is a first-term Member of Parliament (for East St. George), said that in the Labour family, there are young people, the elderly, and women who are the backbone of the party
He said that next year, the party will send two women, Debbie Charles and Mineva Glasgow, into office.
Charles, a senator, failed in her bid, in 2015, to unseat the incumbent Daniel Cummings of the New Democratic Party as Member of Parliament for West Kingstown.
Glasgow, a retired deputy director of the National Insurance Services, is tipped to become the ULP’s candidate in South Leeward, from which Speaker of the House of Assembly, Jomo Thomas, has resigned as the party’s caretaker and a member of the party.
Gonsalves told the rally at Arnos Vale that Labour also has the support of “the poor, working class people, farmers and fisher folk, teachers and nurses, police and civil servants, small business people, proud patriots and progressive Vincentians who know that we live in a great country; we are home to a great people and we are destined to achieve great things.
“We have great young people in the crowd tonight,” he said and “big up” Linda McDowall, whom he described as the greatest long distance runner the country has produced.
He said that Pamenos Ballantyne, who is also in the crowd, was the greatest male distance runner the country has ever produced.
Gonsalves said he was bigging up the distance runners because the ULP is a distance running party
“We doh bun after five years, we doh bun after 10 years, we doh bun after 15 years. We going the full distance of the marathon, we ain’t bunning after 20 years either.”
He said that in its 25 years of existence, the ULP has enjoyed the support of the majority of Vincentians since 1998.
“So for 21 of the 25 years that this party has been in existence, the Unity Labour Party has been the voice of the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. We are, undoubtedly, the home of the majority of the people and we are, undoubtedly, the natural party of governance of this great nation.”
Gonsalves said the ULP has become “this powerful and unstoppable force, this undisputed political juggernaut in St. Vincent and the Grenadines because you, the Labour family, are united, you are focused, and you are committed to the cause of progress and independence, even when the road sometimes get rocky.
“Over the 25 years, we have achieved a great number of things, from education, housing, roads, jobs, Rabacca Bridge and Argyle International Airport.
“On our 25th anniversary that we celebrate today, we celebrate all of those things and all of the individuals who lend their time and their talent and their vision to the cause of progress in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”
He said that although the party had rallied supporters to celebrate 25 years, history, the triumph and long road travelled so far, “ULP ain’t tired yet.
“In our 18th year of government, we remain an action government, we remain a busy government, working hard day and night for the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, motivated by progress and development, energised by the people’s support and powered by our undying love for the Vincentian people.
“No matter what they say, you know that Labour loves you and this party shows no sign of slowing down.”
Sunday’s rally featured Jamaican artiste Busy Signal as the headline act.