Government has expressed concerns that some Grenadians now use the October 25 national holiday as a day of fun and frolic.
The Keith Mitchell-led New National Party (NNP) administration outlined its position on the holiday during the Throne Speech, which was delivered to both Houses of Parliament last week Wednesday by Governor General Dame Cecile La Grenade.
Dame Cecile said it has been observed that for many, especially the youth, the October 25th public holiday is merely an opportunity for fun and frolic.
Among the many events that took place on October 25 this year was a major fete on the Port Louis Lawn along the Kirani James Boulevard in St. George’s, which featured three foreign artistes.
The Governor General recognised that the events of October 1983 marked a very dark and painful period in Grenada’s history.
She said the lack of “awareness of our own history is cause for concern,” and that it dishonours the memory of “our fallen brothers and sisters.”
“These events, though painful, must never be forgotten. Indeed, they must be appropriately commemorated, lest we forget,” she added.
Dame Cecile lost a close family member in the bloody events – leftist Prime Minister Maurice Bishop who was executed along with three government ministers by a rival faction within the then ruling New Jewel Movement (NJM).
Bishop’s mother, the late Alimenta Bishop was the sister of the father of Dame Cecile, the late Alan La Grenade who was a former Chief Education Officer in Grenada.
Dame Cecile announced that the Committee of Social Partners has proposed to government that the week of October 19-25 be designated a “Week of Remembrance”.
She said that a subcommittee of the Social Partners, led by the Conference of Churches has been charged with the responsibility to propose ways and means for the observance of the week starting next year.
October 25 has been observed by the State of Grenada with a Thanksgiving Service, which is led by the Conference of Churches of Grenada (CCG).
Its intended to show appreciation to those U.S and Caribbean troops that took military action in Grenada to help restore order following the bloody events of October 19, 1983 in which Bishop was killed.
The foreign forces captured the ringleaders of the coup – former Deputy Prime Minister Bernard Coard, his Jamaican-born wife, Phyllis, Army Commander, General Hudson Austin and several other top government and army officers.
Coard and 16 others who are now free were convicted for the gruesome murders on Fort George, the first of its kind in the entire English-speaking Caribbean.
The ex-deputy Prime Minister who recently turned 71 is now living a quiet life in Jamaica with his wife.