During his Charge to the Bahamian People on the Occasion of the 50th Anniversary of Independence, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. Philip Davis said, on July 9, 2023, that Independence was not just “a moment in time”.
“It was not just the throwing-off of the shackles of colonialism,” Prime Minister Davis told those in attendance at the 50th Golden Jubilee Ecumenical Service, Military Tattoo and Cultural Show, held on Clifford Park.
“Independence was and is, a state of mind, an attitude, a conviction, that we will faithfully discharge the weighty responsibilities of sovereignty and self-determination,” he added.
“Independence was the first big step on the long journey that continues to take our nation forward and upward.”
Prime Minister Davis noted that over the past months, they had looked back with gratitude and pride “reminding ourselves of how we got here”.
“With Lynden Oscar Pindling and Arthur Dion Hanna, let the names of the many, many, great women and men, who built the foundation of our Bahamas, forever ring loudly in the hearts and minds of the Bahamian people everywhere,” he said.
The Prime Minister added: “Moses led his people out of slavery and into the desert. That was their Independence; but Moses did not live to enter the Promised Land. It was Joshua who led the people forward on their journey.”
He pointed out that, through strength and courage, compassion and Faith and hard work, it was up to Joshua to “finish what God had started through Moses”.
Prime Minister Davis stated: “My Brothers and my Sisters: We – all of us – are the Joshua Generation. Each of us is called to continue to play our part to build on our inheritance.”
“Each of us is called to join our footsteps on the road to our Promised Land: a land where we can keep ourselves safe and secure; a land where we can raise ourselves out of poverty and educated into greatness; a land where opportunity and justice are free and fair, and available to all,” he added.
Prime Minister Davis said that friends of The Bahamas, from around the world had come to stand with them tonight, and throughout those celebrations.
He added that, from far and near, their presence was further recognition that The Bahamas stood tall among the family of nations.
“From the lights of the Bahamian Flag shining on the Empire State Building, or shining on the waters of Niagara Falls, our friends show us, that they are with us,” Prime Minister Davis said.
“Tonight, we also remember our Bahamian family and friends, who are not with us; but are scattered around the world, making their mark on the global stage,” he added. “We know that you are with us, and we are with you.
“You are always welcome home.”
Prime Minister Davis pointed out that, at that moment in history, he was humbled to serve as Prime Minister.
“And so tonight, on this 50th Anniversary, I solemnly re-affirm and re-commit to the oaths and promises I made to you when I accepted the instruments of office,” he said. “I will continue to serve faithfully in all that I am called to do.”
“Tonight, as our Flag is once again raised to proclaim our independent Bahamas, I invite each of you to also re-affirm and re-commit to being your best selves, to do all that you can to make our Bahamas better,” the Prime Minister added. “Together, we will move closer to that Promised Land.”
Prime Minister Davis said to the Bahamian people that, as they all gazed out at the horizon, looking towards the next 50 years, let them be spurred on by “the light and the heat of the rising sun”.
He proclaimed: “Stand up. Step up. Rise up, and do all that you can for our Bahamas. Divided we may fall, but together we can achieve greatness. Look beyond the present way, and think it all possible.”
Prime Minister Davis added:
“Let us keep moving Forward in Faith, that our tomorrows can be better than our yesterdays.
Let us keep striving Onward, that progress is made real for ourselves, our children and generations to come.
Let us keep reaching Upward, that our future may be secured for all time.
Together, let us March on.
March on, My Friends.
March on, My Brothers and Sisters.
March on, March On, Bahamaland.”