Available ebook formats: epub
Kennedy Alphonse Simmonds was not born to a wealthy family, but rather was a son of very ordinary citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis, and that was fine with him. I recall him saying to me at a very early age that he did not wish to be a rich person, but rather to be comfortable and feed and raise a family. In real life, what we want or what we think we want are seldom what we achieve.
This gracious gentleman always found favour to open windows and doors of opportunity, not for himself but for his Country, St. Kitts and Nevis, and its people. Surely, this must be accepted as a parallel to our country's motto: "Country Above Self."
It would be instructive to recall the youthful, and the later accomplishments in part, as no one person would venture to reconstruct his life story.
1964: The demonstration against new electricity rates calculated by floor space.
1965: The formation of a new political party, the Peoples Action Movement (PAM).
1967: Forced entry into Judith Hart's office in London, England, to inform of the breakdown of democracy in St. Kitts and Nevis.
1978: Cheated from winning the bye-election for the constituency #2 seat in parliament.
1979: Court decision confirmed Dr. K. Simmonds as the elected member for constituency #2. Parliament did not meet for nine months, so he was not sworn in.
1980: General Elections in St. Kitts and Nevis. Dr. K. Simmonds, leader of PAM, sworn in as the Premier of St. Kitts and Nevis.
1983: Secured independence for St. Kitts and Nevis, and became the first Prime Minister of our Country.
Fast forward and due recognition must be given to Sir Kennedy Alphonse Simmonds the man, the Hero, the father, the politician, the specialist medical doctor, and—last but not least—the saviour and visionary of the St. Kitts and Nevis we know and enjoy today, as one of the most desirous "Tourist Destinations."
I would now state that his tenure of political office was undertaken at an enormous personal sacrifice to himself and to his family.
I also place on record that he was arrested by the authorities, then the Labour Government, for walking on his own land, which he bought and for which he held TITLE.
I am constrained from attempting to highlight the various projects and policies that have transformed our Country from a casualty of the dominant and almighty Sugar Industry.
However, for the younger and succeeding generations, it is imperative that you know that during the hurricane season, the old Treasury Building was battered by huge waves from the sea. Today, we all enjoy the ambience of Port Zante, the brainchild of one Dr. Kennedy Simmonds.
The next game changer was "the road to nowhere." The critics could not conceive that a road could be built through the mountainous Timothy Hills skirting Friar's Bay and onwards to the Salt Pond. Again, the Dr. Kennedy Simmonds highway has become a busy street for tourists, visitors and residents.
I conclude by saying that the title of National Hero bestowed on him is appropriate and well deserved. Long may he live.
- RICHARD L. CAINES
Close friend and former Minister in the Ministry of Finance.