The granddaughter of the late Vere Cornwall Bird, Maria Bird Browne said her grandfather should always be remembered for setting a solid foundation for the continued development of Antigua and Barbuda.
In what many described as one of her best presentations yet, Maria delivered the feature address at the annual wreath-laying ceremony at the V.C Bird Bust on Friday, to honor and remember the late father of the nation
“It is in Antigua and Barbuda where there are sufficient opportunities for empowerment, for every man, woman, and child. Where there are schools that ensure everyone can learn new knowledge and graduates can design new possibilities,” she said.
Bird-Browne, who is the islands housing minister her grandfather would be proud to see how far the nation had come, highlighting the newly expanded and re-developed cargo port, the 5th berth, and other projects.
She said her grandfather always knew that even though the country relied on the resources and capital of other countries to get by, Antigua and Barbuda would one day become self-sufficient.
Meanwhile, Bird Browne says just like the ABLP, her grandfather always had a keen interest in youth development.
“This government’s obligation, as my grandfather envisioned, was to create sufficient jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities for youth, giving them equal opportunities to participate in building our economic powerhouse,” she said.
Adding, “the University of the West Indies at Five Islands was brought by this administration for all, but especially our youths. The expansion of 10 secondary schools in the past 8 years has been undertaken to meet the demands of our youths. The construction of the Sir Novel Richards Academy, the creation of the second change program, and the millions being spent to expand ABICE all to meet the requirements of our youth,”.
Bird-Browne also highlighted the nomination of youth to serve on statutory bodies and the naming of a 23-year-old to serve in the senate as major accomplishments for young people in Antigua and Barbuda.
“The same party of V.C Bird, all of these are no accidents. We are building on what he said and the foundation he laid,” she added.
Sir Vere Cornwall Bird was born on December 9th, 1910. He became the first prime minister of Antigua and is considered the father of the nation. He became the first recipient of the Order of the National Hero in 1994.
The holiday was instigated by Lester Bird, the son of Sir Vere, who replaced Sir Vere as prime minister in 1994.