Nothing is possible without God and with him all things are possible
My Bahamian brothers and sisters, this year marks the 45th anniversary of the Independence of our great nation. This year also marked the 51st anniversary of majority rule in our country. These are arguably the two most significant events in our nation’s history thus far which have served to deepen our democracy. Those who were there to ensure that these important milestones were achieved should never be forgotten or overlooked.
I find the theme of this year’s celebrations, “Celebrate Bahamas: We’ve Come This Far By Faith”, is so fitting for the times in which we now live. We must remind ourselves on a daily basis of the mercies of God to our country. There are those in this world who can only hope and pray to experience that which we enjoy and in some cases take for granted. Faith must have also played an integral role in the consciousness of those Bahamian freedom fighters that fought to deepen our democracy not only for themselves and their generation, but for our generation and those to come.
Forty-five years is not such a long time. If we take a moment to contemplate what we have achieved as a nation in such a short time, we would have no other choice than to be grateful. Our youth in independence is also an indication of how far we have to go and how much more we need to achieve. We cannot rest on the triumphs of the past. We have to forge ahead with determination, focus and a comprehensive plan to deepen our democracy even further and to advance our people even more.
While we enjoy social and political freedoms, we must continue to work toward economic freedom for The Bahamas and its people. We enjoy a free education system from kindergarten to high school, however we must ensure that every Bahamian is educated well enough to contribute positively to their personal development and to Bahamian society as a whole. In addition, we have three branches of government and we must ensure as we move forward that each branch increases their level of independence. Most of us enjoy access to material things such as houses, cars and the like, but we must ensure that we retain the sense of community and relationship among citizens. We must all adopt the faith of those who came before us and recommit ourselves to enhancing our own lives and those of every other Bahamian.
We stand on the shoulders of men and women who have given us the opportunity to further what they have started. We cannot be the generation to have faltered. As we pass the baton to future leaders we must have the evidence to prove that we have been good stewards of what we inherited. The Bahamas is too great a nation for us to not to seek to better protect and sustainably develop its islands and resources for the use and prosperity of its citizens.
As we move forward as a nation we must remember that nothing is possible without God. With him, all things are possible. The faith that brought us this far is the same faith we need to move forward successfully. There are some who say that The Bahamas is the place where God lives and I firmly believe that we are the recipients of his immeasurable favor. I also believe that he has provided us with everything that we need to develop this country is a meaningful way. We must seek his wisdom and guidance to ensure that we are headed in the right direction.
I am proud to be a Bahamian and look forward to bearing witness to the further growth and development of our country and its citizens. Happy Independence Bahamas!
— Bishop Delton Fernander