FRIDAY, DEC. 28: First of all, I want to say ‘thank you’ to our former Premier Paula Cox.

Thank you for teaching us how to deal with oppressive words and actions with grace and poise. Thank you for teaching us how to keep a team with diverse opinions together.

Mostly, thank you for instilling into ‘Generation Next’, that we shall never back down from the values of self-empowerment and forward vision.

I thank you for your service to our people, our party and our country. You said it best at the delegates conference. “Even if we lose, we did the right thing by our people.”

Friday, December 21 saw the election of Marc Bean as future Premier of Bermuda [he was sworn-in yesterday]. 147 delegates listened not only to his speech, but more importantly, to the people of Bermuda. Generation Next is needed.

I have known Marc for near 20 years, long before he was officially involved in the PLP. Marc and I come from similar backgrounds; we are from working class families and we both attended the Berkeley Institute, albeit at different spans.

We come from a generation that wholeheartedly rejected the government policies pre-1998. As students of the philosophies of self-empowerment, we have always sought to do better for self and for our communities.

My work was in event promotions, Marc’s work was through his involvement in White Hill club and other business entities. More often than not, our lives ran along parallel paths, often interacting with each other to achieve specific goals. We had many successful youth events at White Hill Club seven years ago, demonstrating clearly that the youth just wish to be heard and seen and talked with — not talked to.

Reggae

As followers of the Gospel of The King’s Music, Reggae, we both knew and grew into the mindset of, “each one teach one... Until the colour of a man’s skin is of no more significance than the colour of his eyes”.

Moving forward, many in our generation rejected the UBP but were not actively part of the PLP beyond attending rallies or marking the X. We saw the PLP as our parents’ party, so like good kids we were to be seen and not heard. Marc became involved at branch level, working his way up to Senator responsible for Caricom membership ,which laid the groundwork for the succesful 2012 Carifta event. In 2010 he was voted in as MP for Constituency 26, a seat he retained handily in 2012.

When Marc ascended the stage to give his speech about why he should be party leader, he did not walk alone.

Thousands of Bermudians; black, white, male and female took the stage with him. When he spoke, he spoke not for himself; he spoke for the 45s and under, who wish to have an involvement in the re-shaping of our country. He spoke the words of many who feel they have only been spoken to, but not spoken with.

In no shape of form did Marc put down Mr Lister (my St Kitts cousin) who represents our parent’s generation.

What he did state emphatically was that it is time for the youth of this island to chart their own destiny under the firm guidance of our elders.

It is time for total involvement, not self exclusion. He spoke of us, viewing ourselves as visionaries not victims. Moulders of a party, not just markers of an X.

Social circles

The delegates did not elect Marc, they elected the youth of Bermuda to take charge of The PLP and to take charge of this island.

 Many Bermudians are seeking to expand their views and social circles. Marc and I share these goals. To our fellow Bermudians of every hue and gender who wish to be talked with, not just talked to.

We look to you, to join discussions and development.

Marc has a task ahead of him that all other previous leaders of the PLP have faced; consolidating a Parliamentary group, building and maintaining membership, whilst dealing with a wily opponent.

Most importantly, preparing all of our people for purpose. In other words, his hands are full, yet he put himself forward to steer the rudder.

‘However wise or however mighty a person may be, he is like a ship without a rudder if he is without God. A rudderless ship is at the mercy of the waves and the wind, drifts wherever they take it and if there arises a whirlwind it is smashed against the rocks and becomes as if it has never existed. It is our firm belief that a soul without Christ is bound to meet with no better fate.’

— Haile Selassie I

 

My fellow Bermudians, now is the time for all hands on deck. We call upon you who feel the need to join the evolution of ourselves.

Join Generation Next.

E-mail: Carib_pro@yahoo.com