As more nations consider the transition towards republicanism, Trinidad and Tobago ought to feel a sense of pride that our first architects pursued this move 46 years ago. They did so during the formative years of our history, pushing for significant constitutional change that would result in our country’s evolution. This decision exemplified more than the merging of courage and willpower; it also demonstrated keen foresight to further empower our democracy.
Almost five decades later, we must purpose as a twin-island Republic to continue the sacred work of strengthening our Constitution. Issues such as increased self-autonomy for Tobago are crucial, and hold the power to change the future for more than 60,000 people who call this island home. But, it goes beyond our shores, as greater self-determination also aids in creating the framework whereby Tobago can contribute more on a national scale.
It is also important as we celebrate yet another Republic Anniversary together, that Trinbagonians understand that this country is ours to govern. For far too long, governance and constitutional reform have been viewed as an undertaking reserved mainly for the policymakers and intellectuals of our society. These matters, however, concern all of us. Our governance of this island, and country, should be viewed as a joint endeavour—never from the lens of dominance.
On this Republic Day, I encourage every Trinbagonian to continue to fight for this beloved country. While there are long-standing challenges for us to solve, never lose conviction that we are able to find a way through. Believe we can get the job done, put your hands to the plough, and let us reclaim our sweet T&T.
May peace, prosperity, and production be our portion. Have a blessed and enjoyable Republic Day Trinidad and Tobago!