This is my second St Helena's Day � celebrating the Island's discovery.
Last year, I had barely arrived and we had the disappointment of the postponement of the official Airport opening. But now a year later, everything seems full of promise. We should know which airline will fly in soon. We have already had our first passenger flight anyway and that carried home St Helenians to great excitement, including my own. What a great achievement. What a great moment in St Helenian history. We can see a better future for St Helena.
The Commonwealth is the theme of this year's St Helena's Day. In thinking about what to say today, I read quite a few of Her Majesty the Queen's Commonwealth messages. Something that came through very strongly was the theme of diversity and inclusion.
What I have learned about belonging to the Commonwealth is that an essential ingredient is a willingness to share, to exchange, and to act for the common good. By including others, drawing on what we all know and what resources we have, and thinking and working together, we lay the foundations of a harmonious and progressive society. The message is that the greater the diversity of those included in a community, the greater the gains.
Her Majesty the Queen's message is that being inclusive and accepting diversity goes deeper than accepting differences at face value and being tolerant. The true celebration of the value of a person's uniqueness and contribution, involves reaching out to them, recognising and embracing their individual identity.
So my message today, as St Helena moves forward into the future, is that we should celebrate everyone's difference, and include them no matter who they are. Everyone has something to contribute and if we all work together, everyone can be a winner.
I am happy to officially open the St Helena's Day celebrations.
Source: St Helena Government