CHEERS TO 50!
ITS GOLDEN JUBILEE
On February 7, the tri-island state of Grenada, Carriacou, and Petite Martinique celebrates its Golden Jubilee!
In the midst of captivating festivities and the rhythmic waves of red, green, and gold, the island will play host to its 50th Anniversary of Independence. This significant occasion invites reflection on the enthralling journey of this youthful independent nation—a past steeped in charm, a present brimming with vitality, and a future aglow with promise.
Gaining Independence and Pioneering Leadership:
In the tapestry of time, Grenada asserted its autonomy in 1974, becoming the fourth former British colony to embrace self-governance. A beacon of determination, the island, led by Sir Eric Matthew Gairy as the inaugural Prime Minister and Sir Leo de Vale as the appointed Governor-General, broke free from the colonial shackles.
Resilience and Distinctive Achievements:
Against the backdrop of colonial challenges, Grenada etched remarkable achievements, a testament to the tenacity and sagacity of its people. The founding of the Grenada Boys Secondary School (GBSS) in 1885 exemplifies this commitment, producing future leaders such as Prime Ministers Herbert Blaize and Sir Nicholas Braithwaite, as well as Governors-General Sir Leo Victor de Vale and Sir Paul Scoon. After 139 years, GBSS stands tall as one of the nation’s premier secondary schools.
Prudence manifested in key statutory bodies established in 1945 and 1983, a strategic move to sustain the populace. The Grenada Marketing & National Importing Board (MNIB) provided secure avenues for farmers to sell and export produce. In 1983, recognizing the imperative of social security for Grenada’s aging population, the National Insurance Scheme was legislated under Prime Minister Maurice Bishop’s stewardship.
Before attaining independence, Grenada made global history with Jennifer Hosten winning the Miss World title in 1970—a milestone as the first black woman to don the crown. As the second Caribbean woman at that time to secure an international pageant title, Hosten paved the way for regional beauties.
Economic Growth, Adversities, and Future Promise:
In the subsequent years and under the guidance of its nine Prime Ministers, Grenada navigated economic growth amidst political setbacks, natural calamities, and the recent global pandemic. Today, with innovative governance and fiscal policies fostering avenues for Grenadians to enrich their cultural capital, the island radiates the assurance of a luminous future. Visitor figures surge, affirming Grenada’s allure.
Since 2022, arrivals have steadily increased. A notable 15,838 stopovers in November 2023, marking an 11.1% rise from the previous year (Tourism Analytics). The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) reports a remarkable 39% increase in US visitors during that period. Coupled with reports of enhanced Citizenship by Investment Program, progressive foreign policies, and other national initiatives, Grenada is indisputably thriving!
Cheers to 50! May your idyllic landscape, warm society, captivating culture, and flourishing economy beckon countless more to your shores.
Afi Ventour de Vega
Afi Ventour de Vega is an Attorney-at-Law, Notary Public and Managing Partner of the Grenadian law firm of Afi Ventour & Co. She is admitted to practice at the bars of Grenada and Barbados. As Chief Executive Officer of Global Services Inc., one of Grenada’s largest and leading Licensed Local Agents in the Citizenship by Investment Program.