Rally, rally round the West Indies, sang David Rudder when the Windies were a powerful force in world cricket. They sang so loudly that the song became an anthem for the Caribbean’s favourite sport.
Well, Dear Readers, the time has come for each and every one of us to stand and sing at the top of our voices so that even the deafest of our political leaders will hear us on their mountain tops far above the madding crowds and milling masses.
“Rally, rally round our dear G.G.!
Rally, rally round our dear G.G.!”
I make no secret of my admiration for Her Excellency Dame Pearlette Louisy, Governor General of Saint Lucia. For almost two decades she has performed her duties to perfection, always maintaining the dignity of her office by neatly treading the tightrope between various administrations and threading the needle of diplomatic nicety.
I also love the Gal. She is adorable, has a great sense of humour, an infectious laugh and a super-duper smile that lights up the world around her. And in addition, despite her frivolity she manages to carry off her official duties with a dignity and aplomb that is befitting a representative of the Commonwealth Head, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
I believe, but I didn’t know her in those days, that she was asked by Dr Anthony after he first came to power as a bright, relatively young, handsome, promising prime minister in 1997, whether she would be willing to assume the role of Head of State. In December of this year, 2017, it will be two decades, twenty years, since she said yes, and the rest, as they say, is history.
For everyone under the age of thirty, assuming we do not remember much of our first ten years on this earth, there has never been any other Mother of the Nation than Dame Pearlette. She is, in the nicest sense of the word, an Institution, a beacon atop a piton that guides the nation through thick and thin while rival parties and politicians tumble and twist in the murky, unsavoury mists of party politics.
Pearlette is immutable. She suffers the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune each time she delivers the Throne Speech which is usually devised by the prime minister of the day and edited somewhat by her own hand. Her Exellency knows that she possesses no real political power; her influence is mainly symbolic. She has always known when her prime ministers have been misbehaving and she has tried to usher them along the path of righteousness knowing full well that her position is maintained at the prime minister’s pleasure. When protest has no meaning, why protest too much?
To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles…?
Pearlette has always fought for the future of our national language despite empty promise after empty promise of funds and backing for the development and preservation of Saint Lucian speech. Pearlette even went so far as to ‘legitimise’ Creole in her Throne Speech.
And now, Dear Reader, Mischievous Rumour is rife in the dark corridors of government where it is whispered that those in power, the Terrible Twins, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, would see Her Excellency disappear and be replaced by … whom? Their Dad?
Is there anyone in this small island state that can replace Dame Pearlette in the hearts of her people? Is there anyone who can fulfil the role of Head of State with more dignity and grace? Does anyone possess greater skills or tact, forbearance and diplomacy?
Saint Lucians, the time has come to rally round our Governor General and protect and prolong her unique service to the nation. She has made the role of governor general her own. She has placed upon her office the stamp of Decency, Honesty, Impartiality and Dignity. She is truly a National Treasure worthy of our love respect and reverence. It’s time to tell the politicians to get off and leave well alone!