St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN); Nevis’ first premier and the federation’s 4th national hero the late Right Excellent Dr. Sir Simeon Daniel was memorialized in the form a bronze bust of him in the heart of Charlestown on Thursday (Apr 20).
Sir Simeon, a lawyer by profession, served as Premier of Nevis from 1983 to 1992. He was elected to the National Assembly in May 1975 and February 1980, and served as Minister of Finance and Minister of Nevis Affairs from 1980-83. He established the Bank of Nevis in 1985.
During his tenure as Premier and leader of the Nevis Reformation Party (NRP), “Sim” Daniel was instrumental in improving the basic quality of life services for Nevisians; reliable electricity, water and improved roads. The Government run pre-schools were opened in Nevis for the first time; the Nevis Sixth Form College was established and a multipurpose center was set up for the welfare of educating the masses.
Sir Simeon passed away in May of 2012 at the age of 77.
At the unveiling ceremony Devon Liburd of the Nevis Historical Society shared some of Sir Simeon’s history and service to the people of Nevis.
“The Right Excellent Dr. Sir Simeon Daniel, who hailed from the humble village of Barnes Ghaut, St. Thomas’ Parish, was born in 1934. He was educated at the St. Thomas’ Government Elementary and entered the teaching profession as a pupil teacher 1950 and attained the Leeward Islands Teacher’s certificate in 1957. In 1962 he pursued his legal education and was called to the Bar in England a few years later. On his return to Nevis in 1966 he served his country in many capacities in the legal field, and eventually entered politics, becoming the first premier of Nevis in 1983. Dr. Sir Simeon Daniel paved the way to what we now have, that is, the privilege of enjoying life on Nevis; and because of this contribution to Nevis he was awarded a national hero’s status in St. Kitts and Nevis.
“So the journey continues, this time with the unveiling of a bust in his honor. The citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis, in particular our young children, will have another reason to remember this stalwart of our society.
“It is my hope that as we go on our journey day by day and as we pass this bust we will pause and cause to remembrance the Right Excellent Dr. Sir Simeon Daniel, and that we will never lose a moment to stop and explain to our children who this giant of an individual was.”
Joseph Parry, Former Premier and leader of the Nevis Reformation Party (NRP), paid homage to the founder of his political party.
“It is a privilege to stand here on an occasion like this. Dr. Sir Simeon Daniel was great man. In history extraordinary events often take a direction that creates heroes, outstanding personalities and people who make a serious impact on our history. It happens maybe once in a generation. It happened between the period of 1970 and 1983 and beyond. Dr. Simeon Daniel and his men in the Nevis Reformation Party were prepared to fight, to struggle, suffer, sacrifice and attain on behalf of the people of Nevis.”
Deputy Premier Mark Brantley said he regarded his former professional colleague as a second father and was proud to see that Sir Simeon’s contribution to the people of Nevis and St. Kitts was being honored in such a lasting way.
“I have known Sir Simeon, or ‘Dr. D’ as I affectionately called him since I was a very small boy, and I have known Lady Sheila, her son Sean and I were very close friends from a very young age, and so in a sense I grew up in that household. I knew them all and I regarded her as my second mother and certainly Sir Simeon as my second father, and he treated as if I were his son; so we have a very close relationship and so it gives me even greater pride to be associated in some small way with what we are seeing here this afternoon.
“In a very real way having this bust of Sir Simeon unveiled today, we hope, is a lasting testimony that will outlive all of us and allow the young children to have a sense of this great man who’s made so much possible for so many.”
Sir Simeon’s widow, Lady Sheila Daniel, said she hoped when persons passed by the bust, they would remember what the national hero stood for.
“I do hope that the people of St. Kitts and Nevis, more especially in Nevis will show their appreciation by honoring the motto that Sir Simeon emulated- country above self.
“When you look at his bust, remember the man Simeon Daniel, the love that he shared with you and his significant contribution to the island of Nevis.”
The momentous ceremony was attended by Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis Dr. Timothy Harris, members of the federal Cabinet and other officials from the federal government as well Nevis Premier Vance Amory and members of the Nevis Island Administration.