London noted that Tobago was at a critical juncture in its development with respect to its struggle for greater autonomy, and success or failure, depended on the state of mind of Tobagonians rather than their status as an emancipated people.
He outlined key qualities Tobagonians needed to adopt from their ancestors for their survival and development and in order to be truly emancipated. These qualities include courage, resilience, commitment and integrity.
“Another key quality is self reliance. Self reliance is a dying quality among Tobagonians and we have got to revive it,” London said.
He urged that these were qualities that should not only be adopted during the Heritage Festival and Emancipation period but throughout their lives.
The celebration also marked the end of the 2010 Tobago Heritage Festival. Earlier in the day several villages and groups that participated in the Heritage Festival paraded through the streets to African music and drums from Milford Court in Bon Accord to the Pigeon Point Heritage Park.
In her address, Secretary for Community Development and Culture, Tracy Davidson-Celestine declared that the battle had been fought and won and should be used as a tool for continued development.
Davidson-Celestine said Tobago was full of opportunities that should be used for development and enhancement. “It is important that, as we salute the contributions of our ancestors, we should reflect on the struggles they went through to make life easier for us and we should appreciate them,” She said.
Also present at the celebrations were THA Minority Leader Ashworth Jack, Senators Shamfa Cudjoe and Penelope Beckles.