His Excellency the President Mr. Charles A. Savarin and First Lady, Mrs. Savarin, Honourable Dr Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of Dominica and Minister of the Public Service and Chairman of the Caribbean Community, Members of Cabinet, Ambassador Steve Ferrol, Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of the Public Service, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Mrs Gloria Joseph, Chief Personnel Officer, Permanent Secretaries and Other Heads of Department, Ambassador Felix Gregoire, Awardees, Fellow Public Servants, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, Representatives of the Media.

It is a real pleasure for me to be here tonight to celebrate with you as you acknowledge and reward your peers for excellence and service. I congratulate all the awardees who I am sure would have put in the extra effort to ensure that the job was done. There is nothing more satisfying than the feeling of a job well done - except of course being rewarded for it!

It is with great pleasure that I present an overview of events and activities to commemorate Public Service Day 2016 under the theme “Embracing the Challenge Rethink, Rebuild, Transform.”

As is the custom, this theme came from one of our own in the public service and is most fitting in the wake of the devastation caused by TS Erika. The public service is the driving force behind national development and so we should be on the forefront of giving hope and should take the lead at the rebuilding efforts. It is incumbent upon all stakeholders to maximise the use of time, effort and other resources towards the production of goods & services necessary for national prosperity and recovery.

My simple contribution here this morning is to share some reflections on this occasion of the launch of Public Service Day 2016, under the theme ‘Embracing the challenge: Rethink; Rebuild; Transform” This theme literally captures the post ERIKA mode shared by all of Dominica and which we all agree will remain a challenge for some time. My most comfortable interpretation is based on the recognition that we are not requested to start a journey from scratch.

Rethink - suggest that we were already Thinking;

Rebuild – suggest that we are already Building;

Transform – suggest that we already have some Formation and that we are willing to change in form, appearance and/or structures.