Massive crowd witnesses opening of Rabacca Bridge
Front Page
March 30, 2007
Massive crowd witnesses opening of Rabacca Bridge

A bridge has been built over troubled waters and a tsunami of celebrators splashed on “Sugar City” Georgetown – reminiscent but far outdoing the times when all roads led there.

“Many were blind but now they could see the light,” declared Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves as he addressed the crowd that he – and many including law officers have described as “the largest crowd to gather in St Vincent and the Grenadines.{{more}}

Numbers like 40,000 and 45,000 were being rattled out without much hesitation.

With the style befitting an evangelical preacher, Prime Minister Gonsalves compared the doubters and naysayers who questioned the $8.5 million project to Sanballat and Tobiah; two biblical agitators that sought to frustrate the Jerusalem temple rebuilding process in the days of the Prophet Nehemiah.

“From the start the enemies began to say it not possible,” Dr Gonsalves said, adding that like the biblical characters, his adversaries mocked him and the ideas and wished the bridge ill.

Dr Gonsalves credited clear leadership, a disciplined people and full focus for what has been done. He said that the bridge is more than just a structure of beauty and majesty but it is a spiritual symbol – one of unity among our people.

“It is a symbol for us to come together more,” he said.

A proud Montgomery Daniel, the area representative for the North Windward Constituency said that the constructon of the bridge was memorable and historic for North Windward.

“History will show that I was the representative when the bridge was built – history will show that Dr Ralph Gonsalves was the Prime Minister,” Daniel said.

He told the attentive crowd that he was glad that the days of people being washed away and school children and teachers being unable to pass are gone now.

“Since this bridge has been built, Rabacca has become a most popular spot,” Minister Daniel said.

He further stated that the bridge will be a gateway to the economic development of the area.

Also addressing the massive gathering was Ambassador Jack Cheng of the Republic of China on Taiwan. The Taiwanese contributed $5.4 million to the project while the remaining three or so million came from the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

The official ceremony was decorated with wonderful cultural performances. The Owia, Sandy Bay and St Mary’s RC primary schools and the Chatoyer Youth Movement all performed well.

The Uwarani Dance Group of Belize with their Garifuna Invocation and Jamaican gospel Superstar Carlene Davis were well received by the eager crowd.

It was Archbishop Johnny Jones and the Spiritual Baptist Choir with their melody of traditional gospel songs Рadapted to honour Prime Minister Gonsalves that had all rocking and swaying РCulture Minister Ren̩ Baptiste and Dr Gonsalves were not to be outdone; they rocked, they swayed to the intoxicating rhythm of Spiritual Baptist melodies.

The ceremony ended with the unveiling of the plaque by Governor General Sir Frederick Ballantyne, and the blessing of the bridge by Archbishop Cosmore Pompey.

The cutting of the ribbon was followed by the symbolic first crossing of the bridge by Dr Ralph Gonsalves and other dignitaries along with residents and children from the area.

Two wheel chair bound residents, Hubert Griffith, 62, of Orange Hill and Dulcina Joyette, 72, of Sandy Bay were escorted across by Dr Gonsalves and Montgomery Daniel amidst a spectacular fireworks display.