January 26, 2007
200th anniversary of slave trade abolition

“Moving humanity across the ocean – creating history and a new civilization.” That’s the theme of celebrations to mark the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

The year-long celebrations were launched here on Tuesday at the Peace Memorial Hall, and will conclude on January 1st 2008, with activities scheduled to run throughout the year.

Activities include lectures, workshops, a local history competition, as well as festivals and concerts and the launching of commemorative stamps to mark the occasion.{{more}}

Tuesday’s launching featured an address by Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, Chairman of the organizing committee.

Dr. Gonsalves gave a brief history of events leading up to and the actual abolition of the slave trade, mainly for the benefit of the students of the Kingstown Preparatory School who were on hand at the launching.

Also addressing the launching was Co-Chair of the committee, Minister of Culture Rene Baptiste, who outlined the schedule of activities for the upcoming year.

Committee member Renwick Rose also addressed the gathering.

A mini cultural package was the highlight of the launching, which organizers claimed was just a taste of what is to come over the next twelve months.

The students of the Kingstown Preparatory School recited the poem “Better now than then”, this was followed by dance pieces by Juanita Phillips and Norlan Jackson.

Two songs written by Glenroy “Sulle” Caesar, were also performed: “Instrument of Liberation” which is the theme song of the celebrations, was sang by Aloma “Fatty Dan” Cadougan. Sulle himself did the other song called “Reparation”.

The activities will begin in earnest next month with a lecture on the abolition of the slave trade.