Community leaders tell of Homecoming developments
August 7, 2009
Community leaders tell of Homecoming developments

As part of the preparations for the Vincy Home-Coming reunion, community leaders throughout St Vincent and the Grenadines met last Thursday, July 30, with the Director of the Regional Integration and Diaspora Unit (RIDU), Ellsworth John, to discuss the progress being made with plans for events within the individual communities.{{more}}

At a brief press conference, several of the community representatives spoke about the events being planned.

Linda Grant, representative from the Barrouallie Homecoming Committee, spoke of a bus tour of the Windward side of the island so that “people can get to know their country better!” Grant explained that the bus tour will culminate with a family picnic at Owia Salt Pond. Although no firm date has been proposed, Grant is encouraging interested persons to keep checking with the RIDU and herself at telephone number 526-7168 for updates.

Coordinator of the Rose Bank Homecoming Committee, Jocelyn Robinson outlined activities, which took place on Saturday, August 1. There was a row-boating competition from 11 am until 3 pm, which spanned from Barrouallie down to Richmond. There were other competitions such as three-legged race, egg and spoon, and tug of war, amongst others. The Cultural extravaganza began at 5 pm and saw the various North Leeward groups coming together to showcase their abilities in music, dance and other talents.

Also present was Maxwell “Tajoe” Francis, representative of the Fancy community. Francis outlined plans to reintroduce the sale of indigenous foods in Kingstown, and to start a monthly creole evening in Fancy. He also spoke about introducing a Cassava Festival at some point in time. Additionally, Francis shared that members of the Fancy community have been beautifying the roadside leading to Fancy, especially now that road works are almost complete. “We wanted to contribute an added attraction,” he announced.

Lastly, but by no means least, Kenroy Johnson, representative of the Georgetown Festival Development Organisation, gave a thorough outline of the group’s plans. On October 31, there will be a Festival of the Creative Arts, and Miss Georgetown Festival 2009 pageant; November 1 – celebrations will move to the cemetery for the All Saints festival with competitions such as Best grave and Best tomb. On November 5, there will be a Guy Fawkes Cultural Explosion; November 6 – Village Olympics at the Georgetown Hard Court; and the climax of events on November 7 – a community picnic at Rabacca Dry River.

Johnson urged community members and all other interested persons to attend the festivities. “Join us and support us! We hope to institutionalise the Georgetown Festival so that it will outlive us all.”

In brief remarks RIDU Director Ellsworth John expressed a desire to see this partnership between the communities and the Government produce developmental proposals for the individual communities. John noted that although his department has been meeting with the various groups for the past 18 months, this is the first time that all the groups have had a chance to interact with each other. He has high hopes that this meeting will address how synergy can be established among the communities for the advancement of the nation. “We’re trying to rekindle the community spirit that so many of us feel has been lost.”

John also announced plans to create a National Home-Coming Committee with two members from each of the participating communities. (JSV)