Information Officer II
Department of Information & Public Relations
The first ever Caribbean Unity Weekend which saw the coming together of Virgin Islanders and Caribbean nationalities was called a resounding success.
The three day event said to be a vision of Deputy Premier and Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture, Dr. the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley was sponsored by his ministry and organised by the Caribbean Unity Planning Committee.
Dr. the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley while describing the reason for the event said he saw the need to bring Virgin Islanders and the various Caribbean nationalities together as they are stronger when they are unified as a community.
He said, “We must celebrate those who have helped us build the BVI. It is also important that we must encourage Virgin Islanders to embrace Caribbean nationals and Caribbean nationals to embrace the BVI—embrace its history, culture and its people—as we all work towards a stronger BVI and a stronger Caribbean.”
A Caribbean Unity Dinner was held on Saturday, March 6, which saw five persons honoured. They include Mr. Jack Husbands, for his work as a lawyer and magistrate; Mrs. Camille Gumbs, for her work as a teacher; Mr. Hesketh Newton, for his community service; Dr. Patricia Turnbull, for her work in the Arts; and Bishop Ishmael Charles, for his service in the church.
Several Caribbean nations were represented including St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, St. Kitts and Nevis, Jamaica, the Virgin Islands, and others. Each group made presentations, ranging from poems, dances and songs.
Addresses were made by Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie; Dr. the Honourable. Natalio D. Wheatley; Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Honourable Vincent O. Wheatley; and Junior Minister for Trade and Economic Development, Honourable Shereen Flax-Charles.
Video and audio messages of solidarity were heard from Prime Minister and Opposition Leader of St. Lucia, Honourable Allen Chastanet and Honourable Phillip J. Pierre and the Minister of Agriculture and Labour of St. Vincent, Honourable Saboto Ceasar.
A church service was also held at the New Testament International Worship Center on Sunday March 7.
The three day event concluded with a panel discussion at the Eileene L. Parsons Auditorium with presentations by Director of Culture, Dr. Katherine Smith; Educator, Author, and Cultural Worker, Dr. Patricia Turnbull; Senior Lecturer and Head of Business Department at H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC), Mrs. Dana Lewis-Ambrose; Former President of HLSCC and Anguilla College, Dr. Karl Dawson; and Dr. the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley.
Organisers of the event have pledged to make it an annual activity with more community involvement.
NOTES TO EDITOR(S):
- Photos from three day event.