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Call For Participation In Independence Activities

A scene from last year's Independence Day celebrations held at Beausejour Cricket Ground. [Photo: Stan Bishop]
Saint Lucians will observe the island’s 37th anniversary of Independence next Monday. [PHOTO: Stan Bishop]
THE organizers for the activities marking Saint Lucia’s 37th Independence anniversary want Saint Lucians to immerse themselves in the moments of celebration, especially during the upcoming long weekend.

Sporting and cultural events dominate this weekend’s many activities, beginning with National Colours Day tomorrow and ending with the SLAM concert on Monday afternoon featuring an all-Saint Lucian cast of artistes, Teddyson John, Ricky T, Sweet Kay and the Derek Yarde Project (DYP) and others.

Below is a list of some of the other activities Saint Lucians are being urged to be part of this Independence weekend.

Friday
• Ecumenical Service – Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception
• St. Aloysius R.C. Boys’ Infant Road race – Castries Circuit

Saturday
• Independence Bikers Extravaganza – Castries
Waterfront
• Independence Bayfest – Rodney Bay
• Miss Independence 2016 – National Cultural Centre
• Independence Volleyball Championship – Beausejour Indoor Practice Facility
• Roseau Valley & South Castries Youth & Sports Council Creole Spelling Competition – Marigot Secondary School
• Independence Challenge – Around the island

Sunday
• Mon Repos Road Relay – Mon Repos
• Babonneau Youth & Sports Council Edurama Fair – Babonneau Playing Field
• Lobster & Seafood Fiesta – Castries Fisheries
Complex
• Carenage Craze – Castries Waterfront
• Naming of the new hospital – Millennium Heights
• Cocktail Reception – Prime Minister’s Official
Residence

Monday
• Military Parade – Mindoo Phillip Park
• Cultural Expo – Mindoo Phillip Park
• National Celebratory Rally – Mindoo Phillip Park
• JETE Dance Competition – Mindoo Phillip Park

Creative consultant in the Ministry of Creative Industries, Christopher Hunte, told The VOICE yesterday that this year’s activities are both inclusive and spirited. He said that while Independence activities are an annual norm, Saint Lucians need to “be part of the one birthday we all celebrate together.”

“People need to be involved in the celebrations; not only to enjoy them but to also give ideas going forward as to how to improve upon them,” Hunte said. “We want all generations to take part to really rally around each other.”

Hunte said that while all countries “are not really independent in the truest sense” – he cited every country’s dependence on another via various means – the moment calls for citizens to rally together in the interest of the country’s overall development.

This year’s Independence is being observed under the theme, “The Journey Continues”. Since February 22, 1979, Saint Lucia and Saint Lucians have inarguably made bold strides in many spheres. However, many people feel that the citizenry needs a great measure of rejuvenation and a deeper appreciation for the Saint Lucian identity.

Over the past week, many government and private buildings have been decorated with the colours of the national flag. Some sidewalks have even gotten a fresh coat of paint and many people have been donning their national colours. Despite the outward appearances, though, Hunte says Saint Lucians need to reach deep within and exude their national pride.

Stan Bishop began his career in journalism in March 2008 writing freelance for The VOICE newspaper for six weeks before being hired as a part-time journalist there when one of the company’s journalists was overseas on assignment.

Although he was initially told that the job would last only two weeks, he was able to demonstrate such high quality work that the company offered him a permanent job before that fortnight was over. Read full bio...

2 Comments

  1. I felt a brief verve of nostalgia at reading St Aloysious Primary as a venue.
    I see the faces of my bold teachers and a gentle wave of gratitude nestles me with comfort
    Oh how thankful that these heroic teachers embarked me on an amazing learning trajectory- with limited supplies and scaffolding resources.
    One of the finest cognitive drills practiced, internalized and crystallized at St. Aloysius is THINK-RESPOND-OBJECTIVELY in IMPROMPTU real time- as in NOW!
    On that note, may I introduce a perplexing ordeal:
    Personally, I have wanted to give back to my formative years alma mater.
    However, there a disconnecting veil stalls any proactive initiative.
    Now, I suspect what the conundrum is all about.
    The school NAME needs to change: At the very least to acknowledge the separation of church and state for a PUBLICLY funded institution.
    Reflecting on the dominant / majority of African heritage students who have studied under its tutelage, I propose a SWAHILI name change, thus:
    KUFIKIRI MALENGO Primary School translates to
    THINK of OBJECTIVES Primary School
    Note how instead of the current problems with naming after some person (given the inherent distaste with excluding other worthy names ) the name provides a Spirit de Corps and a practical, inspirational, essential , guiding theme for that student/teacher milieu…n’est pas?
    Hip Hip Hooray Boy’s Primary.

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