Although inclement weather threatened to put a damper on Jounen Kwéyòl over the weekend, individuals turned out in large numbers to celebrate the event which was hosted in three communities this year namely Soufriere, Canaries and Mabouya Valley.
Describing his experience as a “fantastic” one, Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Ernest Hilaire on Monday told reporters “what was encouraging (was) the growth of small independent activities and that says a lot in terms of where the celebrations can go.”
This year’s event was mostly incident free, he added.
“I think we need to thank the police, the emergency services and all the stakeholders for working towards a safe Jounen Kwéyòl. From all indications the celebrations went quite well despite the rain. I did visit the three communities and I had a fantastic time. What was pleasing this year was Soufriere in particular-the other communities to a lesser extent. They made sure that all the major communities in Soufriere had an activity as part of the (celebrations) and I think that was really good,” Hilaire said, adding that “we will sit down and review and start planning for next year in terms of how we want to move forward.”
Shawn Edward, Parliamentary Representative for Dennery North had high praises for Mabouya Valley.
“I must say I am extremely pleased with how the event was executed. I am particularly heartened by the number of persons who actually came into Mabouya Valley to partake in Jounen Kwéyòl activities. There was a decent crowd notwithstanding the inclement weather… constituents and even persons who reside in other parts of the country seemed satisfied with what was executed,” he said.
“In all of this we must spare a thought for the members of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force. We had a very strong police presence in the Valley ably led by Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police Troy Lamontagne. There were several patrol teams… we had plain clothes officers and we also had police in uniform,” he noted.
This year Jounen Kwéyòl was celebrated under the theme “Wasin Pep-la”: “Creole, The Root of the People”.