Members of team St Joseph proudly displaying their numerous awards to the delight of their supporters who joined them on stage. (WILLCOMM)
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BRANDON BECKLES was almost speechless, and at one point had to stop to collect his thoughts.
Just moments earlier, he and Cadesha Rouse brought the title of Most Outstanding Parish Ambassadors back to St Joseph.
“I feel excited. I am almost speechless, I am crying, I am happy. We worked extremely hard, we pulled out all the stops,” he told the DAILY NATION as dozens of joyous supporters rushed on stage at Kensington Oval Saturday night.
A smiling Rouse was equally thrilled with the win.
“We are very happy that we could have done for our Josephines. We have worked so hard this year and we have worked along with the team. They helped us at every step of the way so it’s not for me and Brandon but for St Joseph,” she said.
Going into the Spirit Of The Nation Show which drew a large following despite the changed venue, they had already set themselves as one of the teams to beat, posting one of the highest scores – 77.13 points.
Their project focused on celebrating the parish through food, music and dance, and built on their theme Pride. Industry. People: St Joseph Uh Come From. It earned them title of Parish Project Of The Year, while their dapper style won them Best Formal Wear.
It was triple celebration for their attendant, Mona Grant-Phillips, who, aside from helping to bring the title back to the parish that previously won it in 2012 and 2013, steered the team to cop the Attendant Of The Year title. She is also celebrating her 50th birthday in the year that Barbados marks its golden jubilee.
“It’s exciting to know that we carried the project of agriculture to get people to grow back their own foods so I’m feeling so happy, overwhelmed,” Grant-Phillips said.
“Yes, I did,” she responded when asked if she anticipated that the team would achieve as much as they did.
“All the ambassadors and attendants were all one happy family from the beginning to now, so it’s all good. We’re going to celebrate in the parish and then with the other attendants and the parish ambassadors because all of us are one family.”
Tallying 74.17 points going in to the competition, Christ Church’s Andrew Ashby and Simone Daniel held strong, but had to settle for second place.
The duo also won Best Costume with a brilliant display that underscored the important role of the Barbados Postal Service and the postman to Barbados.
Playing a friendly neighbourhood postman, Ashby hand-delivered, then unwrapped a special package to the nation.
It was Daniel, depicting one of the parish’s notable figures, Granny of Granny’s Restaurant in Oistins, bedecked in an elaborate, eye-grabbing traditional costume.
Third place went to Jason Moore and Nadira Marshall of St Peter, who entered the show with 74.64 points.
The 72.65 points accumulated prior to the show and their performance on the night, though commendable, was not enough for defending champions St Lucy, represented by Dario Rock and Melissa Sobers. They had to settle for fourth.
Best Parish Project Presentation went to St Philip’s Shanesse Mottley and Tyrell Carter, who tallied 63.22 points prior to the show.
In the Parish Talent segment, St Lucy’s Daryll Jordan Secondary School won the Spirit Of The Nation Award and the prize for the Most Impactful Act with their Bajan Medley on the steel pan.
St Joseph’s Shakhouri Thompson, with an energetic performance on the saxophone titled Amazing, was adjudged the Most Original Act, and placed third overall.
Second position went to the St Peter group, Fuzion, which performed the song, Barbados, Island In The Sun. (WILLCOMM)