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SLICE OF BAJAN LIFE: Celebrating our heritage

Wendell Callender

SLICE OF BAJAN LIFE: Celebrating our heritage

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When the youth and the more mature combine to celebrate Barbadian heritage and to showcase the best in talent, a sense of pride in the positive features of the island comes gushing forth.
Such was our experience on Saturday evening when we attended Southern Kaleidoscope – the Southern Zone Parish Talent show at the Christ Church Parish Church Hall.
As we approached the entrance to the hall, it was clear that ownership of this event had been claimed by ambassadors, attendants and Parish Independence Committee members of St Philip, St Michael and Christ Church. The display at the entrance from the three parishes could not be missed.
The St Michael group took control of a table bedecked with various information pieces, among which was a banner with the theme De Tracks Uh We Past . . . The Road To We Future and the St Michael newsletter headlined St Michael Heritage, Bridgetown And Its Garrison.
Ambassadors Junior Roach and Jamella Forde along with attendant Rudolph Sandiford explained that their project focused on Bridgetown and the Garrison and was in harmony with the current bid by Government to have historic Bridgetown and its Garrison recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Standing behind a replica of the Christ Church Anglican Church and the banner proclaiming The Churches Of Christ Church: Our Religious Heritage, ambassadors Angelo Beckles and Kimesha King, under the watchful eyes of attendant Rhonda Gajadhar, exchanged greetings with the St Michael team. Their project highlighted the role of the church in the social heritage of Christ Church.
St Philip ambassadors Sheldon Marshall and André Hunte and their attendant Judy Holder-Babb proudly promoted their project under the theme, Six Paths To Our Unique Heritage, as they explained the relevance of their elaborate exhibit.
Foremost among the items on display was a lighted East Point Lighthouse and a hand-made television replicating the first TV on sale in Barbados. Through a hand-operated lever, scenes featuring the heritage of St Philip were shown. These included King George V Memorial Park, Bushy Park, Bottom Bay and a vintage chattel house.
A montage of newspaper clippings and other promotional materials also attracted much attention, along with a poem entitled Up Here by 11-year-old Wyndell Austin of St Philip. 
A section of Austin’s poem bears repetition here:
“Sam Lord, a castle he built
A school, the Princess Margaret blessed
We all play with King George in the park
So don’t stay there in the dark
Cause we own calypso king
Red Plastic Bag, is still the one to hear sing!
So don’t let nobody burst your bag.”  
The activities outside the church hall reflected the spirit of Barbadian culture and heritage. As we looked left of the doorway, the busy officials of the Christ Church team were cheerfully readying fish cakes and bakes and ham cutters for sale. Freshly made local juices added to the culinary fare.
The on-stage show, competing for attention with all the other attention-grabbing items on display, also made its mark. Before an almost packed hall, contestants Wyndell Austin, Kareena Henry and Bettylyn Estwick of St Philip; 4-H Achievers J’nai Payne and Cherish Breedy of St Michael; and Tyrese Elliot, Jacintha Sargeant and Shenise Marshall of Christ Church brought great artistic offerings in song, dance, and poetry.
Deemed most outstanding by the judges were Estwick for her outstanding portrayal of her poem Old Time Christmas; Breedy with a Toni Norville original titled Whatever; and Marshall with the Sach Moore/Cheryl Hackett original Beautiful And Unspoilt.
Guest performer Shawnie added his own flair with Maxi Taxi while Hilana “Jan” Layne sprinkled her own artistic spice all over the proceedings as MC.
Two prominent community practitioners from Christ Church who were on hand to witness the activities were Corlis Weekes-Grazettes, now president of the Lions Club South and a former attendant for Christ Church ambassadors; and Icilma Trotman, camp director of Camp St Christopher.
These folks now look forward to the Spirit Of The Nation show on November 20 at the Gymnasium of the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex