Torrential downpours could not stop the Nation Publishing Co. Ltd’s 40th anniversary bandwagon yesterday.
It began well enough, with throngs of people in The City crowding the multiple vehicles and staff members shortly after the 9:30 a.m. start from NATION HOUSE in Fontabelle, clamouring for free NATION merchandise and publications.
The procession then took an extended tour of St Michael, distributing gear as MC Carl “Alff” Padmore kept everyone informed and entertained as the music truck played Barbadian tunes of yesteryear as well as more modern rhythms, sprinkled with songs by Rihanna. The top tune, however, was The NATION Story, a jingle for the bandwagon penned by Stedson RPB Wiltshire.
However, when the motorcade left St Michael and started heading down the West Coast, the heavens parted and heavy rain fell, so heavy as to obscure the vision of the drivers.
The bandwagon braved the weather and even land slippage in St Andrew to continue its message of thanksgiving and deliver staff, NATION vendors and their families to the Bath, St John, destination for lunch.
The rain kept falling intermittently until again bombarding the revellers after their arrival at Bath around 4:30 p.m, making the picnic, held under tents, a rather soppy affair.
Despite the downpour, bandwagon coordinator Marilyn Sealy remained upbeat as she said the event did not happen every day and was too important for anything to stop it. The previous two bandwagons took place in 1994 and 2003.
“This is our way of saying thank you to Barbadians for buying our papers, advertising with us and for giving us breaking news,” Sealy said.
“We travelled the length and breadth of Barbados, distributing promotional material and NATION publications, along with our Publisher and Chief Executive Officer, Vivian-Anne Gittens; chairman of the 40th anniversary committee, Wilfred Field, and all heads of departments as well as staff, vendors and their families.”
Sealy, the Senior Corporate Communications Officer, admitted that the rain forced some detours but she deemed the event an overall success. She said it was the flagship event for the anniversary celebrations, adding there were other activities planned. These included the anniversary lecture at Frank Collymore Hall on November 11 by principal of the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus, Sir Hilary Beckles; the anniversary church service at St Mary’s Church on November 24 and the NATION Funathlon on November 27.
“We were very overwhelmed by the response by the public. It was a good opportunity to interact with them and make ourselves known to them,” she said. (CA)