IT IS back to the drawing board for the Community Independence Celebrations Secretariat to come with new ideas to freshen the annual festivities.
And this directive is coming from Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley, who is hoping the relook would provide an impetus for growth and attractiveness of the celebration across Barbados.
“As successful as the programme is, I am also mindful of the fact that [it] must grow; must evolve. After all, over the years, its constituents and its stakeholders change. The needs of sponsors change. And we have to guide the development of the programme, that it remains relevant to our communities.
“So changes must come, and with this in mind, it is . . . my intention to have the secretariat arrange a series of meetings within each parish, so that the views of Barbadians on how they perceive the profile of the celebrations of the future can be obtained,” Lashley said at the official launch of the 2014 Community Independence Celebrations in Oistins, Christ Church, last Saturday.
He said the programme had made a significant contribution to national efforts in resolving problems facing youth.
“You must be heartened by the fact that you do not have to have any doubts about the difference that you are making in your communities. The evidence speaks for itself. And I know that you have feelings of pride and fulfilment when you see projects executed successfully, and when you watch your Parish Ambassadors grow from strength as they go through the programme.”
Against that background, he is appealing to Barbadians to come forward and to become involved in the Parish Independence Committees (PICs).
“Come and experience first-hand the satisfaction that volunteerism brings. I also encourage young men and women to look at the Parish Ambassadors’ programme and take part in it. I assure you that you will not regret the year that you will spend taking part; it will have a positive effect on the rest of your life,” he said.
A sizeable crowd attended the event, with brightly coloured members of the various committees as well as those simply hailing for their parishes, cheering loudly for the ambassadors and attendants.
The lively event included singing, dancing, instrumentals, stick licking and drama as well as a parade down Oistins Hill with all the PICs.
Some of the highlights included folk medleys by Sing Out Barbados, especially a rendition of Swing Low Sweet Chariot which brought a few people to their feet; Sach Moore receiving the Jackie Opel Spouge Award and a dramatic performance from Latoya Bowen which focused on domestic abuse. (CA)