Jennifer Branch-Maloney, Public Relations Manager BS&T hands Minister of Culture, Stephen Lashley a cheque for $15,000 for Parish Talent Zonal shows, while Curtis Gibbons, National Coordinator for the Community Independence Celebrations Secretariat looks on, today at Minister Lashley’s office, Warrens Office Complex.?? (photo courtesy of Janelle Riley)

Corporate Barbados is being called upon to give more support to the community independence celebrations programme.

Minister of Culture, Stephen Lashley, made the appeal today after receiving a cheque for $15,000 from the Public Relations (PR) Manager at BS&T, Jennifer Branch-Maloney, at his office in the Warrens Office Complex. The money will be used for the Parish Talent Zonal shows which will be held over the next three Saturdays, beginning on September 10.

Mr. Lashley said: "The continued support of corporate Barbados to the community independence programme is something that is very critical to its overall success.?? Certainly, when we have companies such as BS&T remaining faithful to this programme over the years, [then] it augurs well for the future and is a shining example for more companies to come on board and support this very critical programme."

This is BS&T’s sixth year supporting the zonal shows and the Minister stressed that the donation came at a good time, because it would help to finance the technical work and purchase trophies for the competitors.

He continued: "The zonal talent shows are a critical part of the community independence celebrations. These shows are used as a means of identifying those persons from the various parishes who have talent and obvious potential.?? Indeed, some of them go on to compete at the Spirit of the Nation Show.??

So, it is really one of those junctures in the entire programme where the parishes are literally bubbling over with excitement, and certainly in terms of competitive spirit, it is heightened at this time of year."

Minister Lashley noted that concerns were being raised locally, regionally and internationally in relation to the increased incidence of youth deviance and crime in the society, and he proffered the view that programmes like the community independence celebrations "help to gel our societies and create that unifying spirit".

"When companies invest in this [type of programme], what they are doing is ensuring that the social fabric of our society remains intact… It is really an investment in relation to the safety fabric of Barbados, and companies that do so are setting a shining example. So, I hope that next year my office will be filled with many other good corporate citizens who want to support the programme," he quipped.

He complimented the board and management of BS&T and reiterated that meetings would be held with the stakeholders at the end of this year’s community independence celebrations to see how the programme could be improved.

PR Manager, Jennifer Branch-Maloney, said BS&T was pleased to be associated with the zonal shows. She added that they had seen the growth of the programme over the years, were satisfied with what they had seen, but would dialogue with the Community Independence Celebrations Secretariat to see how it could become bigger and better.


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