Stephen Lashley, Minister of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth, receives a $25 000?? donation??from Stephen Robinson, Vice President, Employee Benefits, Sagicor Life, today, for this year’s Lighting Ceremony and Bajan Folk Brew.?? (G. Brewster/BGIS)

This year’s Lighting Ceremony and Bajan Folk Brew promises to be even bigger and better, thanks to a $25,000 injection from Sagicor Life.

A presentation of this sum was made to Minister of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley by Vice President, Employee Benefits, Sagicor Life, Stephen Robinson, at the Ministry of Culture, Warrens, St. Michael, today.

Mr. Lashley thanked the company for the donation and continuing to support this island’s community independence celebrations, in particular, the annual lighting ceremony, throughout the years, which, he said, was something all citizens welcomed.

"Your dollars, once invested in this activity, are really dollars well spent for our community. I know that every Independence, Barbadians look forward to the roundabouts around Barbados being lighted. It actually adds to their spirit a sense of belonging. And persons whom I encounter, always say that driving along the highway and seeing the lights alone, gives them hope and inspiration. So your contributions go a long way in uplifting lives generally, and without your annual support we would not be able to do it," he disclosed.

In turn, Mr. Robinson said his company was thrilled to see the growth and development of the Ceremony and the Folk Brew over the past few years. "…We recognise that this is a national event that involves significant participation from a variety of communities in Barbados and we are thrilled and pleased to be a part of this festivity," he added.

Mr. Lashley called on all Barbadians to take pride in the buildings and roundabouts and to treasure them.

The Lighting Ceremony will be staged next Tuesday, November 1, in National Heroes Square, The City, beginning at 5:00 p.m. It will be followed by the Bajan Folk Brew at 7:00 p.m. This year’s theme is: Passion, Energy, Power: The Pride of Nationhood, with the sub-theme, "This Little Light of Mine".

Minister Lashley, will deliver the feature address, while representative for the City, Patrick Todd, will give the welcome. A highlight of the event will be the ???flicking of the switch’ to illuminate the nation’s buildings in national colours. This year, Barbados and West Indies cricket icon, the Reverend Dr. Wes Hall will perform this honour.

Rev. Trevor O’Neale, of the St. Philip Parish Church, will get the ceremony under way with a prayer. This will be followed by musical renditions by Tamara Marshall, Paula Hinds, the Pathfinders, St. Leonard’s Boys’ School and the Combined Choir. There will also be performances by the Plantation Dancers and a wind instrument quartet. ??Margaret Allman Goddard will be the Master of Ceremonies.

The Bajan Folk Brew will feature a potpourri of local talent, including a tribute to the Ancestors by Adrian Greene, performances by the Pinelands Creative Workshop, the Combined Folk Chorale; drama by Jesus Army, Kevin Forde, Rankin’ Ricky, and Fat Man. Contestants in the Northern, Central and Southern Parishes will show aspects of their projects during the show.

The Folk Brew will climax with renditions from some of this island’s renowned calypsonians, such as Kid Site, Mr. Dale, Blood, Popsicle and Red Plastic Bag, who will delight the crowd with some of their most popular songs. The Master of Ceremonies will be Peter Coppin.


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