Deputy Permanent Secretary, Celia Toppin, accepting a cheque from Vice President, Sagicor Life, Dexter Moe, while National Coordinator of the Community Independence Celebrations Secretariat, Curtis Gibbons, and members of the Tuk Band look on. (G. Brewster/BGIS)

Approximately 17 roundabouts, a government building in each parish and the Parliament buildings will again be lit up for this island’s 46th Independence.

That is the word from National Coordinator of the Community Independence Celebrations Secretariat, Curtis Gibbons, who confirmed that "everything is on stream" to ensure the month-long celebrations begin on November 1.

Mr. Gibbons made the comments today before Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Division of Culture and Sports, Celia Toppin, accepted a sponsorship cheque from Vice President of Sagicor Life, Dexter Moe, for the lighting ceremony.

Deputy Permanent Secretary Toppin expressed appreciation to Sagicor, saying: "We depend very heavily on their support because the Ministry cannot do it all on its own."

She pointed out that the Secretariat had encouraged communities to light up their areas, thus introducing a decentralisation component to the programme. "This year, in addition to the main lighting ceremony in the City, we will have the Esplanade in Speightstown being lit up on Friday, November 2, and [the community at] Gall Hill, Christ Church, on November 3.

"We really would like other communities to think about it and to prepare so that next year it would be a nationwide activity," she stated.

Ms. Toppin added that communities were being encouraged to create their own programmes to celebrate Independence. "We would like to move towards having the communities take ownership of these things, coming forward and saying to the Secretariat, we would like to do this next year, and the Secretariat assisting with coordination, to the extent that staffers are capable," she explained.

Mr. Moe said Sagicor was encouraged to continually offer its support to the event because of the level of enthusiasm Barbadians showed each year when they saw the City’s lights.

He continued: "In our role as title sponsor, it is our hope that we can make a contribution to the Secretariat’s efforts to promote nationalism among Barbadians as we mark one of the major milestones in Barbadian history. Sagicor has been a part of the history of Barbados for almost 200 years and we appreciate all that Barbadians have contributed to our success.

"… As a result, we value opportunities to support initiatives which further national development and community upliftment."

The Sagicor Lighting Ceremony and Bajan Folk Brew will be held on Thursday, November 1, in National Heroes Square, beginning at 5:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., respectively. The event is being celebrated under the theme Craftsmen of our Fate: Inspiring Pride and Unity and members of the public are encouraged to attend.????


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