Minister of Culture, John King, (right) has given ‘thumbs up’ to the We Gatherin’ activities which began this month in St. Lucy. He is pictured with Labour Minister, Colin Jordan, the Member of Parliament for St. Peter, the next parish to host activities. (C.Pitt/BGIS)

“Awesome!”

That’s how Minister of Culture, John King, has described the execution of the activities thus far for We Gatherin’ Barbados 2020 in St. Lucy. 

He made the comments today during a press conference at the West Wing of Parliament to discuss the events for St. Peter as it takes the baton to execute its activities under the theme Heritage.

Mr. King told the media: “St. Lucy has gotten us off to a rollicking start, and it puts pressure…on all of us coming behind to ensure that we keep the standard up …. We are off to a fantastic start with St. Lucy.  Every single event I attended in St. Lucy was packed to capacity with people and the feedback has been the same, people had a fantastic time… I look forward to what St. Peter is going to bring to the table.” 

The Minister expressed the view that the We Gatherin’ initiative was allowing Barbadians the opportunity to tell their story, instead of having people tell it for us. 

“You look at our history books and a lot of the stuff we would have used in schools were all handed to us by others.  Now, we get a chance to tell that story ourselves, from our own perspective, from our own point of view and these are the things that are going to resonate with us,” he stated.

He noted that there were things that divided us as a people, but proffered the view that the opportunity to tell our story would bring us together and even assist the diaspora.

Minister of Labour, Colin Jordan, who is also the Member of Parliament for St. Peter, said St. Lucy had set a very hot pace, and gave the assurance the parish would build on that excellence.

Mr. Jordan added that the parish was known for its historical, built and natural heritage and the celebration in February would share the complete heritage package.  “There is a lot about St. Peter that is not known and we intend to use February to showcase all of it,” he stated.

Minister of Culture, John King, (right) in an animated discussion with Labour Minister, Colin Jordan and Head of the St. Peter Organising Committee for We Gatherin’, Jacqueline Gill, in the West Wing of Parliament today. (C.Pitt/BGIS)

He disclosed that the oldest resident in St. Peter was expected to celebrate his 110th birthday on February 21, and noted that he would be able to share historical tidbits with people in the community.

The Minister explained that St. Peter’s programme was designed to “build the self-awareness of people in St. Peter and from St. Peter because when a people come to grips with their heritage and legacy, there is the potential to go further to explore and really develop themselves”.

He agreed that Barbados has a story to share, explaining that each village and parish would be responsible for segments of the story. “St. Peter will be sharing elements of that story with the rest of St. Peter, but also with wider Barbados and the wider world,” he stated.

Mr. Jordan noted that some of the activities would focus on the parish’s connection with the sea.  He added that groups within the parish had planned activities which would complement those planned by the Parish Organizing Committee.

He said St. Peter was ready to showcase its hidden treasures. “All Saints Anglican Church has the largest collection of stained glass windows in the country, [and] there is a cave in Benn Hill where persecuted Catholics use to worship,” he stated.

He encouraged Barbadians at home and in the diaspora to be a part of the celebrations.

sharon.austingill-moore@barbados.gov.bb

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