Valencia Sports and Cultural Foundation's Emancipation Celebrations 2006 Staff Article
Event Date: July 23, 2006
Article Posted: July 28, 2006

As a part of the Emancipation Celebrations for 2006, the Valencia Sports and Cultural Foundation put on a cultural programme depicting what Emancipation meant to them. The people of Valencia and its surrounding areas were treated to an afternoon filled with talent emanating out of the region. Both the young and old came together in a familial setting and enjoyed each others company, dined and refamiliarized themselves with each other for the evening.

The formal part of the evening began at about 3pm with a prayer by Sister Ruben and the National Anthem played by eight year old Jeial Lee on the pan.

Master of Ceremonies, Michael Guptar gave the welcoming address followed by an elaborate speech by the President of the Valencia Sports and Cultural Foundation, David Gadar. Mr. Guptar spoke about the collaborative efforts between the junior and senior citizens who helped to put the event together and wished for the continued growth of community ties. He then proceeded to give a vote of thanks and recognition to those in the Valencia community, particularly the senior citizens, who helped to shape the village today.

Dr. Reid from Jamaica was then invited to share a few words with the audience which he did briefly. He spoke about Bob Marley as an iconic figure and his role in showcasing the greatness of Caribbean music. He then spoke about the importance of unity for all in the Caribbean and that this can be achieved partly through the recognition of African history.

Guest Speaker, Mr. Terrence George was next to come to the podium and addressed several concerns. He agreed with the point Mr. Guptar made earlier about the disassociation of Egypt from Africa. However, he also recognized other great things that came out of Africa including the origin of humanity. He noted many of the glorious achievements of African people in the Continent (not only in Egypt as commonly believed), as well as the Diaspora.

A question and answer session then followed with some interesting questions and viewpoints from members of the audience.

Following the lecture by Mr. Terrence George, Mr. Ronald Le Blanc made a presentation of fruits from the earth; literally the fruits of their labour to Mr. George, to Dr. Reid and to other important persons who helped make the event what it was.

Cindy Huggins thanked those who helped in the food preparations which is an important aspect that people neglect – the work and workers behind the scenes.

Next was a musical presentation by the Valencia Rhythm Stars section comprised of youths from twelve to nineteen emanating from Valencia, and trained by Devon John from Sangre Grande. Later on in the programme, Mr. John provided voice accompaniment to the section singing some African chants with the infectious rhythms.

Lesley–Ann Bristo, 'Lady Africa', graced the stage with her presence with an ex-tempo tune. Providing good entertainment to the cultural presentation, 'Lady Africa' was also able to get impromptu performances from members of the audience.

Jeial Lee came back again and gave the audience some sweet sounds of nursery rhymes on the pan and later showed off another of her talents when she presented another song on the recorder instrument.

Also providing entertainment were Calypsonians Shindu Prince and Errol 'Soft Touch' Peter both of whom were very unique in their deliveries.

Lastly, and very significant to the event was the flambeaux procession which started and ended at the school. The Valencia Rhythm Stars provided a wonderful musical addition to the procession with their instruments and their call and response refrains.

This was certainly an interesting start to the Emancipation Celebrations for 2006. It is certain that many can hardly wait for what Valencia has to offer for Emancipation celebrations in 2007.

Valencia Emancipation 2006

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