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Perseverance sails off with big race

Perseverance sails off with big race

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For a very long time the memories of the 2004 Canouan Whitsuntide Regatta will be lingering in the minds of everyone who got the opportunity to enjoy it.
Persons who missed out on the fun-filled weekend will have to wait until next year to live it, and persons who got a chance to taste it this year will relish the wonderful experience as they wait for more.{{more}}
From Thursday, May 27 to Monday, May 31, the Grenadine isle tipped to become the capital of the Grenadines in the near future buzzed with a hive of activities.
This year’s regatta, sponsored by the Canouan Sailing Club and the Canouan Resorts Development, kicked off with a fishing competition early last week Thursday morning. However, the regatta got started officially in the night with a cultural package that was well appreciated by residents of Canouan and persons who came out in numbers to witness it.
During the cultural rally a contingent from the Canouan Primary School danced to the beats of African music. This performance pleased the crowd.
But it was Sean Lewis, in an address, who reminded Canouan residents of their rich heritage. He appealed for the revival of the May Pole dancing which he expressed is unique to the island’s heritage. Lewis also reminded the gathering of the several wakes that are staged on the island when loved ones die, the nine mornings and special mothers’ day celebration.
He also used the opportunity to remind his countrymen that they do not have to lose their culture and adopt ‘somebody else’s culture’ with the current changes that are taking place on the island.
“There is a temptation that is new to us. Right now we are in a situation where there is a lot of different people coming to Canouan. The temptation is to forget the old and just adopt the new.The temptation is to throw away all that is old and just take what is new but we can’t do that because what we will be doing is throwing away our identity,” said Lewis.
Also addressing the launching was Father Mark DaSilva who, in his brief address, dealt with the sailing aspect, an activity practised by several Grenadine residents. According to Father Mark it was the buccaneers who brought sailing to the Grenadines. He told the gathering, while the name might sound decent they were vagabonds, renegades, outlaws and pirates. He said that there are old stories of one of the buccaneer headquarters being based at Canouan.
Father Mark, in his historical account, said where the salt pond lies that was never really a salt pond in years gone by. “It was a cedar field. A field of cedar trees that the buccaneers used to cut to repair their boats.”
The humble priest mentioned that William Snagg was one of the first persons on Canouan to have brought a shipwright there.
He said the ships built in the Grenadines far outnumbered those built anywhere else in the Caribbean. Giving an example, he said, in Antigua over the couple hundred of years there were about 90 ships built, 54 in Barbados, 41 in St.Lucia, 53 in Trinidad and the Grenadines 214. “The Grenadines have always been a place of sailing, a land of sailing.” This, said Father Mark, is on the dying side.
Enthusing the crowd was Nzimbu Browne on his drum. Nzimbu drumming to a rhythm asked the people to remember Melda a popular character that once lived on Canouan. He also sang about all the ills affecting the world such as illiteracy, AIDS, war, malice, as he called for a more peaceful and harmonious world. His performance blended with the cultural package making it a real indigenous evening.
Bringing the curtains down on the launching were performances from a group of students who sang about a jabless that they met in a dance, this brought a lot of amusement and a group of dancers from the Ministry of Culture.
Also making the Canouan Whitsuntide Regatta one to remember was the big Fashion Extravaganza on Saturday night. Models from Mije Modeling Agency strutted their stuff on stage for almost two hours as they glided in African Wear, SwimWear, Casual Wear, Jewellery Wear and Hottie-Hottie Wear.
The all day parties outside the Canouan Sailing Club, during the fishing and sailing competitions, also added more excitement to the whole package.
Canouan Whitsuntide Regatta was indeed an event of a lifetime.

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