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Vincy Homecoming launched with a bang

Vincy Homecoming launched with a bang

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With much fanfare, music and festivity, Vincy Homecoming 2009 was launched at Heritage Square last Sunday afternoon. Geared towards engaging the Diaspora in the national agenda, the homecoming’s theme is: “As One People in Many Lands, We shape Our Nation with Many Hands.”{{more}}

At Sunday’s event, there were dance and musical performances by various groups and individuals from throughout St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) and from the Diaspora, but it was Vibrating Scakes with “Our nation is born”, “Obama” and the Theme song: “Vincy Homecoming” that had the crowd rocking. The Rolls Royce of calypso Winston Soso also gave a stellar performance which had the audience begging for more.

In his welcome remarks, Director of the Regional Integration and Diaspora Unit Ambassador Ellsworth John said that as we approach 30 years of independence, it is important that we take pause to reflect on where we have come as a people, so that we can improve going forward on what we are and where we should be going.

Also addressing the gathering was Rejil Solis, president of the New York based Garifuna Coalition USA, Inc. In an exclusive interview with SEARCHLIGHT, Solis said that his organization was established over ten years ago and has ten affiliates which represent over 100,000 Garifuna people living in the New York area. Solis was accompanied by his Vice President Marcia Gomez and Treasurer Jose Francisco Avila. They all expressed their joy at being in SVG for the first time and vowed to be back from July 19 to 25 next year for the Garifuna home coming in SVG.

Delivering the feature address, Prime Minister Gonsalves said that over EC$1 million has been allocated for the Homecoming in next year’s budget, but that sum will not be enough, so he will seek to get the private sector involved.

The Prime Minister, who was walking with the assistance of a cane because of an injury he sustained earlier that day when he fell on some wet tiles at his official residence, also said that some less fortunate Vincentians will be given assistance to help their houses to get a facelift for Homecoming.

The goal of Homecoming 2009 is to focus on a cultural and social identity of all Vincentians and to augment relationships between Vincentians at home and in the Diaspora.

A special unit called the Regional Integration and Diaspora Unit has been set up in the office of the Prime Minister; it is headed by Ambassador John, and the coordination of Vincy Homecoming 2009 is one of its tasks.