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A review of Vincy Homecoming


Organizers of the 2009 Vincy Homecoming program are expecting a bigger and better showing when the event takes place in the next two or three years.{{more}}

Executive Director of the Regional Integration and Diaspora Unit Ambassador Ellsworth John, speaking to SEARCHLIGHT earlier this week, said that being the first such event here, the Homecoming exercise had its shortcomings but still served its purpose.

“We think we achieved the objective. I think what we did really went a long way and got people to start thinking that we really need to be patriotic,” according to Ambassador John.

“The people who came home felt that we did a good job of mobilizing people of the diaspora to come home. A lot of persons who have now heard about what took place are saying they have to be here for the next one.”

According to John, despite the poor promotion of a number of events, persons who participated were satisfied.

“It was very evident that our promotion strategy was flawed,” John noted.

“Maybe we needed to have something at the airport. Maybe we needed more posters out in the community so that people could actually see when the events were taking place.”

The event, which took two years to plan, came off almost without a hitch, especially in the final week, which started with a church service and ended with a dinner and ball.

In between, locals and returnees were involved in a number of activities, ranging from a Homecoming Conference at the new National Library Complex and a number of cultural and international packages.

John said that the events were designed to build the communities around the country, and lauded the various community groups that were involved in the Homecoming exercise, saying that without them the whole process would have been unsuccessful.

“To me what was exceptional was that we were able to establish over 25 community organizations that were functioning at a time when people were saying that community spirit was dead.”

John said that the Unit was now working on long term implementations to sustain what was started with the homecoming exercise.

He not only had high praise for the organizations and leadership, but also for others who contributed to the success of the Homecoming exercise, especially the choreographers and scriptwriter of the cultural night.

“We are actually quite happy with the way things went. We were able to build within the Vincentian communities a spirit of patriotism, a spirit of identifying themselves as Vincentians and a desire to work for unity and building this country that we all love.”(JJ)