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Dalhia DaSilva: Preserve SVG’s heritage

Dalhia DaSilva: Preserve SVG’s heritage


Outgoing President of the St.Vincent and the Grenadines Ottawa Association Dalhia DaSilva has called on the Vincentian community in Canada to preserve their heritage.{{more}}

In an emotional speech last Saturday evening at the Association’s banquet, which brought the curtains down on St.Vincent and the Grenadines’ 2011 Independence activities at the Villa Marconi, Ottawa, Canada, DaSilva said: “…It’s our roots and inevitably part of who we are. We cannot deny our heritage, nor believe it has no impact on our lives. In fact, it is the very fabric which shapes and defines us personally.”

The gathering of Vincentians was told that the Independence celebration should have provided an opportunity for Vincentians living in the Diaspora to reflect on their history. DaSilva urged everyone to work even harder to continue to contribute towards the building of a Vincentian nation of which the future generation will be proud.

She used the opportunity to inform the audience of the many activities that her association has been engaged in. DaSilva mentioned that the St.Vincent and the Grenadine Ottawa Association continues to work with its sister associations of Montreal and Toronto to bring together the largest gathering of Vincentians in North America at Brown Bay. She noted that the Association continues with its sponsorship of students in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, to provide them with an opportunity to pursue a secondary education.

She also highlighted the achievements of a music project being executed by Leo Lewis, who was also the first president of the Ottawa Association. The project supplies mainly hand-held musical instruments to students in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

DaSilva disclosed that so far, there have been three shipments to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which include saxophones, trumpets, clarinets, violins, etc. Six schools, among them Bethel High School (Campden Park Secondary) and the St.Vincent Grammar School, received wind instruments, while CW Prescod Primary School received violins. DaSilva said there are already enough pieces to benefit several hundred students. The initial cost of the project is approximately EC$33,000.00.

She recognized the effort of the members of her organization, namely, Valerie Rowe, Vice President; Cipriani Burke, Treasurer; Imoh Inyang, Secretary; Akeisha Grant, Public Relations Officer; Sophia Jacob, Assistant Secretary; and Beulah Cato, Assistant Treasurer.

Besides the feature address by Ambassador Camillo Gonsalves, the honouring of Sandra Bobb, a key member of the Association, for her years of service to the Association, as well as to the city of Ottawa, was an important feature of the event.

The event was held under the distinguished patronage of St.Vincent and the Grenadines Consul General to Canada, Steve Phillips.

Phillips recounted the damage that St.Vincent and the Grenadines sustained to its housing stock and agriculture sector during Hurricane Tomas in 2010 and a freak storm in April 2011. He, however noted that the “immediate and diligent rehabilitation” process embarked upon by the Government, NGOs and the people has resulted in a state of normalcy.

He challenged the audience to collaborate with the Government and join the fight against violence and criminality.

“We must not allow any cultural infiltration to alter who we are and make us infamous. Let us remember and appreciate who we are and maintain the vision of who we can be as individuals, families and as a nation,” said Phillips.

Phillips said despite the global financial challenges, his Government is focused on building a robust post-colonial economy.

Bernard John served as Master of Ceremonies. (HN)