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Point Village celebrates Nine Mornings success

Point Village celebrates Nine Mornings success

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Although somewhat disappointed at not winning the National Nine Mornings Lighting Competition, residents of the North Windward village of Point are celebrating, having won Zone 4 of the competition.{{more}}

They placed first in the North Windward zone, ahead of Park Hill, Owia and South Rivers, which placed second, third and fourth, respectively. In the national competition, Point had to settle for third place, behind New Grounds, which placed first for the sixth time (the fourth consecutive year), and Rose Bank, which placed second.

The Nine Mornings activities in Point, which is a village located on a promontory between the villages of Old Sandy Bay and Owia, were organized by the Point Massive Social and Cultural Organization.

Coordinator of the group Clotilda Hoyte said that besides the lighting up of the village, several other activities took place, beginning on December 18, when they launched their programme.

She said each morning they put on a cultural package and sold traditional breakfast dishes such as madungo dumplins, roasted grindy, roasted breadfruit, salt fish and bush tea.

A special feature of the activities in Point was the erection of a large billboard featuring the “Legends of Nine Mornings”; Lennox Bowman, Michael Peters and Bassy Alexander.

Hoyte said it was her idea to put up the billboard as those three men were the ones who revived Nine Mornings after it had gone dormant for several years.

When SEARCHLIGHT visited Point on the evening of Tuesday, December 27, a Christmas programme put on by the Point Massive Social and Cultural Organization was in progress.

The programme, which was MCed by Lennox Bowman of the National Nine Mornings Committee, featured a skit by members of the Point Massive, as well as singing by members of the group, children of the community, Roland Bowman and St Clair Lewis of the band New Sensation.

The gathering was also addressed by parliamentary representative for the area Montgomery Daniel, who commended the organizers on how much they have grown over the years.

“You have really come a far way…. We have grown, and so, it has really become massive. I know next year you will be looking forward to winning the national title, of the Nine Mornings here in SVG.”

The lighting display in the village was designed by husband and wife team Keon and Deslyn Daniel.

Deslyn told SEARCHLIGHT that they began designing and making the frames for the lights in August, then on December 1, they starting stringing the lights.

“It took us a whole week to decorate the place,” Deslyn said.

Although the overall theme of the celebrations and lighting up was “Christmas in the old fashioned way”, the area in front of the residence of the late Courtney Nero-Ballantyne was decorated with airplanes, and designated the “Auntie Courtney International Airport”.

Nero-Ballantyne, or “Auntie Courtney” as she was popularly known, is considered by many as the matriarch of the village of Point. Although she died 30 years ago at the age of 109 years, her contribution to the community has not been forgotten.

Sylvern Ballantyne-Furbert, Auntie Courtney’s great grand daughter, who is holidaying here from Bermuda, said her great grandmother looked after many children in the community, got them ready for school and combed their hair.

It is also said that Auntie Courtney was the first person to build a house in Point.

The high point of the Tuesday evening package, however, was the much anticipated “take off” of an airplane from the Auntie Courtney International Airport. According to the announcer at the airport, the plane was destined for St. Lucia.

As the plane coasted down the hill towards the junction at Point, excited cheers rose from the crowd, and one almost got the feeling that the wooden plane was actually going to take off.

After the “take off” of the plane, there were other cultural performances, including a duet by the parliamentary representative and his wife.

Hoyte promised that the village of Point will participate in the Christmas festival again next year, and “as long as Nine Mornings continue”.

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