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Villagers reconnect on IWD 2012

Villagers reconnect  on IWD 2012

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In Earlene Horne Square on the night of March 8, 2012, the International Women’s Day was celebrated with a women- powered rally themed Connecting Women to Heritage, Inspiring New Futures.{{more}}

The women of Diamond unlocked the vaults of three inspirational women: Mother Sanka, Mother Priam, and Laura Mac. The memories of their lives flooded Earlene Horne Square as women of the village presented their lives.

Mother Sanka was a spiritual Baptist defender of the faith when 100 years ago in 1912 the British Colonial Assembly in St Vincent “banned” the Shaker Movement. Mother Sanka did not follow the law; she did not budge in her belief. Her praise house in the village heights kept on its worship praise and rituals, strengthening the souls of village adherents. In fact, the police report – as documented by Dr Adrian Fraser – noted that of the forty banned prayer houses on St Vincent, the Diamond Church was one of four that defied law and stood faithfully by Jesus. She left a legacy of civil disobedience for other men and women to follow. Her life was presented by Joan Ryan.

Mother Gladys Priam was a Diamond Woman of Faith. Although her education was cut short prematurely due to challenging times, she nevertheless continued her biblical studies. This woman of Diamond gave life her full attention and spared no effort in preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She was a renowned missioner in Kingstown, where the late Lord Hawk documented her preaching with the song “Right in the Slum.” She missioned in Chateaubelair and was well-known for walking to Rose Hall at night sharing her message. Mother Priam was a rare gift to the nation, from the bowels of Diamond Village. Her life was presented by Annie Campbell.

Laura McDowall was a dedicated customer service shopkeeper during the 20th century estate society. Descended from deep roots in the Diamond family tree, “Laura Mac” was a household name in Central Windward, although she never operated a shop which she owned. She was generous, but also astute, firm and honest. A woman of strong Christian faith in the Methodist tradition, Laura Mac managed ‘Sans Souci Shop’ on the Windward highway for generations, a black working woman with business management skills which others today try to take further. Her life was presented by Peggy McMillan.

Their memories were celebrated with a singspiration of traditional hymns led by local women and drum playing performed by talented girls and young women. The accomplishments of these women have marked them as heroes and legends that provide guidance to the next generation of women leaders. They also reveal lives that were caring, supportive, and accepting. Annie Campbell recalled the advice and comfort given to her by Mother Priam in a word of prayer. And, Peggy McMillan discussed the power of listening and small sharing that a local shopkeeper can have on individual lives. These women built ties of sisterhood and helped to raise a community of believers. They encapsulated the power of women- a power that is both resilient, hard-working and maternal. For International Women’s Day, the Community Heritage Organisation hoped to reveal that power to inspire other women to hold on to their sisterhood and heritage and make their mark this generation.

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