ANSAR Reunion in Canada deemed successful

Toronto Ontario, Canada – May 27th 2012 – We, collectively, the Steering Committee of ANSAR2012 have been overwhelmed and extremely happy by the appreciative comments that we have received since the close of the Reunion last Sunday evening.

The theme was – The Joy of togetherness. The theme was arrived at after an internal competition among the Steering Committee. The theme was not selected casually. It was the exact image and sense of occasion that we wanted to convey. In retrospect, the layout of the second floor of this upscale hotel, where all the events took place, lent itself to the theme. All of the major rooms that were utilised for the Ansar events were on the same floor and generally faced each other. These room were on the perimeter of an open quadrangular area so that moving from one event to the other was convenient and it meant an intermingling of those gathered in the open area.

I am convinced that all our people love meeting and communing with each other. And, if left to their own devices would do so. This communing was so evident over the ANSAR2012 weekend.

Ansar started on a very academic note. The opening invocation was brilliantly done by Mr. Vernon Duporte. Dr. Jeremiah Halliday, in his keynote address, expounded on the theme of ANSAR2012 – The Joy of Togetherness. He defined togetherness and went on to examine the theme from a personal and organizational view point. His twenty to twenty five oration covered all the human aspects of togetherness.

The Hon Sam Condor, Deputy Prime Minister of the Federation of St. Kitts-Nevis delivered a non-partisan address. He emphasized the role that those of us from Anguilla, Nevis and St. Kitts could and should play in the development of our home lands. He touched on the Beacon Heights project as a locally financed project that we all can be proud of.

The Saturday program was very well “emceed” by Ms Jacinda Liburd.

The Saturday luncheon program was emceed by Mr. Leroy Crosse. A lovely poem was read by Mrs. Avis Simmonds. Mr. Desmond Jones gave a lovely emotional rendition of – His eyes are on the sparrow. A presentation of the Beacon Heights Project was made by a visiting lead official for this project. As well, a video presentation and a running oral presentation was provided throughout the weekend.

The afternoon workshop that was so well put together and organized essentially by Mr. Leonard Leader with able assistance from his sub-committee, was a lesson in how to make a workshop effective. It was in the form of a panel discussion on “The relevance of Caribbean Associations”. The discussion was chaired by lawyer Mr. Leroy Crosse. The panel discussion was extremely informative and Mr. Leader who had the proceedings recorded by a court reporter will provide a report on this very current topic. Some 200 persons attended this panel discussion.

The Saturday night ball, in local parlance “was something else”. We sold in excess of 400 tickets and there were in excess of over 100 milling around in the open quadrangular area who did not have tickets. The music was supplied by Cris Collins of Sheffield England fame who had the place just rocking. Kris we are indebted to you not just for the music but also for the technical expertise you brought in setting up the electronic equipment breaking it down and moving it to different rooms.

The Sunday morning service was attended by over 500 persons. It was organized by Mr. Desmond Ottley and his sub-committee. Mr. Ottley was also responsible for the training of the joint St.Kitts-Nevis Choir and what a job he did. The choir was in excellent voice. Pastor Charles Leader delivered a very forceful and at times humourous sermon. His message touched many because he was able to make reference to many of our “back home” experiences and yet wrap his references in a biblical context.

The singing of the amen chorus at the end of the service was so harmonious and beautiful that it sounded as if itwas sung by God’s earthly angels.

The Sunday luncheon was chaired by Mr. Roy Maynard. Councillor Wong-Tam brought greetings from the local council. Incidentally she shared with us that she has visited most of the Eastern Caribbean Islands including St.Kitts and also scaled Mount Liamuiga. Awards were given to Ms Rhona Carty (Anguilla), Mr. Phillip Duncan (Nevis) and Mrs Jocelyn Lawrence (St.Kitts) for their involvement and contribution to their respective communities.

The youth group was headed by Loudanski Gumbs, the President of the St. Kitts Canadian Association, Toronto and the cultural group was headed by Ms Irene Wattley, the Vice President of the St.Kitts Canadian Association, Toronto. These two indefatigable persons were ably assisted by Mr.Juavon Herbert-Smith and Mr. Kressel and Ms Faye. We were and are indebted to Mr.Gumbs in particular and Mr Juavon Herbert Smith, Faye and Kressel (sorry I have forgotten the surnames of Faye and Kressel). Mr.Gumbs all most single “handedly” took delivery and return of all the electronic equipment that was rented. We can never repay that kind of commitment.

Mr. Constantine Greenaway, President of SKCAM (Montreal) and Randy Wyatt, the representative for KABA (New York) shared their singing talent with the audience and were very well received. Both gentlemen are extremely talented.

Ms Wattley was entirely responsible for putting the fashion show that was so well received and attracting the various dancers and singers. What can we say about Mr.Bruce Skerritt. He is a world class musician and band leader who provided accompaniment to all the singers. What can we say about Ellie Matt who arrived late on Saturday night and gave a calypso show that had everyone on their feet. We are so blessed by great local talent like Bobby J and Stax who gave stirring performances.

Ms Carmella Lawrence of Nevis who is well known in Nevis and St.Kitts and the Caribbean Region, what a voice she has, gave stirring renditions of gospel music. Thank you Ms Lawrence I hope that your career continues to florish.

Mr. Sydney Liburd was the emcee for the Fashion/Cultural. What a terrific job he did. He entertained with his stories, filled in the gaps between performances and just kept everyone entertained with his own brand of humour.

A project like Ansar is not possible without the assistance and commitment from many persons that formed the Steering Committee and sub committees. I am so grateful and thankful that so many gave unstintingly of their expertise and time voluntarily to make ANSAR2012 the success that it was.

In the foregoing, I have not attempted to provide a blow by blow account of all the proceedings and to name all that participated. It was done just to provide a flavour of what was a very enjoyable weekend.

On behalf of all who participated in putting ANSAR2012 together, I say a big thank you to all who travelled from near and far to make it the success that it was.

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