PRESS RELEASE: Seven extraordinary BVIslanders were honoured at the launch of the Virgin Islands Communal Association (VICA) and Awards Gala Ceremony on Saturday, 16th November 2019 at the Moorings Marina Restaurant under theme Restoring Virgin Islands Cultural Heritage and Pride.
The honorees — Mr Conrad Maduro, Mrs Dinis Chalwell, Mr Algernon Chalwell (the Chalwell Duo Team), Ms Janice A Stoutt, Mr Walford ‘Bennu’ Farrington, Mrs Carmen Hodge-Venzen, and Mr Edwin Forbes — were all recognised for their extraordinary commitment and community contributions over the years.
An additional highlight was the historic Cultural Iconic Baton passing from stalwart Cultural Icon, Honourable Eileene L Parsons to local cultural playwright, storyteller and poet, Ms Janice A Stoutt.
President of the VICA, Ms Melissa Potter warmly welcomed the guests and delivered a stirring speech highlighting the need for residents of the Virgin Islands to work together for a better BVI.
She said: “The Virgin Islands Communal Association (VICA) is about bringing us, as a people together. As family and friends, we should all embrace and preserve our cultural heritage.”
Amongst the attendees were Premier of the Virgin Islands and Representative for the First Electoral District, Honourable Andrew A Fahie, Deputy Premier of the Virgin Islands, Minister for Immigration and Labour and Representative for the Ninth Electoral District, Honourable Vincent Wheatley; Minister for Health and Social Development and Territorial At-Large Representative, Honourable Carvin Malone; Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly and Territorial At-Large Representative, Honourable Neville Smith; Representative for the Sixth Electoral District, Honourable Alvera Maduro-Caines; Representative for the Second Electoral District Honourable Melvin M. Turnbull; former Premier of the Virgin Islands, Dr the Honourable D Orlando Smith, OBE; Deputy Governor of the Virgin Islands, Mr. David Archer Jr; and President of the League Of BVIslanders in St Thomas, Mr Moleto Smith.
The Virgin Islands Communal Association (VICA), a non-profit civic organisation, was founded by a group of concerned Virgin Islanders.
The main objectives of the organisation are to promote and facilitate the preservation of native traditions, heritage, customs, history and social identity, through cultural and educational-based activities that will be undertaken throughout the territory.
To promote VICA’s objectives, some of the activities that is proposed include a traditional ole time BVI style Christmas; genealogy workshops; community meetings; historical sights restoration; a Cultural Experience Midnight Cruise; and an Annual Fun Day – Island hopping tour of the Virgin Islands.
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