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Culture celebrated at Caricom Day event in London

CARIBBEAN HIGH commissioners and members of staff of the various missions to the UK, celebrated Caricom Day at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) headquarters on the Embankment, near Westminster, central London on Thursday, July 4.

The celebrations included a ceremonial handing over of the Caricom standard and chairmanship from the outgoing St Kitts and Nevis to the incoming St Lucia, which was accepted by high commissioner Guy Mayers, a welcome reception attended by Commonwealth secretary general Baroness Patricia Scotland and an exhibition of stalls displaying food and drink products from the region.

Following a welcome address by Trinidad and Tobago’s high commissioner Mr Orville London, the afternoon’s proceedings were blessed with prayers by Mr Seth George Ramocan, Jamaica’s high commissioner to the UK.

PICTURED: Commonwealth secretary general Baroness Patricia Scotland

Baroness Patricia Scotland then gave the keynote address in which, among other things, she praised the efforts being made by the Caricom states to engage in international discussions around trade and finance, maritime issues and climate change.

She said: “I want to us to remember the power and the vitality that the Caricom members bring to the world. It is not a coincidence that per capita the Caribbean has more Nobel Prize winners than any other region in the world. When we also look at sporting activities in the Commonwealth, per capita the Caribbean region has come first, second, third, fourth and even fifth in some cases. There is much for us to be proud of and celebrate on this Caricom Day and much for us to look forward to from the region.”

In reading the Caricom Day message from Caricom secretary general ambassador Irwin LaRocque, St Vincent and the Grenadines high commissioner Mr Cenio Lewis said: “Caricom is a region of many nationalities, races, faiths and different cultural heritages that have stayed together and have grown closer into a community. It is an example that is valuable to the world which often goes unnoticed in what it has achieved."

CELEBRATION: High commission staff members on the St Lucia stall

After the reading of a Caricom Day Poem written by high commissioner of St Kitts and Nevis Dr Kevin Isaac, a cultural programme followed which included a song entitled Dance to the Junkanoo by Wilfred Adderley from the Bahamas high commission and a dance presentation by the Heritage Roadshow, which comprised youngsters carrying Antigua and Barbuda heritage.

Guests then explored the many stalls in the Caricom Exhibition, which also included rum tasting demonstrations.

TASTE OF THE CARIBBEAN: A visitor samples food at the Barbados stall

PICTURED: High commissioners Guy Mayers, left, and Cenio Lewis

SHOWCASE: The Trinidad and Tobago stall had a lot on display

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