As activities observing Dominica’s 45th anniversary of independence came to a close, the Division of Culture celebrated heritage day 2023 in the village of Woodford Hill.
The event was attended by President of Dominica, Her Excellency, Sylvanie Burton, Prime Minister Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit, and other cabinet members.
The day started with a church service held at the Woodford Hill school grounds followed by an exhibition and cultural gala.
This year Mr. Johnny Skerrit was honored as the cultural gala for his contribution to the promotion and preservation of Dominica’s culture through dance.
“Johnny’s Skerrit legacy is not about dance and music; it’s a story of unwavering dedication, passion and a deep love for his homeland. His life journey stands as an inspiration to future generations, reminding them of the importance of preserving and cherishing their cultural heritage. The Cultural Division and the Independence Committee join with the Heritage Day Committee in congratulating Mr. Johnny Skerrit today November 5th 2023 on being awarded the distinguish title of Cultural Elder 2023. Best wishes to you Mr. Skerrit and may God richly bless you,” Mr Earlson Matthew stated.
Member of Parliament for the Wesley Constituency, Hon. Fidel Grant says heritage day gives residents of his constituency a chance to display their talents and their businesses.
“I believe we met our goal today. We showcased the rich culture of Woodford Hill; we showcased our many talents and the warmth and love that the people of Woodford Hill have to share with Dominica. We also displayed many of the homegrown businesses that you would have seen here today. But it brings me great joy that in a short space of time that a group of young dedicated persons all from the community of Woodford Hill, came together, put all differences aside and we are now here today because of this and we are witnessing the staging of Heritage Day here in Woodford Hill,” Hon. Grant stated.
Minister for Culture, Hon. Gretta Roberts says heritage day is a day to celebrate all that is uniquely Dominica.
“Today we celebrate everything that makes us unique as Dominicans. Our folk songs, dance, storytelling, our local cuisine, arts and craft and dress and importantly the beauty and spirit of our people. Heritage Day is one of the more significant events on our independence calendar because it brings together in one place, on one stage the best of Dominican culture, reminding us of the rich and storied history that has shaped us as a people of strength and dignity,” Minister Roberts stated.
The Minister for Culture encouraged all citizens to embrace their patriotism throughout the year to build a prosperous Dominica.
“Dominica’s culture and our expression of our traditions are unmatched anywhere else in the region. As a people, we must be very proud of this and do all we can to preserve these valuable features of our nationhood. I believe that it is important to maintain the love for country that we see exhibited every independence season. We must carry this feeling throughout the year because the admiration and commitment to Dominica that is on display every October into November can inspire us to build the prosperous country we are all working towards,” Minister Roberts added.
Prime Minister Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit congratulated the Division of Culture for hosting a successful independence season.
“I really want to say congratulations to all of you for what we have termed to be a very successful and very enjoyable 45th anniversary of our independence. And as has been said there is no other country in the world that celebrates their independence like Dominica. Our entire country is always on showcase with a sense of pride and dignity as a nation,” Prime Minister Skerrit stated.
He says the involvement of the youth means that Dominica’s culture will thrive for generations to come.
“Woodford Hill has always had a very rich culture and promotion of the cultural art from, and so there is no better place in Dominica that we could have hosted Heritage Day other than Woodford Hill. And I must say they have not let us down, they have showed us that this culture is very strong, and we can see it in the young people, we can see it in the senior citizens so it is really obvious that we have many more generations of enjoying our cultural heritage here in Woodford Hill and Dominica by extension,” Prime Minister Skerrit added.