St Lucians living, working, strolling and ‘liming’ in Metro Atlanta and across the Diaspora have been asked to get off their lethargic posteriors and get involved in national affairs. The call came during the commemoration of St Lucia’s 33rd Independence.
The day started with the traditional 11am church service at Christ the Hope Roman Catholic Church. St Lucians who congregated at the service were given a standing ovation as Pastor Rev. Guyma Noel, the officiating pastor, welcomed the contingent. During the service several references were made to the island’s independence, an indication that it is now a calendar event on the church’s roster. Prior to the benediction, the congregation stood up in recognition of the event and to salute the island as the choir sang a soul touching and memorable version of St Lucia’s National Anthem. The awesome rendition, led by choir director, Steven Lee Denis provoked this reaction from the pastor: “Wow! Are all of you in the choir from St Lucia?” The audience laughed loudly, for it was obvious that they were not.
After the brethren had been sanctified, they met for the official part of the celebration. President of the St Lucia Association of Georgia, Denis Ishmael rose to his feet to welcome those present and read the full text of the Prime Minister’s address to the nation. In his address, Dr Kenny Anthony paid tribute to individuals past and present who played a pivotal role during the island’s attainment of independence some thirty-three years ago.
Then, in what can arguably be dubbed a parental scolding, Denis lamented what he described as a “lack of national pride” displayed by his fellow St Lucians. He boldly declared that St Lucians must get involved in patriotic events planned by the association and they should stop behaving as if only a few persons hold a monopoly on these nationalistic encounters.
Pressing his point home he lamented: “I called a certain lady to remind her of
today’s function and she responded, ‘I don’t go to these things!’ This languid attitude, argued the no-nonsense and straight-faced president, is not in-keeping with a sense of nationalism and pride in country.
As he spoke, his captive audience gazed with astonishment at his openness and frankness. You could have heard a pin drop. Then, he called on them to participate fully in the activities of the association, noting pointedly that it “belongs to all of us not to just some of us!”
Following the parental admonition it was time to accept goodwill and friendly greetings from the Jamaica, Grenada and Guyana associations of Georgia, respectively. It was all fun and entertainment for the rest of the afternoon as guests enjoyed local music for entertainment.