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August 12th, 2016

Tobago Heritage Festival 2016

 

Address delivered by
Ms. Natasha Davis – Assistant Vice President, Marketing and Communications
Canaan/Bon Accord
Tobago Heritage
“It takes a Village to raise a child”
August 11th, 2016

Honourable Orville London, Chief Secretary, Tobago House of Assembly
Councilor Dr. Denise Tsoiafatt-Angus, Secretary of Community Development and Culture
Mr. Wendell Berkley, Chairman of Tobago Heritage Committee
Mr. Wade David, Canaan/Bon-Accord Community President

Tobago Heritage Festival Committee
Members of the Canaan/Bon Accord Village Council
Invited Guests
Media Representative
Ladies and Gentleman

It gives me great pleasure to once again be sharing such a special and festive occasion with you. Every year we look forward to the Tobago Heritage Festival. It is the highpoint in the Tobago activities calendar and it is a joy to experience the rejuvenating spirit and landscape of the island, still so beautiful and awe-inspiring. For me, Canaan/ Bon Accord, is my second home; my great grandmother, great aunts, uncles, grandmother and my many, many cousins ensured that I was shaped by the unique culture of THIS community, where they still stress the importance of life-long partnerships with your neighbours, respect and acknowledgment of the wisdom of the elders and GOOD, honest hard work. I’m glad to see that Tobagonian hospitality and friendliness still permeates this slice of heaven.

We are here tonight to celebrate the festival and enjoy the theatrical presentation; a testament that culture and tradition can be preserved. Tobago has done an incredible job safeguarding its heritage and passing down its teachings from generation to generation.

You continue to emulate the importance of coming together as a unit to guide your children to better their chances of success as reflected in the theme: “It takes a village to raise a child – A vision into the past.” We at the Unit Trust Corporation, believe in this concept as part of our core value system in the Corporation and have seen the fruits of community partnerships. Just yesterday, three exceptional students from Tobago were awarded SEA scholarships, an initiative geared towards assisting brilliant youths in need of financial support. This year’s theme for the SEA program was “Together We Aspire, Together We Achieve” a reminder on the importance of community support in elevating scholars to succeed in their academic pursuits.

While parents are traditionally labeled as the primary care-giver, and the driving force in a child’s life, surrounding relationships in the community play a big role when raising a child, by promoting direct, truthful and sometimes difficult conversations, by nurturing unity and cooperation, all of which can aid our young minds in navigating murky waters while providing them with the appropriate guidance to make better life choices.

It is important we continue to value family, respect of others, honesty and compassion; traditional values many of us have been raised on, values and morals our country was built on.

As a community, it is important to make a concerted effort to reinforce and encourage our youth to walk the path of discipline, focus and channel energies into positive pursuits.

Every year that we participate in the Tobago Heritage Festival, we are continually enthused and enthralled by the level of involvement and sense of community that we witness from the people of Tobago.

At Unit Trust, we strive to hold true to our commitment to community development. We vow to support programs that promote healthy development within our nation’s youth, and will continue our efforts to stay connected to the culture and the people of our sister isle.

I would like to thank the Festivals Committee and the village of Canaan/Bon Accord for putting on such a spectacular event. Not only does it preserve our cultural footprint but it also brings our communities together. A job well done!
I wish everyone an enjoyable and blessed evening.

Thank you.