Although they are far away from home, Dominicans in Boston did not exclude themselves from Dominica’s independence celebrations.
On November 10 about 250 Dominicans living in that American city gathered to celebrate the island’s 34th aniversary of independence from Britain.
Most of those who attended, were attired in Dominica’s national wear.
The celebration, organized and hosted by the Dominica Indepedence Association (DIA), was held after the actual anniversary date to accommodate those returning from similar events in other North American states and in Dominica.
Those present were treated to a video address by Chief Cultural Officer, Raymond Lawrence, which was produced by the Government Information Service in keeping with this year’s theme: “Partnering for further Progress and Development.”
The national anthem was led by Mamah Joseph and Master of Ceremonies was Wilma Bellot Thomas (DIA member), who kept the crowd laughing with her keen sense of humor.
After dinner, a recognition award from the City of Boston was presented to Cuthbert Joseph for his ‘outstanding efforts in promoting the culture of Dominica both in and outside his community.’
Entertainment was provided by Dominica Boston Cultural Performers, a group headed by Terri-Anne Olivaccé Marie and by Children Dancers (Seekers of Knowledge group). The event culminated with a fashion show of Wob Dwiyets made in Dominica, creole outfits designed and sewn by Yolanda Mason Shillingford and white spectacular wear created by Rita Labad.
One of DIA’s goals is to assist Dominica’s literacy program and the group has shipped barrels of books to the Roseau public library, Paix Bouche Primary School and most recently to Castle Bruce and Trafalgar Primary Schools. DIA looks forward to partnering with other schools in the future.
Members of DIA are: Theo Drigo (Castle Bruce), Martha George (Paix Bouche), Rita Labad (Goodwill), Shakespeare Christmas (Castle Bruce), Yolanda Mason Shillingford (Goodwill), Edmund Tavernier (Tete Morne) and Wilma Bellot Thomas (Pottersville).
See photos below from the event.