Prime minister Roosevelt Skerrit, has declared Thursday September 19th a public holiday to allow those who wish to attend a memorial concert in observance of the two-year anniversary of the passage of Hurricane Maria, to do so.
“And I am calling on every one to join hands in solidarity at the Windsor Park Stadium as we reflect not just on what we went through, but also celebrate how far we have come,” Skerrit stated in a post on his Facebook page this morning.
The prime minister’s Facebook post comes after he initially announced during the launch of the Grand Bay DLP candidate on Sunday, that there would be a half-day holiday on Thursday to facilitate attendance at the event. However, he appears to have revised that position in this latest communication on the matter.
A press release from the Office of the Cabinet Secretary which was later issued to the media, states that the President of Dominica His Excellency Charles A Savarin has signed a proclamation declaring Thursday, September 19, 2019 a public holiday to be observed throughout the state. (S.R.O. 35 of 2019).
“Thursday, September 19, 2019 has been described as a day of celebration of hope and thanksgiving in observance of Dominica’s remarkable and extraordinary achievements post Hurricane Maria. A special praise and worship concert dubbed “And Can It Be” will be held at the Windsor Park Sports Stadium from 4:00 pm on Thursday, September 19,
2019,” the release states.
The concert features world renowned gospel artists Rev, Shirley Caesar and Kirk Carr as well as Dominica’s very own Ophelia Marie, Michele Henderson and Colton T. Performances are also expected from Edwin Yearwood, Sarah Ikumu, a mass choir and dance groups.
The release adds, “Hurricane Maria struck Dominica on Monday, September 18,  leaving us almost with nothing. Since then the country has seen a massive recovery programme which has including the continuous repairs to homes and the construction of new resilient homes for Dominicans, extensive dredging of rivers, and major improvements to infrastructure.”
The proclamation declaring a public holiday is made by the President under section 5 of the Public Holidays Act, (Chap. 19:10).
In his Facebook message, Prime Minister Skerrit contends, “While the hard work isn’t over, we must give thanks to the Lord for preserving our lives and granting the strength some of us didn’t know we had, to begin rebuilding 98% of this country.”