Sep 29, 2020 08:47AM ● By T. C. Phipps-Benjamin and Teresa Browne-Parris
In celebration of St. Kitts and Nevis’ 37th Anniversary of Independence, the St. Kitts Nevis Tri-State Association, based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania hosted the first ever Independence Virtual Celebration on Sunday September 27, 2020.
The event provided a platform for nationals abroad to engage the Federation’s Prime Minister, the Hon. Timothy S. Harris, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon. Shawn K. Richards and Foreign Minister and Premier of Nevis, the Hon. Mark A. G. Brantley. Ambassador Sydney Osborne, Accredited to CARICOM, ACS, OECS and the Diaspora Unit, and other distinguished Ambassadors were also in attendance, as well as former Premier of Nevis, the Hon. Vance Amory.
The Prime Minister and his team shared their plans for post Covid-19 St. Kitts and Nevis and then listened to the various concerns of nationals. Of great interest is the plan for Mapping the Diaspora and producing a quarterly Diaspora Digest.
Almost 200 Participants logged onto the virtual event that included nationals based in Europe, North America, Canada, Asia and even in St. Kitts and Nevis.
One of the features of the event was a roll call segment which allowed heads of organizations to introduce their organization and the work they do at home and abroad.
Musical entertainment was provided by Abena Amory and musicians Bobby Hobson and Chet Samuel. The National Anthem was performed by Ms. Quandasha “Mzs Quanny” Huggins, and SilkyDan, the event DJ.
President of the St. Kitts Nevis Tri-State Association Mrs. Teresa Browne-Parris expressed how honored she and the members of her organization are to have hosted the historic event. She sang praises to ALL who assisted in making the event a reality, including Mrs. Melvina Chapman-Audain, Founder and President of the Caribbean Cultural Coaliton of Houston Texas, Ambassador Thelma Phillip-Browne, organization heads and their members, as well as nationals across the globe.
Mrs. Browne-Parris was especially pleased to be part of an initiative that sought to bring nationals of St. Kitts and Nevis together at a time when the world has had to adopt social distancing protocols, limiting many in person events.
Stewart Williams, a member of St. Kitts Nevis Tri-State Association and Founder and President of the Sandy Point Benovelent Society of New York, was an exceptional host who ensured the event was seamlessly executed, with the technical support of Peter Bryan of Florida, who hails from Barbados.
The first ever Virtual Independence event demonstrated the spirit of the Diaspora and the depth of opportunity that exists to capitalize on the expertise, experience and resources of nationals who reside abroad.
Mrs. Browne-Parris and the members of the Tri-State Association deserve high commendations for hosting the virtual event. Nationals the world over continue to demonstrate their love for St. Kitts and Nevis and many stayed on the Zoom call well past 7 pm to connect, reconnect and plan for the next Diaspora Virtual event in 2021.