Roseau, Dominica – January 12, 2009……………….. Hundreds of Dominicans converged on the grounds of the State House in Roseau on Sunday, December 28, 2008 for the Reunion 2008 Thanksgiving Gala to bring to a close the last major event in the year long programme of activities marking Dominica’s 30th anniversary of independence.
Addresses at the event came from Minister for Trade, Industry, Consumer and Diaspora Affairs, Senator the Hon. John Colin McIntyre, Minister for Community Development, Culture, Gender Affairs and Information and Minister for Reunion, Hon. Loreen Bannis-Roberts and Executive Chairman of the National Reunion Committee, Mr. Hubert Charles.
Praise and Thanksgiving messages were delivered by representatives of the Evangelical Council of Churches, the Roman Catholic Church, the Christian Council of Churches, the Rastafarian Community, the Muslim Community and the Bahai Faith.
A high point of the Thanksgiving Gala was a tribute to Dominican cultural icon Mabel ‘Cissy’ Caudeiron. The citation was read by Chief Cultural Officer, Mr. Raymond Lawrence and a song in tribute to the Dominican legend was sung by Speaker of the House of Assembly, Hon. Alix Boyd-Knights.
The activity also featured performances by the Karina cultural group from the Carib Territory, the Pointe Michel Cultural Group, the St. Alphonsus Youth Choir, calypsonian Chester ‘Daddy Chess’ Letang among others. A spectacular fireworks display was a fitting end to an amazing reunion year.
The Reunion 2008 celebrations began on Tuesday, January 1, 2008 with Reunion Wive, with the symbolic arrival of the Reunion Torch on a Kalinago Flotilla of canoes at the entrance of the Roseau Cruise ship berth on the Dame Eugenia Charles Boulevard.
The theme for Reunion Year was celebrating the journey together and was informed by the three Rs: Renaissance, Renewal and Reconciliation.
The year long programme of activities for Reunion Year also included a number of major events including the Nature Island Literary Festival and Book Fair, the Reunion Development Conference, the National Exposition, Symposium on Cultural Industries, Panel Discussion on Village Feasts and Cultural Renewal, Reunion at the Cross, Reunion hikes, Reunion Independence Opening Gala, Reunion Independence Parade, the Reunion lecture series featuring distinguished Dominican professionals and intellectuals, the National Photographic Challenge, among other activities.