Hon. Marlon Penn, Eighth District Representative presenting Moviene Fahie with a plaque last evening, August 6, 2012.
Residents were warned to guard against anything that might be used to lure them into some form of slavery, whether mental or economic. Speaking at the opening of the Moviene Fahie Festiville in East End/Long Look last evening, August 6, Hon. Dr. Kedrick Pickering, Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour said as a people, they must continue to remind themselves of the true meaning of the Emancipation celebrations.
He said as they revel and gyrate, they must constantly remember that the land they stand on was once a plantation.
"Those of us who have the responsibilities for leadership have to ensure that we never repeat from whence we came. Continually tell ourselves that those of us who forget our past are condemned to repeat it and we don't ever want to go back in that direction," he stated.
Hon. Pickering, who is also the Seventh District Representative, warned that slavery will not come in a physical form and if they fool around, it will come to them completely disguised.
"If we make the mistake of selling out our land; if we make the mistake of selling out our real estate; and if we make the mistake of giving up ownership of this beautiful country, that is when we will become enslaved."
He added, "And it will come disguised in the form of money in which people from other places and other cultures will invite us to sell what we own to the highest bidder, and it will look good. They will offer you prizes that you will find it difficult to refuse, but we must continually remind ourselves that there is a form of slavery that could circumvent us...or take over us so to speak."
The Deputy Premier reemphasized that they must continue to remind themselves that the celebrations are for specific purpose and reason, and not slip as they move forward.
"We celebrate the Emancipation of our former slavery that none of us will ever want to see come again. But continually remind ourselves that if we fall asleep, if we slip up, if we make mistakes, we could very well end up in a different form of slavery; whether you call it mental slavery, economic slavery, whatever. But it is staring us in the face if we don't continuously remind ourselves," Hon. Pickering warned during last evening's opening.
Meanwhile, speaking about cultural icon Moviene Fahie, in whose name the village was named, Hon. Pickering said his former schoolmate is well deserving of the honour.
"You [Fahie] have been constant like night and day when it comes to festival; you deserve it. You are always at the head of the parade...To keep our culture alive," he said.
Hon. Marlon Penn, Eighth District Representative who presented Fahie with a plaque of appreciation, said she is one of the Territory's cultural icons and encouraged her to continue her great work, including in the area of farming.
"As far as I can remember, I have seen her involved in cultural activities...She always puts on a good show for us during festival parade...I want to encourage her to continue her cultural displays and teach us about culture...She is also a great cultural icon with her farming...She works hard to make farming part of our culture and keep it alive," Hon. Penn stated.
Also speaking at the event was Hon. Myron Walwyn, Education and Culture Minister who stated that naming the different villages in honour of cultural icons shows that as a people, they are growing as a nation.
He too echoed the views of the other speakers that Fahie has made significant contributions to the culture of the Territory.
"She [Fahie] goes there [parade] all by herself to show that she wants to make a contribution to keeping the culture alive in the Territory...She does not speak about farming in a financial way, she speaks about it in the sense of feeding the country; she is someone that loves the Virgin Islands; she is someone who has walked the walk," the Minister stated.
Hon. Dr. Kedrick Pickering, Deputy Premier and Seventh District Representative last evening, August 6, 2012.
In response, Fahie thanked everyone for the honour bestowed on her and for rendering continued support.
"I love the BVI culture and its people. It's no place like home...I am honoured and happy to be recognized for the thing I love so much...Thank you...Thanks to the Government and people who encouraged me and also those who love to see the woman with the donkey...Please support the booths," she urged.
The night's entertainment included Spectrum Band and WCK. Tonight, August 7, international and local artistes will take to the stage including Shine-I, Heritage, Mr. Vegas and his 'Bruk It Down' dancers, and soca artistes out of St. Vincent, St. Lucia, Dominica, Trinidad and Grenada.
Tomorrow, August 8, it will be the Rise and Shine Tramp followed by the August Wednesday Fun Day and Parade; and later in the evening Razo Blades, Sweet-Ta-Band and Pumpa and De Unit Band.