To this end, close to 200 Kittitians and Nevisians living in Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia, USA, congregated at the National Wesleyan Church in Hyattsville, Maryland, for a service of celebration and thanksgiving, as they pay tribute to their Caribbean homeland.
The large turnout of nationals was supported by the staff of the Embassy of St. Kitts and Nevis, which assisted in hosting the church service and luncheon that followed.
The service was attended by the country’s resident Ambassador to the United States, Jacinth Henry-Martin, who supported by other Caribbean diplomats from Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Jamaica, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Nationals from other Caribbean states were also present and these included Haiti, Guyana, Nigeria and Ghana. There were also well-wishers from the United States of America who attended the event.
The opening prayer was delivered by Anthony Martin (from “The Village”, St. Kitts), and he was followed by Jasmine Daniel, (President of the Nevis DC Nationals Association), who led in the reading of the Scripture from 2 Corinthians, 4: 7 – 12.
Following the Pastoral Welcome and church announcements, Lorraine Grey (of Basseterre, St. Kitts) delivered two very powerful poems, in which she raised the issue of the youth and the pressure they face in present times.
St. Kitts-Nevis Ambassador Jacinth Henry-Martin delivered a brief message on behalf of Prime Minister Denzil Douglas, and acknowledged the efforts of the newly formed St. Kitts and Nevis Nationals Association – DC, to promote the island.
During the address of Ambassador Henry-Martin, persons in attendance were able to see on the overhead projectors in the church, pictures of the map of St. Kitts-Nevis, important historical facts, information on the population and the make-up of the Federation, and also a map of the entire Eastern Caribbean, so people could put in proper perspective, the exact location of St. Kitts-Nevis, relative to surrounding islands. The vulnerability of the island to hurricanes was also highlighted on the screen.
Then the moment that had anxiously been awaited came up: the singing of the National Anthem. All the nationals in the congregation stepped up to the pulpit to sing the two verses of the National Anthem. They were led by the beautiful piano accompaniment from Dr. Taresa Lawrence (of Bird Rock, St. Kitts), which added quality to the musical presentation.
The sermon of the day, “Don’t Let the Devil Steal Your Joy,” was presented by Dr. Vince Liburd (of Market Street, Basseterre) after which the congregation moved to a nearby location for lunch, hosted by the St. Kitts and Nevis Nationals Association-DC, along with Ambassador Henry-Martin and the Embassy Staff.
Persons crowded into the nicely decorated banquet hall for a feast that had many persons stretching their arms, before leaving the venue. The mix of Caribbean Cuisine and drink had some persons very happy. Some people either ate some of the food for the first time, or tasted some of the local drinks for the first time (mauby, sorrel, tamarind and ginger beer).
Also on 22nd September 2012, the Nevis Nationals Association in Washington DC will be hosting an Awards Banquet at the Bethesda Marriott Hotel. It is expected that the event will also be well supported by residents and friends of the Federation.