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Cultural experience with Guadeloupe and Montserrat masquerades

 

20150321_160119

2015-03-21 16.06 Cultural Experience with Masquerades from Guadeloupe and Montserrat held at the Montserrat Cultural Centre, Little Bay Saturday, 21 March 2015

  The Masques de Vieux Fort or Masquerades from Vieux Fort, Guadeloupe have long wanted to meet the masquerades in Montserrat. In 2009, the University of the West Indies, Open Campus Head of Site, Miss Gracelyn Cassell, was asked by the group CORECA (Contact, Research, Caribbean) to organise a contingent from Montserrat to participate in Caribbean Week in Guadeloupe. Under the theme “So Near and Yet so Far” Montserrat was to be the focus for Caribbean Week in 2009.

The contingent included the then Chief Minister, the Honourable Reuben Meade, Dr. Vernie Clarice Barnes, Dr. Roy Lee, and Mrs. Patricia Ryan. During the Cultural Evening (November 25, 2009), Mrs Ryan presented the results of research on the Masquerade in Montserrat and a video of the Emerald Shamioles was shown. To the delight of the audience, Dr. Barnes donned a masquerade costume that Mrs. Ryan had planned to put on display and provided a live demonstration.

That was when the conversation started about Masquerades from either island coming together in a cultural exchange. Each year discussions were held about affordable transportation between Montserrat and Guadeloupe. Two Christmases in succession, the Masques de Vieux Fort had discussions with Ferry Operators in Guadeloupe about wanting to get to Montserrat for the festivities but their numbers were too small. An attempt was made for them to be in Montserrat for the 2015 St. Patrick’s celebrations but that was not to be. It finally all came to pass on Saturday, 21 March 2015.

Initially, a group of 90 persons including the Masques de Vieux Fort and their relatives was expected but some 30 of these were told that they needed to have passports rather than the Identity Cards which they use for travel in the European Union.

Also expected was another group of 10 persons coordinated by former CORECA member, Miss Guenaêlle ‘Chichi’ Guengant, who in 2009 came to Montserrat with two other colleagues and gathered information for a big exhibition on Montserrat. As part of the Caribbean Week activities, this Exhibition was mounted at the Media Library, in Basseterre Guadeloupe, where Chichi still works. Unfortunately, 5 members of that group were unable to get tickets on Saturday’s Ferry.

As a result of this, members of Le Cercle Français and the Alliouagana Festival of the Word, (both initiatives linked to the University of the West Indies Open Campus) welcomed a joint group of 64 rather than the originally expected group of 100 strong. The programme of activities for the visitors included a tour of the island, including a stop at the Montserrat National Trust where they viewed the garden, gift shop, and exhibition and watched a 15 minute video presentation on the volcano with Dr. Karen Pascal from the Montserrat Volcano Observatory on hand to answer questions. They were treated to the National Dish and Miss Montserrat, Sharissa Ryan was very much in demand for photographic shoots.

After the island tour, the visitors were taken to the Cultural Centre in the afternoon to further experience the local cuisine and cultural experience in which Montserratians and other visitors were invited to share.  They were also provided with an opportunity to buy Souvenirs from various vendors who set up stalls at the Cultural Centre.

Dining music was provided by the Rude Boyz String Band, and three groups of Masquerades from Montserrat, the Montserrat Shamioles, the  St. John’s Village Masquerades and the Ladies of Alliouagana Masquerades performed on stage and made Montserrat proud. The Masques de Vieux Fort went on stage last and at the very end all four groups were on stage in spectaculour colour.

The street performance that was expected to take the guests from the Cultural Centre to the Little Bay Port had to be cancelled since the Ferry was anchored off Port Plymouth.

But Montserratians and visitors alike, including visitors who were still on island after the St. Patricks’ celebrations, were thrilled with the cultural performance and many messages have been received to this effect. The visitors feel that the Plymouth landing was an extra boon and they even noticed that it was an emotional experience for even Montserratians who had gone to meet the ferry who had not been in Plymouth since 1995!

Sincere thanks are extended to Radio Montserrat, the Department of Culture, the Montserrat National Trust, the vendors, the bus drivers, tour guides, translators, caterers, the String Band, Masquerades and all volunteers, including the staff at the UWI Open Campus who worked tirelessly to make this experience a memorable one for all.

Gracelyn Cassell

March 22, 2015

For more pic visit Our Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152858520720852.1073742023.203080105851&type=3&uploaded=11

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

 

20150321_160119

2015-03-21 16.06 Cultural Experience with Masquerades from Guadeloupe and Montserrat held at the Montserrat Cultural Centre, Little Bay Saturday, 21 March 2015

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  The Masques de Vieux Fort or Masquerades from Vieux Fort, Guadeloupe have long wanted to meet the masquerades in Montserrat. In 2009, the University of the West Indies, Open Campus Head of Site, Miss Gracelyn Cassell, was asked by the group CORECA (Contact, Research, Caribbean) to organise a contingent from Montserrat to participate in Caribbean Week in Guadeloupe. Under the theme “So Near and Yet so Far” Montserrat was to be the focus for Caribbean Week in 2009.

The contingent included the then Chief Minister, the Honourable Reuben Meade, Dr. Vernie Clarice Barnes, Dr. Roy Lee, and Mrs. Patricia Ryan. During the Cultural Evening (November 25, 2009), Mrs Ryan presented the results of research on the Masquerade in Montserrat and a video of the Emerald Shamioles was shown. To the delight of the audience, Dr. Barnes donned a masquerade costume that Mrs. Ryan had planned to put on display and provided a live demonstration.

That was when the conversation started about Masquerades from either island coming together in a cultural exchange. Each year discussions were held about affordable transportation between Montserrat and Guadeloupe. Two Christmases in succession, the Masques de Vieux Fort had discussions with Ferry Operators in Guadeloupe about wanting to get to Montserrat for the festivities but their numbers were too small. An attempt was made for them to be in Montserrat for the 2015 St. Patrick’s celebrations but that was not to be. It finally all came to pass on Saturday, 21 March 2015.

Initially, a group of 90 persons including the Masques de Vieux Fort and their relatives was expected but some 30 of these were told that they needed to have passports rather than the Identity Cards which they use for travel in the European Union.

Also expected was another group of 10 persons coordinated by former CORECA member, Miss Guenaêlle ‘Chichi’ Guengant, who in 2009 came to Montserrat with two other colleagues and gathered information for a big exhibition on Montserrat. As part of the Caribbean Week activities, this Exhibition was mounted at the Media Library, in Basseterre Guadeloupe, where Chichi still works. Unfortunately, 5 members of that group were unable to get tickets on Saturday’s Ferry.

As a result of this, members of Le Cercle Français and the Alliouagana Festival of the Word, (both initiatives linked to the University of the West Indies Open Campus) welcomed a joint group of 64 rather than the originally expected group of 100 strong. The programme of activities for the visitors included a tour of the island, including a stop at the Montserrat National Trust where they viewed the garden, gift shop, and exhibition and watched a 15 minute video presentation on the volcano with Dr. Karen Pascal from the Montserrat Volcano Observatory on hand to answer questions. They were treated to the National Dish and Miss Montserrat, Sharissa Ryan was very much in demand for photographic shoots.

After the island tour, the visitors were taken to the Cultural Centre in the afternoon to further experience the local cuisine and cultural experience in which Montserratians and other visitors were invited to share.  They were also provided with an opportunity to buy Souvenirs from various vendors who set up stalls at the Cultural Centre.

Dining music was provided by the Rude Boyz String Band, and three groups of Masquerades from Montserrat, the Montserrat Shamioles, the  St. John’s Village Masquerades and the Ladies of Alliouagana Masquerades performed on stage and made Montserrat proud. The Masques de Vieux Fort went on stage last and at the very end all four groups were on stage in spectaculour colour.

The street performance that was expected to take the guests from the Cultural Centre to the Little Bay Port had to be cancelled since the Ferry was anchored off Port Plymouth.

But Montserratians and visitors alike, including visitors who were still on island after the St. Patricks’ celebrations, were thrilled with the cultural performance and many messages have been received to this effect. The visitors feel that the Plymouth landing was an extra boon and they even noticed that it was an emotional experience for even Montserratians who had gone to meet the ferry who had not been in Plymouth since 1995!

Sincere thanks are extended to Radio Montserrat, the Department of Culture, the Montserrat National Trust, the vendors, the bus drivers, tour guides, translators, caterers, the String Band, Masquerades and all volunteers, including the staff at the UWI Open Campus who worked tirelessly to make this experience a memorable one for all.

Gracelyn Cassell

March 22, 2015

For more pic visit Our Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152858520720852.1073742023.203080105851&type=3&uploaded=11