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Caribbean High Commissioners celebrate CARICOM day in London.

July 11, 2011

"The Caribbean In A Changing Global Environment" was the theme selected for a Public Lecture jointly hosted by the London School of Economics (LSE) and the Caribbean High Commissioners in London, on Tuesday July 5th 2011, at the Old Theatre LSE, to conclude celebrations marking CARICOM DAY 2011.

Caribbean High Commissioners celebrate CARICOM day in London.

Pro Vice-Chancellor & Principal of UWI, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, was warmly applauded by the packed Audience of members of the Caribbean Diaspora and Academia from all walks of life.

The Lecture, which was chaired by Professor Clem Seecharan, Head of Caribbean Studies at the London Metropolitan University introduced Sir Hilary as one of the Caribbean Greats. Sir Hilary emphasised the need for the Caribbean to remain “one Caribbean” and for all of us to embrace the professional opportunities available to us, which we should use to better our economies.

The Lecture followed an Interfaith Service held on Sunday 3rd July 2011 at St Peter’s Church, Eaton Square, London, officiated by Rev Rose Hudson Wilkin and attended by a large number of persons from the Caribbean Diaspora in the United Kingdom.

Acting CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Lolita Applewhaite, in her message sent to High Commissioners and delivered by The Dean of the Caribbean High Commissioners HE Laleshwar Singh of Guyana, reiterated the importance of the Caribbean Diaspora in nation-building:

“I wish to thank the CARICOM Caucus of High Commissioners in London for once again bringing together the nationals of the Caribbean Community and representatives of the United Kingdom to celebrate this important occasion. I extend my very best wishes to you all, as you continue to work together to further solidify the ties of friendship and co-operation that have traditionally bonded the people of the Caribbean Community with the people of the United Kingdom.

The Community knows it can count on the support of its Diaspora and that of the United Kingdom as we continue to work towards deepened regional integration and in building a Community for all”.

The service was a coming together of one people, one heritage, sharing different faiths and exposing their talent from dance, steel pan, poetry, choral presentations – which showed the diversified nature of the Caribbean People.

The Following Poem was specially written and delivered by Akima Paul of Grenada to celebrate CARICOM DAY.

Antillean Garland

The garland
Fastened on the neck of an Antillean ocean
Are festooned by threads, not chains.

Hail ye Grenada, Hail ye Trinidad, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent.
As we cautiously move our hands across
To trace ourselves
We know that
Tied together we cannot break

Hail ye Jamaica, Hail ye Antigua, Barbados, Dominica and Bahamas.

Joyful, sorrowful and glorious together
And now luminous
We usher a new springtime
Reciting through decades
Tracing our own resurrection
Through renewed devotion.

Hail ye Guyana, Hail ye Suriname, Belize, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Haiti.

Blessed are we
Blessed are our people among peoples
Inclining aid to each other
Hastening to help

A single people
A single circle of love.

- Akima Paul

The Caribbean High Commissioners expressed their appreciation to the sub-committee of Caribbean High Commission diplomats chaired by Mrs Joan Thomas-Edwards, Deputy High Commissioner for Jamaica, for their sterling efforts in undertaking the CARICOM Day Events 2011.

Photographs – CARICOM Day Interfaith Service London
Credit: Darrin des Vignes