St. Lucia’s National Day celebrated in the UK

By Peter Colins

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Justin Moore and with his wife along with the Acting High Commissioner and staff of the High Commission (in white and blue, respectively).

The St. Lucian community in the UK marked the start of their country’s National Day celebrations with a special flag-raising ceremony held in Newham, London, today.

More than 100 people from all over London gathered at the Newham Town Hall in the East of the British capital before midday to celebrate and mark the ‘nationhood of the nation.’

Prominent community activist and local magistrate Justin Moore, who organizes the annual event, said that he is happy to host what has now become a “must attend” ceremony of the year.

“I am happy to present this important event to the community here in London,” said Moore, who migrated to England in the 1960s from Soufriere. “It’s an important day for our community here in this country and I am grateful for the support we have received today as plenty of people have come to support this event. This event is proving to be successful and the audience has always been looking forward to this special day.”

Other participants at the memorable flag-raising ceremony included St. Lucia’s Deputy High Commissioner to London, Leonne Theodore-John, St. Lucian educationist Dr. Ben Charles, and the Mayoress of Newham and her deputy.

Moore, a pillar and influential member of the East London borough, said he was extremely grateful for today’s turnout. He singled out his appreciation to the mayor and her deputy who attended and spoke at the event.

He said: “The Mayoress and her deputy joined in the celebration and will be looking forward to seeing more of this event to come. They made a meaningful contribution to the discussion that was had and for that I am thankful. They were impressed with the flag-raising.”

The qualified social worker who recently received an award from the Queen for his outstanding service and achievements said that he would also like to thank the acting High Commissioner Leonne Theodore-John for her input.

“She spoke so passionately about the event and reached out to the community here in the UK,” said Moore, who credits his wife Theresa for helping him put this event together. “She has been very instrumental indeed.”

Moore maintains that he has not given up on his mother country of St. Lucia and reveals that he would like to see this important ceremony carry on for many more years to come. He expressed his appreciation for the eloquent sermon given by Dr. Ben Charles about the origins of National Day.

“Dr. Charles spoke very well and explained what this day is all about. He educated us about the history of December 13. Something a lot of us did not know. He explained the facts surrounding this day. He told us why Christopher Columbus did not discover St. Lucia as there were people already living on the island.”

Moore, who is already planning for next year’s event, said that community has demonstrated their support by attending the ceremony.

“It has become an educational event as the history of St. Lucia’s National Day was being fully discussed and explained,” Moore added. “This event was successful as a large number of people attended. They have shown commitment which was highlighted through their participation. Apart from celebrating our National Day, we were able to socialize with each other and to keep up with what is happening in our communities both here in the UK and at home in our country. I am eternally grateful for that.”

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  1. Yes, I agree that both commenters above need to learn of their own history before thinking to "teach" it to their people:

    First, Columbus never landed in St. Lucia, he never claimed to have done nor so in his letters nor any other chronicler of his time wrote that he discovered or set foot in the island, period. Even your government's own website acknowledges this.

    Second, look at your own National Holiday (13th of December)- Columbus and other navigators of his time had the habit of naming places after the saints and martyrs whose holiday marked the day. He was never near St. Lucia in December, if anything June of 1502 when he sailed near Martinique. By December he was already navigating towards Jamaica from Honduras, he didn't need to sail east.

    Third, regarding that early history you wish to "claim", it is not yours- it is of the people that existed back in that epoch, even before the Europeans arrived, and even before yourselves were born. It is more the history of the Kalinago, the "red" Caribs as you call them. I understand there might be a family or two that live in your island you are talking about their ancestors.

    Finally, before accusing wanting to blame Columbus as your custom look at your own island: the names of your cities and towns, your own patois. That should tell you which Europeans are the ones you wish to reckon with.

    Pointing fingers and talking bad about others that have no guilt shows not only the level of "humanity" and progress that you possess, it show how blind you really are to your own selves- probably more blind than St. Lucy herself. Maybe St. Lucia is really not a good vacation destination for those that want to look forward in life.

    • As-A-Matter-Of- fact

      You are one bitter and twisted individual writing such utter bunk. What has St Lucia done to you to write about her so bitterly? You write like someone who has left the country for a while and no longer want to associate yourself with the country and its people.
      Words like "Your cities and towns, your patois" gives the impression that you are local and by that I mean St Lucian. You write about this Scumbag Columbus like you were there. This is a man who left Europe with three ships and loads of prisoners who unleashed suffering unto the people of the Caribbean. The intentions of the Europeans were not honourable at all.
      Neither you nor I were around when all this was unfolding and you are in no position to say anything other than what was written and passed on over the years. Some of this could be true and some probably not. No one knows unless they were present and is still alive today- Very unlikely.

      Anyone can write anything and pass it on. The trouble with these historians is that they rattle on about the past like they were there when all this was going on. History is speculative. No one knows for sure what transpired or how it transpired. The Beautiful islands of the Caribbean were settled long before Columbus and other whites came to it's shore. We have a history and way of life that is as old as any other on this planet. People have been travelling all over our planet from time immemorial. Please don't spew your bile over us in the Caribbean. Like my dad would say 'if you have nothing good to say then say nothing' I Salute National Day and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Justin Moore for keeping this momentous occasion every year. You could have at least wished St Lucia Happy national day instead of writing such utter bunk. Big Up St Lucia the Caribbean and it's wonderful people. I Love You and you will always be in me wherever I go. St Lucia we Love! A Belated happy National day!

  2. Very well done Mr. Moore. You are a good man. Keep up the good works. St Lucia needs more people like you. We are all proud of you. Your father Mr. Willy Mole and your mother Miss Lucest must be watching over you from the unseen universe. Had they been alive they would have been well proud of you and the splendid work that you are doing for the community.

    I would like to wish my lovely island of St Lucia Happy National Day. The St Lucian community in London is huge. There are lots of St Lucians living all over London. The vast majority live in West London- Paddington to be exact. When I lived In London I use to attend almost every event. I do try to attend when I can afford to do so as I live in the countryside - London is a very expensive city. It is simply the most expensive city in Europe. Mr. Moore should be given an honour or a peerage for all the good work that he has done for the community. He has kept the St Lucian flame burning and will continue to do so as long as he is alive. He has a youth club in East London which helps bring together youngsters from all over. May the Flame of National day continue to burn and may the coals that keep this flame burning never expire.

  3. Kudos and Nuff respect to Mr. Justin Moore. This gentleman has done more for the St Lucian community than any other person. Justin is selfless and unselfish. He cares passionately about the welfare of St Lucians and other people here in Britain. I have been to a few of the National day events and it's all well kept.

    I am a St Lucian born in West London. My parents come from Canaries, in the Western part of St Lucia. We need to teach our people that we had a way of life long before this plunderer and supplanter Christopher Columbus came to our shores. We blacks have inhabited this planet before anyone else was on it. The Americas have always had black people, some of whom migrated to the islands of the Caribbean. Before the White folks came to our shores and committed atrocities against our people we had a culture that is as old as any other on this planet. I challenge anyone to tell me differently.

    I am happy that we are able to keep our National day celebrations going. I wasn't able to make it to this year's event due to work commitments. I am always supportive of my beautiful island of St Lucia. Unlike the vast majority of Blacks born and bred in the UK who are ashamed of their roots and culture, I am NOT. I was born and bred in London but my heart and spirit are in Beautiful St Lucia. I have visited St Lucia many times and I am in love with the island. St Lucia is simply beautiful. I would like to BIG Up Mr. Justin Moore, his Lovely wife Theresa and Ben Charles for keeping this important date in the calendar going. A happy National day to St Lucia and Season's Greetings to all my fellow St Lucians and Caribbeans.

  4. A Big hug goes out to Mr. Justine Moore for launching this national day event. There is no one keeping such a ceremony here in London, except Mr. Moore. I am happy to attend events like these whenever it is kept. Justin Moore has done a lot of good work for the St Lucian community. He is well respected and I know him personally. I was present yesterday and listened to all the speeches given. The High Commissioner spoke so eloquently. She sounded like a seasoned speaker. She is hot and I kept looking at her with admiration. I noticed the Mayor and her sidekick did not stay long. They left before the ceremony came to an end.

    Benoir Charles's speech was special as he questioned Christopher Columbus's right to say that he discovered St Lucia. As Benoir said, Columbus DID not discover St Lucia or any of other sister isles in the Caribbean. He explained it very succinctly when he asked the audience and someone said 'Columbus found people on the islands already living there' Benoir agreed and happily continued to explained things to us. He is so right about our National day. We need to carry on observing and celebrating our National day at every opportunity afforded. St Lucia is a beautiful island and it's people have a right to know about her history before Columbus. I remember reading that book 'From Columbus to Castro' quite a while back. We need to know our history which goes way-way back to the earliest people who inhabited our splendid isle.
    Kudos to Mr. Justin Moore for hosting our National day here on the UK and for keeping one of our many traditions alive. Well done Sir!


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