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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.”