Emancipation Celebration Message By Minister For Culture Honourable Sharie de Castro

Minister For Education, Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports

Honourable Sharie B. de Castro

Emancipation Celebration Message

July 29, 2022

Good day to all.

Over the last two years, we have celebrated emancipation virtually. I am happy to see that we can physically commemorate this important and historic milestone in our Virgin Islands history.

I firmly believe that our freedom must consistently be recognised and celebrated because our people fought hard for it. This is the time we set aside and pause to reflect on the journey, history, goals, aspirations, and vision of our ancestors, and fore-parents to be a free people.

I am pleased to see that several families and friends have traveled and are traveling home to celebrate with us, and we welcome you.

This year’s emancipation theme is “Celebrating Freedom for me and you, BVI Festival 2022.

Emancipation is vital to our heritage and identity. It is a reminder that we were given a chance to change and shape our future to what we want it to be, and we must continue to press forward until the vision of our forebearers for us is realised—their dream for us to be a free people, ruling our destiny.

The emancipation celebration reminds us of the extraordinary strength and courage of our fore parents and the legacy of charting our cultural, social, economic, and political identity and advancement.

This year’s festival is expected to highlight the history of our people, and it will showcase our rich culture.

Let me take this time to thank the Virgin Islands Festival and Fairs Committee Chairman, Mr. Dirk Walters, and the rest of the team for accepting the mantle to see the activities through to fruition.  

I want to take this time to encourage the entire community to join in the celebration and support all the events planned, in line with the theme of celebrating our Freedom as a people. 

We are descendants of a people who overcame all odds.

As we celebrate, let us never forget the sacrifices and the efforts of those who have gone before us. It is because of them, their perseverance and resilience that we can celebrate today.

With this, let me wish everyone a happy and safe Emancipation Celebration.

May God continue to bless you all and these beautiful Virgin Islands.

Thank you

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