Despite overcast skies and intermittent, light rain hundreds of locals and visitors came out to enjoy the annual Hope Town Heritage Day.
The museum’s president, Suzanne Bethel, welcomed the audience and said “If you are a descendent of Wyannie, the courageous lady, then be happy for us that she found this beautiful island so many years ago. I hope you enjoy its beauty as she did and we do.”
She told the visitors that “items from the past help us to appreciate the present, while others give us hope for the future”. With a focus on our common ancestry she noted that “our genealogy links us all as one.”
She said that the Wyannie Malone Museum looks forward to having even more displays in the museum, some which will be on loan and others that are gifts.
Special guests at the heritage day festival were local artist of renown, Alton Lowe, Bahamian Historian and Playwright, Sandra Riley, Crystal Parrot Players’ Filmmaker, Travis Nett and Taino descendent Michael Lopez. The group was promoting a new book by Sandra Riley featuring the art of Alton Lowe; “The Lucayan Taino: First People of the Bahamas”.
Mr. Lopez, also a Member of the Board of Directors for Crystal Parrot Players, noted that there is the impression that the Taino people do not exist anymore; “that is totally incorrect. The Lucayan have descendants in the United States and in the future we hope to get them back here for some celebrations. ”
“The rest of us live in diaspora in places like the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Florida, Texas and even some in London.”
The event had the usually fare of locally crafted and items, jewelry and artwork as visitors browsed the wares. There was also an abundance of Bahamian and American cuisine as well as a variety of treats that would satisfy many a sweet tooth.
There were games for young and old from hoop-la for the children to the popular 50/50 raffle where the winner got to take home half of the jackpot. Despite the desire to try the inclement weather prevented the Abaco Dinghy sculling races from taking place.
Even with the poor weather everyone had a good time socializing and enjoying the atmosphere of historic Hope Town and the Wyannie Malone Museum.