The burning of the “Guys” is a well anchored custom in the English tradition. On Abaco it is celebrated mostly on the Loyalists founded settlements. This year, the residents of Green Turtle Cay held the event on November 9.
The celebration took place on the basketball court in New Plymouth where several “Guys” built by kids and adults were on display.
The event, moderated by Karen McIntosh, turned into a fun evening with food, games and music.
Before being burnt, the Guys were judged by popular votes and by a panel of three judges, a visitor, Yota Aguilar and two representatives of the Ministry of Tourism, Dushinka Roberts and Kendy Anderson. A small money reward was to be handed out to the first in each category.
After the last of the hat game’s participants left- a definite winner since there was a whole group of adults passing hats around for a while- Mrs. McIntosh invited the creators of the puppets to dance with them. Spectators assembled to watch the performance, while the judges in the first row noted their grades since the dance of the puppets was part of the overall competition.
Commenting on the show was not the only role of Karen McIntosh, she managed to feed the assembly small bits of history concerning Guy Fawkes and his legend. She explained that after he had been arrested and condemned for trying to blow up the English Parliament and kill the king, King James I, happy to be alive, made a Royal Decree stating that the burning of Guy Fawkes effigies become a yearly tradition.
Guy Fawkes night is usually celebrated in England on November 5, the date of Guy Fawkes’ arrest.
Among the creations on display at the basketball court, was a Guy robot, “Love Bot“, presented by the Lowe’s children, a baby, “Bambam“, a Guy named “Tommy“, a scary Guy called “Burn Me“, an effigy of Guy Fawkes on a box and a guy protesting on the upcoming VAT Tax, among others. Cheers and applause accompanied the builders dancing with their puppet. Then the votes were tallied.
Mrs. McIntosh a dedicated organizer of the Green Turtle Cay Island Root Festival, took advantage of the break to announce that the event was a fund raiser for the festival and that the proceeds of the evening will be going towards the expenses of putting it together.
Then, the results were announced. In the junior category, “Love Bot“ placed third, followed by “Tommy“. Keith Sawyer, “Bambam“ took the first place.
In the adult category, “Uncle Leon, Burn me up”, placed first. Sloan’s Guy Box came second followed by Eric Sawyer’s “No VAT”.
The Guys were then loaded on the fire truck and driven to the Point where they were set on fire. The crowd that had followed stood mesmerized for a while watching the shower of sparks flying towards the sea, pushed by a strong East wind.