On April 12, the All Abaco Junkanoo Committee held a ceremony to acknowledge the winners of the Junkanoo Love Rush Parade that took place on February 21 and 22 of this year.
The ceremony was scheduled for late afternoon in the open courtyard at the Government Complex. However, it was moved under one of the porches since the weather was threatening to break.
Many showed up and were welcomed by committee member: Wynsome Ferguson.
The Junkanoo Committee members were all present as well as Junior and Senior Junkanoo group leaders. The Director of Culture, Dr. Linda Moxey-Brown had traveled from Nassau to represent the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture. Senior Island Administrator Preston Cunningham, North Abaco Administrator Neil Campbell and South Abaco Administrator Lavawn Harris-Smith represented the different districts of the island.
Moderated by the Grand Marshall, Matthew Sawyer, the ceremony unfolded. The beginning of the ceremony was a reflection on the history of the last sixteen years of Junkanoo on Abaco and was narrated by the Committee Chairman, William “Tony” Davis. Mr. Davis recognized the various people who contributed to the development of Junkanoo during that period.
This will be the last year for the present committee to organize Junkanoo on Abaco, so the Chairman reminisced on the main events that happened over the years he was in charge, including the decision to hold the parade in February instead of December. He acknowledged the different groups who participated when the parade route was a very short one- groups from Spring City, Green Turtle Cay, Sandy Point, Dundas Town and Murphy Town- who all contributed to the growth of the parade.
He also mentioned the schools which, this year, put on one of the best shows ever. This year’s parade was so successful that it prompted comments that the Abaco show was second only to Nassau.
Addressing the new committee, which still must be officially formed, Mr. Davis said “You are receiving Junkanoo in the best of shape.”
Dr. Moxey-Brown conveyed the apologies of Minister Daniel Johnson who was unable to attend, and reiterated her pleasure to be on the island.
Speaking on Junkanoo, she commented “this is our culture, we should support each other and not fight among each other. I trust the ones taking over will also do a wonderful job.”
She mentioned that 85% of her budget goes to support Junkanoo. She congratulated the participants and concluded that she was looking forward to an even more fantastic parade next year.
The trophies were handed out to the representatives of the different groups. There was a trophy for first, second and third place in the primary school division and high school division for best banner, best choreography, best music, best costumes, best execution of theme and best group performance.
The overall winner in the primary school category was Central Abaco Primary School, followed by Treasure Cay Primary School with Fox Town Primary in third place.
Forest Heights Academy was the overall winner in the high school division for the third year in a row. Abaco Central High School placed second followed by Grand Cay All Age School in third place.
Only two groups participated in the senior division.
A check for $10,000.00 dollars was handed out to Mr. Colon Curry, leader of the Spring City Rockers.
Mr. Arnold Newbold, the leader of the Green Turtle Cay Little Island Slammers accepted a check for $ 7,000. Schools also received a monetary prize.
The ceremony was appropriately followed by a musical Junkanoo rush, led by members of the Abaco Central High School’ group. They were soon joined by other participants.