Replete with cultural imagery, from period clothing, to native songs along with arts, crafts and more, the Wyannie Malone Historical Museum held their annual Heritage Day at Jarret Park in historic Hope Town on Friday, March 4.
On a day that saw Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex – the youngest of four children and the third son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh – visit Abaco (though he did not visit the event) residents celebrated their Loyalist heritage beginning with a re-enactment of the first landing of their ancestors who came ashore in 1785.
The landing was followed by the Hope Town Primary School singing several Bahamian songs to the delight of parents and the audience. The school also put on a mini-Junkanoo rush showcasing the famous Bahamian rhythm.
Candace Key said that they chose to have it on a Friday because they wanted all the kids from school to be able to come.
Deb Patterson, Curator of Wyannie Malone Museum, gave the welcome address, thanking the many people who assisted to pull the event together.
She said that the Hope Town Primary School’s fifth and sixth graders were given an essay on the topic ‘How Did My Family Get to Hope Town.’
“This topic was chosen so we can explore and discover about how all of our present day families came to be living in Hope Town. We hope that the stories told by our students bring about the understanding of the wonderful tapestry that is the diversity of our community,” she said. The winners of the essay received a certificate along with a copy of Steve Dodge’s book ‘The Abacos.’
She thanked Donnie Carey, Deputy Councillor of the Hope Town District Council, for bringing to light James Percival Carey, a sailor that was lost at sea in 1919 on the vessel the ‘Roberts and Russell.’
“We have temporarily added his name to our memorial located at the corner of the Museum and are having a new permanent plaque to include Seaman Carey.” She said.
There were many booths set up with an assortment of vendors selling a variety of handmade items, from wooden crafts, to jewelry, paintings, needlework, straw items and more. Steve Dodge was also on hand to sign copies of his book.
There was a variety of food items for sale, including delicious bake treats and a few games such as lollipop pull and hoopla for the kids of all ages.
Throughout the day the Wyannie Malone Museum was open to the public with many students acting as docents to the visitors.