Home / News / Local / Heritage Festival Explores Abaco’s Pirate Roots
“Adventure, Enterprise and Infamy” was the theme of the Twelfth Annual Island Roots Heritage Festival (IRHF) in Green Turtle Cay on May 6 through 8, with much of the look and feel of the festival centered on piracy.

Heritage Festival Explores Abaco’s Pirate Roots

 

A trio of Pirates visited Every Child Counts (ECC) talking to the children about pirate history and answering their questions. Michelle Murillo, Grace Freeman and Lawrence Campbell, who come annually to the Island Roots Heritage Festival in Green Turtle Cay dressed in authentic period clothing depicting characters such as Woodes Rogers and pirates like Mary Read, went classroom to classroom spending time talking all things pirate with students, much to their delight, during the morning on May 4.
A trio of Pirates visited Every Child Counts (ECC) talking to the children about pirate history and answering their questions. Michelle Murillo, Grace Freeman and Lawrence Campbell, who come annually to the Island Roots Heritage Festival in Green Turtle Cay dressed in authentic period clothing depicting characters such as Woodes Rogers and pirates like Mary Read, went classroom to classroom spending time talking all things pirate with students, much to their delight, during the morning on May 4.

“Adventure, Enterprise and Infamy” was the theme of the Twelfth Annual Island Roots Heritage Festival (IRHF) in Green Turtle Cay on May 6 through 8, with much of the look and feel of the festival centered on piracy.

Visitors, both local and from other countries, were treated to a variety of talks on pirates, with particular talks about Black Bart Roberts by Timothy Roberts and Mary Read by Michelle Murillo, as well as talks by Amanda Diedrick on wrecking and one that covered wrecking, bootlegging and blockade running among other things by Shane Cash.

GTC Roots 4Peter Roberts from the Bahamas Genealogy project as held an informative session while offering persons DNA testing and information. The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) also had an informative talk about conservation and had a bird watching tour in the afternoon.

At the Festival site visitors were treated to an assortment of arts and crafts from paintings and photographs, to straw-work and quilt work, jewelry and more as local artists displayed their talents. They also enjoyed a variety of Bahamian dishes and treats as large crowds gathered around food booths to get scorch or conch salad, cracked lobster and more. There was also a wide array of ‘sweets’ with cakes, cookies and fudge; enough to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth.

There were a variety of activities, such as egg-and-spoon races, scavenger hunts, sack races, and musical chairs, all of which were coordinated by the band of five period characters dressed in authentic costumes reflecting the style of the pirates and people of the 1700’s.

GTC Roots 3Children from the settlement put on a fine display for the Plaiting of the May Pole, a centuries old British tradition, and then helped the audience to get in on the plaiting too.

The ever popular Royal Bahamas Defence Force Marching and Pop Band performed as usual, drawing a crowd to watch and sometimes even get involved. There were also delightful performances by Amy Roberts Primary School and the Tiny Turtles during the day.

At night guests were entertained by a variety of Bahamian musicians – including New Entry Band, Julien Believe, the Sax Man – Rashad Reckley – and the local Gully Roosters. One of the highlights of the event; however, was social media sensation and comedian Sawyer Boy (Tamico Sawyer) who entertained with his native brand of comedy.

On Saturday evening the Forest Heights Falcons, National Junior Junkanoo Champions, provided the Junkanoo parade with their colorful and beautiful costumes.

GTC Roots 5The weekend concluded with a church service held at Settlement Point where churches from Green Turtle Cay came together and gave thanks, singing and worship together.

Renardo Curry, North Abaco Minister of Parliament, officially opened the service commending the Island Roots Heritage Festival Committee for “making this event such a successful event.”

He said that “not only do they bring about togetherness and unity that is so necessary in communities like this, but also they ensure that it continues to thrive and do well and bring about an economic stimulus.”

He thanked the sponsors that make the event possible as their gift “goes a long way to helping to build our communities and develop our island.”

She said that the festival helps to create “an appreciation of our heritage and culture… and demonstrates that Green Turtle Cay is an excellent place to live.”

GTC Roots 6Matthew Lowe, Green Turtle Cay District Council’s Chief Councillor said that the festival is “a really great event, and I would venture to say the best in Abaco, if not the Bahamas.”

“This doesn’t just happen,” he said, thanking the IRHF Committee for their work. “There is a lot of stuff that goes into this event that you don’t hear about and the obstacles that they have to face.”

Annabel Cross, head of the Festival Committee, thanked everyone who helped bring the event together and said that “countless hours of planning, phone calls, emails, fundraising, sleepless nights, mishaps, acts of nature and near disasters have to happen before we can share this weekend with you.”

The festival will take a hiatus next year as they normally do during election years.

GTC Roots 2

What Do You Think?

comments

About Timothy Roberts

Timothy Roberts

Timothy had his first venture into Journalism just months after graduating from Queen’s College in Nassau taking his first job with The Tribune in 1991 leaving in 1992 for other pursuits.

During his time in Nassau he diversified his experiences working as a warehouse manager, locksmith and computer technician before returning to Abaco, a place he has always considered home, in 1999.

He joined the staff of The Abaconian in 2001 doing graphic design and writing an opinion article called Generally Speaking and after a brief time away, returned to The Abaconian in 2010 as a reporter, graphic designer and computer technician.

Check Also

Power Outages Continue with No Clear Answers

After a “fault” resulted in an island wide power outage Abaconians were left in the dark for over 12 hours as they looked for answers and updates throughout the night.

One comment

  1. Pingback: Blog

Leave a Reply