June 1st 2022 will mark the 161st anniversary of the arrival of 2,474 Indians from India to SVG during the years 1861 to 1880.
Each year, the SVGIHF commemorates Indian Arrival Day by a Re-enactment of Indians, their families and friends, dressed in Indian wear, arriving on a boat at Indian Bay, followed by breakfast for all, a Rally at Rawacou, with addresses from Dignitaries and Cultural performances featuring overseas Artistes from Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and India, and local Artistes. Indian cuisine is served to all in attendance.
However, due to COVID-19, no celebrations were held in 2020 and 2021.
In 2020, the SVGIHF began a series of interviews with our Indian Elders. Eight interviews were successfully held with Theresa Jack, Sonny Deane of blessed memory now, Sadie Bowman, Winston Bacchus, Patrick Deane, Walter Bacchus, Noel Soleyn and Elise Williams. The fascinating stories were recorded and shared in the Media, on our FB page, and they are chronicled in Lenroy Thomas’ first of its kind, informative, highly researched, and timely book “Stories from our Indian Elders.” (Copies are available on Amazon, at Bowman’s Pharmacy, Gaymes Bookstore, Kingstown and Touch of Pearl, Calder).
Due to COVID-19, in 2021 no interviews were held.
In March 2022, National Heroes Month in SVG, the idea came up that we should re-commence the interviews with our Indian Elders, as we found that so many of them with rich stories were passing on without sharing their valuable experiences.
This year a special feature has been added to Indian Arrival Day.
The President, Executive, all members of the Foundation and the Indian community in SVG are pleased to present the second series of eight (8) Interviews with our Indian Elders, namely Egbert Thomas Calder, Bertram Lewis Villa, Eleise Morgan Rodney Salt Pond, Brighton, Dennis Deane Akers, Avil Bullock Calder and Neta Lewis Rose Bank SVG, Edward “Karal” Williams, Gravesend, Kent U.K. and Teroy Thomas, High Wycombe, Bucks, U.K..
We regard all of our Indian Elders as our National Heroes; those who have passed on, these persons who readily agreed to our request for the recent interviews, and those whom we interviewed in 2020.
May their spirit and legacy live on in their families and communities.
The schedule for the release of the eight new interviews will be:
On Wednesday June 1st 2022 two interviews, with two each week for the next three weeks., making a total of eight interviews, over four weeks in June 2022.
We sincerely thank all who have been instrumental in making this project a reality, for capturing the exciting and intriguing stories of our Indian Elders. Special thanks to Mrs Cheryl Rodriguez, our Treasurer, Mr Colvin Harry, our PRO in SVG and Mr Noel Thomas, our Website Administrator and Researcher in the UK, for making a fantastic team in this important project. Thanks to you, our viewers, and listeners for sharing our pride in presenting them to you.
The remainder of the programme for Indian Arrival Day 2022 will be as follows:
Re-enactment of the arrival of Indians on Wednesday June 1st at 7.00 a.m. A boat will leave a location and arrive at Indian Bay, where there will be registration of the newly arrived Indians, dressed in Indian wear, an official ceremony, photo shoot and breakfast will be served to all in attendance.
We invite everyone, especially those who were present at Calder, for the historic, exciting and memorable re-naming of the road to INDIA DRIVE, by the H.E. the President of the Republic of India on Thursday May 19th 2022 at 4.00 p.m., to attend this re-enactment. We invite all the persons who missed this once in a lifetime treat, but who have supported us over the years, and attended our functions.