Doc and Mrs. Fig from Pennsylvania: Dec 2004
Thanks to Kimberly, who posted the Times’ announcement of the “First Bahamian Christmas in New York” back in October. My husband and I made a special trek from PA and must say it was well worth it!
Besides the glory of the venue and the holy magnificence of St Bartholomew’s Church, the audience, music and evening were FABULOUS! And we are glad to report the church was packed…with dignitaries and plain folk alike; many Bahamian visitors, islanders now living in the States, other “want-a-bee” Bahamians like us, and several business & tourism representatives.
After beginning with an appropriate Advent hymn, O come O Come Emmanuel, there was a Bible reading by the elegant UN Ambassador from The Bahamas, Dr Paulette Bethel.
The music program was a wonderful combination of piano and drum. Coupled with a varied program of interpretations of traditional carols as well as native ballads and witty poems, we felt properly ‘stirred up’ for the Christmas season.
There were so many highlights, what do we share!? Soprano JoAnn Deveaux-Callender
demonstrated the range of her vocal talent, especially in the traditional ‘Brown Girl in da Ring’. Our favorites were the recitations presented by Ambrose Morris. They included ‘Christmas Eve’- the reminiscences of Christmas from a Bahamian child’s viewpoint- and ‘How Do I Know it’s Winter’ which presented the counterpoint to the wintry portrayal of Christmas celebrations when you live “where it’s June all year round!” And there was the enjoyable “Conch ain’t Got No Bone” (but sadly, no yummy fritters or salads samples)!
At the conclusion, the evening became even more jubilant when Rev Charles Simmons, Assoc Rector, donned a Bahamian knitted cap and set to some impromptu drummin’. Must say he was an equal match on the goatskin to Neil Mark Symonette
Attached are photos taken after the Junkanoo promenade given by “ Miss Teenage Bahamas”, a pageant title won stateside by this lovely high school miss. We regret we have misplaced her name, but her colorful attire and traditional dance up and down the aisles set cowbells (distributed to all attendees) a-ringin’ and happy feet a- bouncin’ throughout the Cloister. Lastly, we share a Holiday shot as we stepped outside into the lights and holidays decorations of midtown Manhattan.
The island inspiration continues up North. Our best Christmas gifts…three cds of Island Christmas music. While “Bahamians go crazy & they love their junkanoo”… we do also! Sincerest New Year regards from Eleu.net devotees back on the PA farm!
Doc & Mrs Fig