BASSETERRE, St. Kitts -– J’ouvert activities were brought to a premature end Dec. 26 due to some unwelcome behaviour exhibited by a few unruly revellers, according to Prime Minister and Minister of National Security Dr. the Hon Timothy Harris, who was among the thousands who attended the event.
“The experience has been a very good one,” said Prime Minister Harris who, in the company of the Hon Ian Patches Liburd, was stationed at the Old Treasury Building in downtown Basseterre where hundreds of revellers stopped by to hug him and pose for pictures. “Persons clearly enjoyed themselves very well, including the tourists. It was a fantastic day.”
The Minister of National Security observed that the police had acted in a commendable manner to ensure a smooth flow of events and congratulated the Police High Command for updating the public in a timely manner.
“I want to commend the police officers for doing their part in maintaining the peace within the country,” Dr. Harris said. “We hope that as we continue throughout the carnival, there will be the even stricter observance of the peace within the country and that everyone will play their part to maintain the highest level of security.”
Among the hundreds who stopped to greet the Prime Minister at the Old Treasury Building was the Resident Ambassador of the Republic of China on Taiwan His Excellency Tom Lee, and Mrs Lee. Many who came to greet and congratulate the Prime Minister expressed that it was the largest participation of J’ouvert they had experienced in recent years.
Prime Minister Harris and Minister Liburd left the Old Treasury Building and proceeded on to Back to Basics Bar in Port Zante, where proprietor Mr Cecil Rock made a public announcement welcoming the Prime Minister. The bar was packed with local revellers and tourists from three cruise ships that had docked at Port Zante.
The ships were RMS Queen Mary 2 with a capacity of 2,695 passengers, Norwegian Gem with a capacity of 2,394 passengers, and the Carnival Sunshine with a capacity of 2,642 passengers.
A number of English tourists who were on RMS Queen Mary 2 were overjoyed to meet a Prime Minister, who was so humble and who went further and agreed to pose for pictures with them. Dr. Harris did not disappoint anyone, including the locals, some of whom were heard saying “he is my Prime Minister please take my picture with him.”
As the tourists were being entertained by a local band, 4-Play, Minister the Hon Ian Patches Liburd added spice to the mix by taking the microphone and rendering the song Feliz Navidad to the wild cheers of the revellers especially the tourists who could be seen dancing to the beats. Later Mr Cecil Rock rendered the song ‘It is crying time again.’
“J’ouvert morning crowd are just progressively getting bigger and bigger, it is getting better and better,” said Hon Liburd, who is the Minister of Public Infrastructure, Posts, Urban Development, and Transport. “What is impressive to me is you see all old friends, you meet new friends, and people from all over the world – coming from the Diaspora. We have cruise ships that brought in thousands and you can see everybody enjoying themselves.”
He, however, noted: “Unfortunately it (J’ouvert) ended a bit prematurely – a little earlier, and people are yearning for more music but I can only see this getting better and better as the years go on.”