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SKN ExPat Brought Independence Celebration to UK City

Jerry Crawford (centre) holds his granddaughter Nyah'Seren Crawford, accompanied by Nicole (left) and Lucilla Bardouille Grayston (right)
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BRADFORD, UK is celebrating the people, culture, and traditions of St Kitts and Nevis after it marked 39 years since its independence, and one man, who was born in the country, has hosted an event to commemorate the occasion.

Jerry Crawford, who was born in the town of Saddlers and moved to Bradford at the age of one, has organised the event at the Dominica Association.

Jerry, who heads up Bradford organisation Collective Impact and has carried out extensive community work for decades, said it will be the first time the independence of St Kitts and Nevis will be celebrated the district.

“A few people know about St Kitts and Nevis, but the masses don’t – I’ve got friends who always ask me where it is,” said Jerry, 61.

“There are a lot of young people who have grandparents or great-grandparents from there, so hopefully this can teach them more about their backgrounds.”

St Kitts and Nevis is the smallest sovereign state in the Western Hemisphere and has an estimated population of over 53,000.

Leeds is known to have a Kittitian community, and the city’s singer Mel B and actress Angela Griffin – both cousins of Jerry, although not close, he admits – each have a father from the country.

However, people of Caribbean descent in Bradford are more likely to hail from countries like Jamaica or Dominica.

“St Kitts and Nevis can be a bit overlooked and in the shadows here,” said Jerry.##

“So it will be nice to have Kittitian culture at the forefront and for people to learn more.”

Jerry did not return to the country of his birth until 2002, but has been back several times since. His sister, Phoebe Daniels, has flown in from the country to join Sunday’s celebrations.

“That will make it even more special,” Jerry added.

People of all backgrounds will be welcome at the event, which will start at 2pm, and they can also enjoy Kittitian food and music.

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