Andy’s Restaurant in the Quarter was abuzz with excitement and appreciation from the large crowd that turned up to witness the Performance Round and Awards Ceremony for the 2017 Malliouhana Poetry Competition. Under the theme “Malliouhana Our Rock … 50 Not Out!” in recognition of the 50th Anniversary of the Anguilla Revolution, poets and presenters captivated the audience with an outstanding array of literary and artistic talent.
Organised by The University of the West Indies Open Campus Anguilla in collaboration with the Anguilla Library Service, the Department of Youth and Culture and the Anguilla Community College, the annual literary event attracted some thirty-one submissions for the “Poetry on the Page” and the “Spoken Word/Performance Poetry” segments.
MPC 2017 winners
For the second year in a row, Savannah Croft was adjudged Winner in the Junior Category/Poetry on the Page with her poem “50 Years of Greatness”. Rhonica Connor took Second Place honours with “Gem of the Caribbean” and Lesley Fleming’s “At Last We Are Free” earned her Third Place. Rhonica Connor was also named Winner in Performance Poetry/Junior Category for her delivery of “One Day I Wish Upon a Game”, followed by and last year’s Winner, Alysha Carty with “Anguilla Our Land, Our Home”.
In the Senior Categories, Sharon E. Lake was awarded First Place in Poetry Page for her poem “Revolution Woman”. Timothy Hodge’s “An Innings of Pure Class” earned him Second Place, whilst Delano Smith claimed third place with “Game – 50 and Counting”. Cassilda Thomas-Carty’s “The Cry of the Bobo Johnny” and Hyacinth Hughes’ “The Stand” received honorary mentions.
MPC Culture Bearer Awardees with Government Officials and Committee Members
The Performance Round in the Senior Category also saw a wide variety of captivating presentations and in the end, last year’s Poetry on the Page Winner, Vanessa Croft-Thompson took First Place honours with her “Hidden Opinions” presentation. Second Place went to Cassilda Thomas-Carty for her rendition of “I From Here” and Pastor Bernard Joseph took third place with his powerful delivery of “God Bless Mr. James Ronald Webster; God Bless Anguilla”.
Ms. Carla Harris announced the Winners and the Honourable Minister with responsibility for Home Affairs and Education, Mrs. Cora Richardson-Hodge and Ms. Jansie Webster, presented all the contestants with Participation Certificates. The Winners received plaques, monetary prizes/vouchers, and the opportunity to present their poems at the upcoming Anguilla Lit Fest.
The Committee also used the occasion to pay tribute to five Anguillian culture bearers: Mrs. Verna Bryan, Mrs. Iona Hodge, Mrs. Olive Hodge, Mrs. Carmencita Woods and Mr. Winston Harrigan. The five were presented with the Malliouhana Poetry 2017 Culture Bearer Award in recognition of their active role as reservoirs of oral history and their sharing of their memories of the Revolution across the generations. The Committee also presented Sponsor Appreciation Awards to the Honourable Palmovon Webster on behalf of Webster and Mr. Russel Reid on behalf of the Social Security Board.
Members of Stages at MPC Awards
The programme, which formed part of the activities marking the 50th Anguilla Day Celebrations, was carried live by Radio Anguilla and on social media. It was chaired by The UWI Open Campus BOTs Manager, Dr. Phyllis Fleming-Banks and included presentations by Crescendo Martin on the steel pan, a selection from the Inter Primary Schools Calypso Monarch, Destiny Richardson and a dramatisation by Senoj – Stages Anguilla. Pastor Philip Gumbs delivered the invocation.
Remarks came from the Honourable Minister, Mrs. Cora Richardson-Hodge, who lauded The UWI Open Campus and the Organising Committee for staging such an important initiative. The Minister pointed out that it was particularly noteworthy that the aim of the Competition was to encourage literacy and artistic expression, as well as to promote an ethos of social, cultural and political awareness. She also took the opportunity to thank the Committee for honouring the Revolutionary Culture Bearers and extended congratulations to the Awardees and all the Participants in the Poetry Competition.
The Committee thanks and congratulates the Awardees and all the Participants, as well as all other supporters and friends for their role in making the 2017 Malliouhana Poetry such a memorable event.