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Former legislator begs Gov't to help complete Heritage Dancers’ building

- Ms Eileene L. Parsons OBE said she has tried unsuccessfully for some two decades to get gov’t to help with the building
One of the founding members of Heritage Dancers and a former Deputy Chief Minister, Ms Eileene L. Parsons, OBE, has issued a strong public appeal to the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) government led by Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) to once and for all complete the Heritage Dancers’ building, which she said will be of benefit not only to the Heritage Dancers. Photo: VINO
The incomplete building belonging to the local group Heritage Dancers is located on Station Road next to the 1780 Lower Estate Sugar Works Museum. Photo: VINO
The incomplete building belonging to the local group Heritage Dancers is located on Station Road next to the 1780 Lower Estate Sugar Works Museum. Photo: VINO
One of the founding members of Heritage Dancers and a former Deputy Chief Minister, Ms Eileene L. Parsons, OBE, is flanked by Acting Premier Honourable Kye M. Rymer (R5), left, and Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture Dr the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7), right, at the Festival of Arts held in honour of the late local Cultural Icon Hon Delores Lettsome-Christopher at Queen Elizabeth II Park on November 2, 2019. Photo: VINO
One of the founding members of Heritage Dancers and a former Deputy Chief Minister, Ms Eileene L. Parsons, OBE, is flanked by Acting Premier Honourable Kye M. Rymer (R5), left, and Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture Dr the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7), right, at the Festival of Arts held in honour of the late local Cultural Icon Hon Delores Lettsome-Christopher at Queen Elizabeth II Park on November 2, 2019. Photo: VINO
Heritage Dancers perform at the Festival of Arts held in honour of the late local Cultural Icon Hon Delores Lettsome-Christopher at Queen Elizabeth II Park on November 2, 2019. Photo: JTV
Heritage Dancers perform at the Festival of Arts held in honour of the late local Cultural Icon Hon Delores Lettsome-Christopher at Queen Elizabeth II Park on November 2, 2019. Photo: JTV
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Money donated to the Heritage Dancers group was used some 20 years ago, after securing a piece of land, to start a building for the group to comfortably conduct cultural activities. Two decades later; however, the building remains incomplete.

One of the founding members of Heritage Dancers and a former Deputy Chief Minister, Ms Eileene L. Parsons, OBE, has issued a strong public appeal to the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) government led by Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) to once and for all complete the building, which she said will be of benefit not only to the Heritage Dancers.

“One group is already asking me to use it, when it is finished, to keep meetings. Please help us finish it. I mean, I don't know from where but sometimes you all find some money that you don't have any for, put [it] in the Heritage Dancers’ building,” Ms Parsons stated.

Ms Parsons made the appeal last Saturday, November 2, 2019 at the Festival of Arts held in honour of the late local Cultural Icon Hon Delores Lettsome-Christopher. Ms Parsons was one of several who were on that day honoured for their part played in keeping the history and culture of the territory alive.

Speaking after being presented with a plaque by three Ministers of Government, Ms Parsons said the building belonged to the 40-year old group and not just her as an individual. The Ministers who did the honours were Acting Premier Honourable Kye M. Rymer (R5), Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture Dr the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) and Minister for Health and Social Development Honourable Carvin Malone (AL).

‘I couldn’t get any gov’t to finish that building’

Continuing her appeal, Ms Parsons said: “I have been in and out of governments, including being Deputy Chief Minister, and I couldn't get any government to finish that building for us, which will not be ours but the community. Minister Wheatley, my favourite politician all of a sudden, Acting Premier, Honourable Rymer, my friend Honorable Carvin Malone to whom I owe $50 for stupid bet, but I am serious with this, [I am] asking you all to please help us, help us finish that building. It could be used for after school programmes.”

Hon Wheatley in the background responded, “We will, we will.”

‘We need members’

Ms Parsons also made a second appeal, this time for persons to join the Heritage Dancers group. “I am especially appealing today to the young and not so young, because we need members if the group is to continue, if its life is to be lengthened. We need members,” Ms Parsons said, adding that the group meets twice a week.

Acknowledging the emergence of other dance groups around the territory, Ms Parsons underscored the importance of the Heritage Dancers. “Yes we have other dance groups formed in the territory, but the Heritage Dancers perform at dances, most of them our ancestors brought out of Africa, and so it is a special joy to me. I no longer perform with them, but I am the beggar every August to get the float on the ground.”

She credited the late legislator and cultural icon Delores Lettsome-Christopher for paving the way for the group to perform in other countries.

“The first person who took us out of here to Antigua was Mrs Delores Christopher, who operated a trade show in Antigua on behalf of the BVI,” Ms Parsons recalled.

18 Responses to “Former legislator begs Gov't to help complete Heritage Dancers’ building”

  • Contractor (06/11/2019, 09:08) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    That should be an easy fix. Windows, doors, tiles, light fixtures, labour, plaster and paint. That should cost less than 100,000.00.
  • lol (06/11/2019, 09:36) Like (9) Dislike (5) Reply
    The NDP who she assisted with the coup d e'tat against the VIP deserted her
  • OLD TIMER (06/11/2019, 09:40) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    If she cant get aubrey to rejoin the lashing dogs she wont get the building finished same way
  • agreed (06/11/2019, 09:48) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    That building has been unfinished for as long as I can remember. I see it now being used as a place for steel pan practice. I see hidden potential. Government should definitely help. This can be an outlet for cultural purposes for the community. A place where the heritage dancers can practice is a must.
  • CrazyCountry (06/11/2019, 09:51) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    These people only care about what THEY want. Not what the PEOPLE need.

    Very sad...
  • Topper (06/11/2019, 09:55) Like (8) Dislike (24) Reply
    Sell the land and donate to the animal shelter, much more worthwhile!
  • NDP Die hard (06/11/2019, 10:07) Like (10) Dislike (4) Reply
    Why her and her party didn't get it fix. They wasted enough money to fix and build a lot of needed things... The Wasted money on the Wall... The 7 Million could have built a new admin building on the that land next to Stone heaven.... Now they have to go renting .. No Vision.. It's not just NDP... VIP also. The country never have money until they find away to get some....
  • Really (06/11/2019, 10:35) Like (9) Dislike (3) Reply
    "I mean, I don't know from where but sometimes you all find some money that you don't have any for, put [it] in the Heritage Dancers". Now come on with all the things that the country needs to work on and complete, more pressing issues. When and if they find extra money the first thing that should happen is the invest it in the Heritage Dancers' Building. I am all about preserving the BVI culture (which is barely there) but I don't agree with this. We have more important needs at this time. Some of our school isn't back to Pre-Irma conditions, the government building isn't fixed, equipment for the schools and hospital and the list can go on and on.
  • big bucks (06/11/2019, 10:41) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    ANOTHER MILLION DOLLARS
  • facts (06/11/2019, 10:52) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
    She had the ndp in office for 8 long years not she out crying after she and Ronnie help put them out
  • my 2 cents (06/11/2019, 11:03) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    My not be a bad idea for govt to assist with this very cultural endeavour. As i mentioned in a previous post, that area can be used to build a public library, the cultural center demolished to make way for a performing arts center, and the rest of the land developed into a cultural venue. The same festival of the arts can be hosted there and all.
  • I man I (06/11/2019, 14:50) Like (6) Dislike (2) Reply
    Free vehicle to drive around in, a government Cheque every month, free paved drive way for her mobile chair now she wants government help to finish heritage dancers building, wow! Where is all the money heritage dancers collected over the years?
  • big sht (06/11/2019, 15:03) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    The blue wave party gonna finish that
  • Disinterested (06/11/2019, 15:24) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Everybody depend on government for everything. The political process and politicians have created a system of dependency political patronage. Seems as if we have shifted from one agency on which we depend to another. The VI embraces capitalism but the way things are going with all the dependency we may as well just officially adopt socialism.
  • Dulce (06/11/2019, 23:59) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Well if they could build free house for skilled
    naturalized gainfully employed workers,multiple homes within one family,pre Irma and after Irma,then finishing a space for an effort in preservation of our culture should not even be an issue.
  • RUM (07/11/2019, 10:43) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    She need to go pray
  • Yes (08/11/2019, 08:37) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    This is surely not the time for this it was.for years why she didnt let ndp build it finish it they had the money.she knows better its the henersy talking... people need place to live s sound roof over their head.....RDA keep watch put some igloo if vip want a next term they had better get they act together


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