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You can’t just expect to receive & not give- Franka A. Pickering tells expats

- VG Festival Honouree urges expats to participate fully in VI Festivals
49th Virgin Gorda Easter Festival Honouree, Franka A. Pickering said the Virgin Islands has a diverse culture with many associations from all over the world, including the Americas, the Caribbean, South Africa, India, and The Philippines to name a few and there should be no reason why festivals are struggling for participation. Photo: Elton Callwood/Relyon Marketing Group
In recent times there has been dwindling support for festivals in the territory, especially as it relates to participation in the parades. Photo: VINO/File
In recent times there has been dwindling support for festivals in the territory, especially as it relates to participation in the parades. Photo: VINO/File
49th Virgin Gorda Easter Festival Honouree, Franka A. Pickering has called for expats to fully support festivals in the Virgin Islands. Photo: Provided
49th Virgin Gorda Easter Festival Honouree, Franka A. Pickering has called for expats to fully support festivals in the Virgin Islands. Photo: Provided
SPANISH TOWN, Virgin Gorda, VI- “I must say we give to you, you should give back to us. We are supposed to work hand in hand and therefore I am saying tonight, boldly, that you should participate in the festivals in the BVI. Give something back. Get a troupe, go into the parade, do something.”

These were the words of the 49th Virgin Gorda Easter Festival Honouree, Franka A. Pickering, speaking during the opening of the Franka A. Pickering Festiville in Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda last evening, March 26, 2016.

In recent times there has been dwindling support for festivals in the territory, especially as it relates to participation in the parades.

According to Pickering, The Virgin Islands has a diverse culture with many associations from all over the world, including the Americas, the Caribbean, South Africa, India, and The Philippines to name a few and there should be no reason why festivals are struggling for participation.

“There are hundreds of people here [and] there is no need for Tortola, Jost Van Dyke, Anegada or Virgin Gorda to have a problem with troupes for a parade or anything else as a matter of fact. We need to work together. You can’t expect just to receive and don’t give.”

VI has to support its own

But Pickering also had a similar message for VIslanders, who she said has to be the ones to first show support for festivals.

“You have to give back something. Don’t leave the island at Easter time and say ‘oh, Virgin Gorda carnival is not going to be good I am going Puerto Rico or I am going on a cruise. This is your island and if you don’t do something during that time, what you think is going to happen? You want the biggest of bands to come in? Who are we celebrating for if we bring in bands and there is no one here? You need to help, you need to help the committee. It is very difficult for the committees to work hard and then there is no participation. We need your help with that!”

Emancipation celebrations not just Tortola

Turning to Minister for Education and Culture Hon Myron V. Walwyn, Pickering reminded that Emancipation is not just about Tortola but the entire VI. “I would like, and this is just my opinion, for us to all celebrate Emancipation. [For] all the bigger islands that celebrate Festival, give all those islands two days of that two weeks of celebration.”

Pickering suggested five days for different parts of Tortola and spread the celebration to other islands.

“Let us celebrate together. Let us feel the unity, the reason why we are celebrating Emancipation in August. We don’t have to have a big carnival Easter Festival….let us celebrate that Emancipation in style, all the islands. We can have boat rides going to all the islands and enjoying it, rather than having to spend a lot of monies and at the end of the day wonder why and where this money is going or what is it going for,” she said, while noting that monies can be spent elsewhere.

Meanwhile, Pickering said she was humbled and honoured to have the festival village named in her honour.

She also reminded that while government puts money into the festival it is “our money that is put into this and all of you should come out and enjoy it and take part.”

‘Deserving Honouree’

Minister for Education and Culture Myron V. Walwyn said Ms Pickering is a deserving honouree, having been involved in festival from since 1975, when she became a founding member of the BVI Festival Committee. Her involvement in festival, he said, is just one aspect of Pickering’s work in the territory.

“My hope is that while we celebrate Franka and name the village in her honour that it serves as an inspiration and constant reminder to subsequent generation is at that we all pitch in and do our part in making this country great.”

Franka an icon in VG community

Ninth District Representative Hon Hubert O’Neal (R9), who incidentally was addressing Virgin Gordians publically for the first time since gaining the 9th District seat at the June 8, 2015 elections, said the VG Easter Festival Committee could not have found a more deserving person to name the village after.

He said Pickering has been an icon in the Virgin Gorda community. He also reminded that Pickering was not really a Virgin Gordian but was from Baughers Bay, Tortola where coincidentally his mother was from as well.

About Franka A. Pickering

Joy Leonard, daughter of Franka A. Pickering, described her mother as an entrepreneur and managing director of Joy’s Mini Mart, an artist, a leader and a staunch community person.

Tortola born Pickering, she said, has a great sense of humour.

It was noted that in the late 70’s, Franka worked with the BVI Festival Committee for many years in which the committee was able to obtain the franchise for the winner of the Miss BVI Competition to compete in the Miss Universe Pageant.  She also accompanied the first Miss BVI to Labour Day celebrations in Brooklyn USA.

Over the years she was asked by the Vg Festival Committee to judge its queen shows and she also worked with many of the contestants. She was well known for her abilities in dancing, make-ups and designing gowns for queen shows, weddings and many other occasions.

Pickering also served in the church from the choir to Financial Secretary for over 25 years. She has been a Lion member for over 20 years and was honored as a Melvin Jones Fellow, one of the highest honours in Lionism.

In 2008 she became the first female president of the BVI Football Association and first female president of the CONCACAF District.

The VG easter Festival Honouree has served on many boards and committees in the public sector, including  on the BVICCHA board several times, Board of Trustees at Cedar School, PTA presidents from primary to secondary schools, the Virgin Gorda Cricket Association, football league and many others. She currently sits on the board of the Virgin Gorda Guardian Club, the BVI Recreation Trust and BVI Diabetes Association. She is the President of the Virgin Gorda Diabetes Association.

She was educated in the areas of accounting and management, social work, leadership, religious education and has diverse counseling abilities.

Currently, Pickering is working on a cookbook and poetry compilation which she hopes to publish soon. She is also reconnecting with her artistic side and has been doing paintings.

One of her recent projects is to start a reading council, which has been a challenging one but is determined to achieve her goal, which is to find a home for the initiative.

Franka A. Pickering has two children- Joy and Sheldon.

According to her daughter Joy Leonard, Pickering believes in unity and being involved to make a difference, which she has been an embodiment of throughout her many years of service.

“She understands what it means to be a part of something bigger than yourself,” Ms Leonard said.

23 Responses to “You can’t just expect to receive & not give- Franka A. Pickering tells expats”

  • VG (27/03/2016, 11:07) Like (10) Dislike (30) Reply
    she is anther NDP crony
  • musa (27/03/2016, 11:33) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    vg u are dot on but she is doing a great job
  • Go BVI (27/03/2016, 12:05) Like (3) Dislike (8) Reply
    the women is from Tortola not VG pure politics
  • Poorly attended (27/03/2016, 13:47) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    It was very embarrassing to have a ceremony to an empty field.
    Every year the same thing, this year was the worst ever.
    • Birdseye (27/03/2016, 17:22) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
      I agree with the Lady. That is why Virgin Gorda is the best of the B.v.Is. The people on Tortola are calling for less participation from expats because it has been said their inclusion in their emancipation celebration is not conducive with B.V.I Culture but here you are asking for everyone to come together as a community.
    • @ Poorly attended (27/03/2016, 22:54) Like (1) Dislike (3) Reply

      who want to see and hear wicked people like W**** or some others for that matter?

  • hello....its me (27/03/2016, 14:42) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    Well said Franka. In recent years it used to be better where expats would participate in all events but is very ibsulting when they are told that they are not from here they dhould not participate. Donald Decastro mentioned it in an article. If we really have to check our history how we all get here, none of us are really from here. On a more positive note, that is a message to the upcoming celebration in August, get troupes with other cultures, get everyone involved, less vulgalarity and nudity and you all will see thr amount of fun people have fun. Good word Franka.
  • poor (27/03/2016, 17:47) Like (13) Dislike (3) Reply
    Jesus will soon come people are getting ready to meet the master. Make Hast and prepare yourself the king is coming and all eyes shall behold him. Get ready get ready. Honor him with your life. For soon there will be no more festival. Jesus is coming look to the eastern sky. Give him your life today tomorrow is a fool's day. You want to party try Jesus he is the best joy you can have party with him.what he has done for us is more than tongue can tell. Celebrate life with Jesus.
    • @Poor. Nonsense. (28/03/2016, 08:37) Like (4) Dislike (24) Reply
      @Poor. Non sense. Over 200 plus years we are told Jesus is coming back. Nonsense. This is all a Mental game..China, Japan and India more than half the world population never heard of Jesus...This first born son of the white Roman king When he was born they said he is the real savior and do a goof marketing job of it..They refuse to accept the black man that was going around healing all people of their diseases and try every way to defame and degrade him called him a witch doctor and obey man. Then make laws to put him in jail.. They will never tell us that.. Use your common sense. Seek the truth..Stop spreading nonsense
  • Big Kiss for Franka (27/03/2016, 21:21) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    I am 100% in agreement with Franka. I use to play in a band in the 80s. We had two nigjts in the village one of which we played for free..We enjoyed ourselves. Of course we didn't had any problem getting paid for the paid night. We all should find away to give back. Expats and locals alike. The committee back then use to provide a truck and a generator and a cooler of drinks for the parade and we play for the parade for free using our own instruments.We enjoyed it. It was fun. Surprisingly a check for $400.00 would show up saying thanks from the committee. How Now things have changed for the worst..Greed, heartlessness and selfishness have us sinking in division and hatred.
  • blame (27/03/2016, 21:36) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
    Don't blame us. Blame your complaining people that hate to see us happy.. Those who complain about how we dress, How we dance and party. We just took away ourselves..Address the whole thing.
    • blame2 (28/03/2016, 11:50) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
      what is she saying? Jamaica participated , the Philippinos too . These people stopped participating in the parade and they must have had some really good reason for not doing so anymore . Check out who attend their festivals , mostly expats while their own prefer to people go off island , expats keep these festivals alive.
    • Trini T (29/03/2016, 01:22) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Totally agreed
  • facts (27/03/2016, 22:54) Like (8) Dislike (5) Reply
    ndp hates island people and locals but love whites
  • ... (27/03/2016, 23:53) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Fire Burn myrun
  • Tings tight! (28/03/2016, 06:50) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    The People have more pressing things to worry about in a couple of weeks! I would have saved my money too by not going.......just saying.
  • Charley Rose (28/03/2016, 11:51) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    The celebration of Easter Festival should be a time of enjoyment and togetherness and not a time for animosity. Let us use the occasion to give God all the praises and thanks for our lives and being in a safe country. What if we were in Belgium where there was a terrorist attack, we would have been looking for a place to hide.
    The BVI has provided livelihood for many expats from all over the world and people should be thankful for that. If the BVI should suffer any adverse economic difficulties then all the businesses and people will be affected , so let us be careful with our criticism. Give thanks.
    • elegal (28/03/2016, 14:39) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      @ Charley Rose. I see you mentioned Belgium and not the african countries that were also bombed during the same time as Belgium. I see the media have you blinded as well. We should be moaning with our African brothers during their time of trials.
  • Charley Rose (28/03/2016, 15:47) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Hi Elegal. I am not blinded. My comment is about the act of terrorism and not being bias. I could have mentioned Iraq and Nigeria where there were bombings. My point is that we all should try to uphold the peace and togetherness and stop mudslinging for personal gains.
  • island girl (29/03/2016, 01:31) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    While we at it ,this Easter fest should either be celebrated before or after Easter how can this holy time u have and Island slapping Jesus In his face dancing n gyrating in panty n bra with head piece they call costumes, Villiage entertainment Alco selling ppl feteing and enjoying they self nothing wrong with celebrating emancipation but my God not in this holy time man where are the churches to back this ??? Why is this never a topic being raised ..when almighty God is ready for this Island !!!

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