The Best of St. Croix
Emancipation Tea Meeting 2008
The Emancipation Week Tea Meeting, celebrating its 160th year, was
hosted by The Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow Foundation in the
town of Frederiksted on King Street next to Fort Frederik. This evening
of fun, jokes and special oration was an expression of living culture.
The Millenium Choir was called on at various interludes
during the night's proceedings to sing hymns, rising and
sitting on command.
Ms. Asta Williams was the Chairman and Mr. Wayne
"Bully" Petersen was the Vice Chairman for the evening.
The pair recounted jokes and old time stories - spoken
artforms - which ended in numerous twists for the
characters of the narrations.
One of the orators was Mr. Richard Schrader, Poet
Laureate of the Virgin Islands. He recited some of his
works to the delight of the audience.
Bully played some songs as solos, apart from his band
the Kafooners.
Another orator was Senator Terrence "Positive" Nelson.
Pam Richards of YTT, spoke of the events of the week,
the history of the Tea meeting and their meanings for
us, as a people, to the audience.
During this intermission, bush tea and buns were
passed out for the satiation of the crowd.
During this time, the band played traditional scratch
music to round out the tea and bread.
Another orator, the professor, took the stage to tell about
hurricane preparedness.
Next on the stage were the St. Thomas Heritage
Dancers who performed various four-square dances of
two centuries ago. Modelled on European dances, the
islands have made them our own, most notably, The
Quadrille.
And the headliner for the night was Paul Keens Douglas,
Caribbean Humorist, Writer and Historian. He delivered
uncountable Caribbean style jokes which enthralled the
audience and sent them into raucous laughter. Truly the
delight of the night.