December 21st, 2008
Thibaud Reunion is Finally here
After years of planning, connecting, and fundraising, this week marks the opening of the 2008 Thibaud Reunion. Set to open following on the heels
of a spectacular and very successful launching in early February this year, the planned events promises to be just as astounding.
During the formal opening, which was be held on Saturday, December 20th there was a parade through the village of
representatives from the various geographical regions within the Diaspora celebrating their Thibaud roots and showcasing their
adopted country by waving both flags. Other participants included the Miss Reunion pageant contestants, the Thibaud Flag wavers
and cheerleaders, the Thibaud cultural group and soccer team as well as other groups within the community.
ended on the Hugh Fabien Park where the various groups within the Diaspora gave a brief introduction of their group and the
project that they supported. The crowd also heard from the Prime Minister and Parliamentary Representative for the Vieille
Case Constituency, the Honorable Roosevelt Skerrit, various cabinet members, and national and local Government officials.
There were also performances by Daddy Chess and De Hunter, the Thibaud Cultural Group - both the adults and children,
and Joey Augustine and the ReignJah band who helped to orchestrate the Thibaud Reunion theme songs, among others. The event
was broadcast live on Kairi FM, and shown on Marpin and GIS television.
In official opening, the Thibaud Reunion Committee had previously identified three “welcome our guests”
days, Wednesday the 16th to Friday the 19th, to welcome visitors to Thibaud at various ports of entry.
were greeted with cultural dances, local snacks and a personal welcome by the Miss Reunion Pageant contestants, and provided
with informational packages on the reunion activities. Visitors were also shuttled to the village and various accommodation
facilities, where they reconnected with family members and friends.
Among the other activities and events on the program
was an enormous Christmas Party on Sunday which is one of the projects supported by the South Florida Committee and sponsored
by Kairi FM, a Health Symposium, where the Thibaud residents and those of neighboring villages will be tested for HIV, prostate
cancer, Diabetes, and sickle cell among other types of diseases. On Sunday morning there was an ecumenical service followed
by a gospel concert in the evening.
The Miss Reunion pageant sponsored by Digicel, will be held on the 22nd. The prizes included a Dell laptop computer provided by the New York group, a Blackberry Curve sponsored
by Stewart and Mayma Raphael, a desktop computer sponsored by Martin Francois, handheld phones and topup cards by Digicel;
On Christmas day there will be a band splash featuring some of Dominica’s best performers, and a
Christmas tree lighting competition. Other activities will include market day with a difference, Jour Ouvert, Feast of the
Sick and Aged, and many other great activities.
The Reunion will climax on the 30th with a gala night and award ceremony, where various
people within the Thibaud community will be honoured; entertainment will be provided by Dominica’s own Swinging Stars.
reunion planning was executed based on a system that created unprecedented participation from the Thibaud community both within
the Diaspora and in Thibaud. The initiative was solely based on grassroots intensity, where many people of Thibaud origin
or friends of Thibaud were engaged in the process. This type of approach not only highly facilitated the participation of
the community but it also made everyone feel like they were being part of the process.
The various geographical groups
each chose one or two projects to complete and they raised funds to support the entire planning and implementation of their
respective projects. For example the New York group, which made education its objective, built a library within the
School that can be accessed not only by the primary school students, but also by the secondary school students.
would like to invite everyone to Thibaud to celebrate with us and to experience our unique Dominican Christmas.
Hundreds of people descended upon the tiny village of Thibaud, on Sunday, February 3rd to mark the official
launching of the Thibaud Reunion 2008 which will be held from December 19th – 30th this year.
The event which
was carried live on Kari FM and Marpin Television, was one of utter celebration and unity despite the initial heavy down pour
The crowd was greeted by the warm and festive color of orange, which not only created a colour spectacular
but also showed loyalty among the people of Thibaud.
The celebration was held under a few tents at the Hugh Fabien’s
Park and showcased Thibaud’s cultural rebirth, where the adults and children of the community presented two cultural
They had been working on this in association with the ministry responsible for cultural development and sponsored
by the Vieille Case Credit Union.
Additionally, there were performances by the Thibaud Reunion Cheerleaders and Flagwavers,
as well as the launching of The Miss Reunion pageants: Lisa Honore, Kendra Lovell, Jessica Nelson, Marsha Remie and Nerissa
Various members of committees throughout the Diaspora, including Cecillia Ettiene and John Bruney from South
Florida, Charlotte Letang from Guadeloupe, Matilda Gilbert from St. Croix, Mayma Massicot from New York and Leo Paul from
Antigua conveyed well wishes and greetings from their committee members.
The representatives spoke about the various
projects they are working on, in addition to what type of fund raising activities they had been involved in.
The crowd was addressed by the Prime Minister, the Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit, Mr. Herbert Charles, the
National Reunion Committee Chairman, and Chair person of the Thibaud Village Council, Ms. Nicole Sambar.
how proud he was of the Thibaud Community for the effort they are making towards a successful reunion.
He also mentioned
that the initial infrastructure development plans for Thibaud will start the ground breaking phase immediately. These projects
include the resurfacing of the roads, a park project and replacing the water system.
Mr. Charles mentioned that he
was very happy to see the unity of the community and the coherence of the orange colour. Meanwhile Ms. Sambar welcomed everyone
to Thibaud and mentioned the pledged support from the village council to do whatever it takes to make Thibaud Reunion splendid.
Mr. Matthew Walters, Minister of Agriculture, was one of the many invited persons present. There were also various
village council chair persons from northern villages.
The ceremony was cohosted by Emille Paben Serran and the cordinator
of the Thibaud Reunion Theresa Royer. The Prime Minister was presented with a plaque by the South Florida committee to commemorate
his trip to Miami last year.
The Reunion was officially launched by the Prime Minister, at the release of 30 balloons
marking Dominica’s 30 years of independence and concluded with a show of fire works.
DVDs of the event will
be on sale soon. For more information contact Mrs. Theresa Royer at 767.445.5998 or Angeline Depooter at 767.448.4012. Way
to go Thibaud. E-mail to a friend