This Wheatake is an excerpt from my book
"Heritage and Hope: Finding my purpose in Virgin Islands Culture, 1938-1963"
I selected this excerpt as it fits into the occasion and the celebratory mood of this weekend. It also connects with Wheatake 24.
The celebration of the reigning monarch's birthday came into effect after 1958 when the British Commonwealth ceased recognizing Queen Victoria's birthday as a public holiday. It was another occasion when students, uniformed organizations, government officials, and the general public met at the public recreation grounds in Road Town to celebrate. This was a national celebration, when those who qualified for national honours were recognized. Marches to the beat of bands were performed with pomp, and a message from the Queen was read. This was another reflection of the ties between the United Kinhdom and the Territory of the British Virgin Islands. Symbols
of this connection in the forms of pamphlets, flags, pins, brochures snd other souvenirs would be distributed during some of these
Carlos also loved these events. He was the Captain of the 1st Boys Brigade Company, and he used these opportunities to expand his knowledge of the British Commonwealth. These celebrations increased his motivation for civic service and helped define his purpose. The symbols from the celebrations meant very little to him. The relationships he was able to forge with members of other civic organizations and the general public helped him become the person he was destined to be. His efforts to get his three friends to join organizations like the Boys Brigade and the Boys Scouts were unsuccessful. They were not inclined to submit themselves to the discipline of these organizations. They loved their freedom and always resented anything or anyone who would interfere with that freedom.
Today many persons say they love to celebrate events and attend functions/activities as evidence of their celebration. Many of them are not celebrating, they are being entertained. Here are the words of Joshua Hershel:
" People of our time are losing the power of celebration. Instead of celebrating we seek to be amused or entertained. Celebration is an active state, an act of expressing reverence or appreciation. To be entertained is a passive state. It is to receive pleasure afforded by an amusing act or a spectacle. Celebration is a confrontation, giving attention to the transcendent meaning of one's action." What do you think?
- Dr. Charles H. Wheatley