There has been lots of talk about “Gatherin 2020” and “We Gatherin” but what exactly is it that we are referring to?
We Gatherin’ Barbados 2020 is a year long celebration which will take place next year 2020. It will focus on ‘Barbadian excellence and a recommitment to this country’s successful future and core values that have defined us as a people. A major part of this effort is Barbadians living abroad and Barbadians at heart returning home, reconnecting with family and friends and investing in the rebuilding of Barbados, throughout the year 2020.
The celebrations will be structured events on a national scale and will be, for the most part, coordinated by the Barbados Government. Community groups, churches, educational institutions, entrepreneurs, and regional and international persons with Barbadian connections, among others, are encouraged to participate, give their input and produce events as well.
The initiative is scheduled to begin in the north of the island and mouth southwards, featuring a different parish each month, highlighting its icons and social life, food and much more. The parish celebrations will culminate in November, with St. Michael being the feature. We Gatherin’ 2020 will then climax in December with a Christmas extravaganza for all Barbadians – at home and abroad.
The schedule of parishes is as follows:
January – St. Lucy
February – St. Peter
March – St. Thomas
April – St. Joseph
May – St. John
June – St. George
July – St. Philip
August – St. Andrew
September – St. James
October – Christ Church
November – St. Michael
November 30 – December 31 – Nationwide
We Gatherin’ Barbados 2020 is the brainchild of Prime Minister Mia Mottley and the current Barbados government and it seeks to have Barbadians across the world return home for 2020. This invitation is open to Barbadians by birth, by descent, by marriage or by choice. But is it more than just a homecoming.
During the launch held in February 2019, Prime Minister Mottley stated that the aim of The Gathering is to aid in the rebuilding of the nation. “Coming together in 2020 isn’t about a single moment in time, but it is about a process. It is about the building of a nation from St Lucy to St Philip, from the west coast to the east coast” under the theme Purposeful Pursuit of Barbadian Excellence.
She highlighted that Barbadians have done great things over decades and their stories have gone untold. We Gatherin’ 2020 is more than physically being in one space, it is about “telling our story, sharing our passions, coming home for that inspiration” It is about “making that difference to your old primary school or making that difference to the church that helped nurture you in your parish. 2020 is about families recognizing that time on this earth is way too short and we need to get together a little more.”
A Few Great Bajans
Alan Emtage – credited with creating the world’s first Internet search engine in 1989.
Rihanna – singer, actress, designer, businesswoman and philanthropist.
Irving Burgie – Barbadian by descent, he wrote the words to the National Anthem and is acknowledged as one of the greatest composers of Caribbean music.
Sir. Garfield Sobers – widely regarded as the greatest all-round cricketer of all-time.
Kamau Brathwaite – poet and academic, he is one of the major voices in Caribbean literature and culture.
George Lamming – critically acclaimed novelist and essayist, and an important figure in Caribbean literature
Obadele Thompson – won Barbados’ first Olympic medal placing third in the 100 metres at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
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