Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

Celebrations held at StFX as Town of Antigonish launches African Heritage Month 2018

February 7th, 2018
Unveiling the African Heritage Month 2018 poster are, l-r, Kelsey Jones, StFX African Descent Student Affairs Coordinator, StFX Academic Vice-President & Provost Dr. Kevin Wamsley, Lorraine Reddick, SRSB Student Support Worker, Town of Antigonish Mayor Laurie Boucher, and Antigonish County Warden Owen McCarron

Educate, unite, and celebrate community.

That’s the theme of African Heritage Month 2018, and all three principles were much in evidence Feb. 7 as a large crowd from local school children to members of the StFX and broader community filled the MacKay Room in StFX’s Bloomfield Centre for a special celebration of the launch of African Heritage Month in Antigonish.

“This is a time we spend coming together as a community. This is a proud time for African people. I invite everyone to celebrate, to find an event to attend (during the month),” Lorraine Reddick, Student Support Worker with the Strait Regional School Board (SRSB), said in opening remarks as she welcomed the large crowd to the event.

Town of Antigonish Mayor Laurie Boucher, who officially read the proclamation declaring the month of February as African Heritage Month in Antigonish, said we are all invited to come together and be educated on the rich African Nova Scotian heritage that we share and to celebrate the deep contributions of African Nova Scotians not just to Nova Scotia, but to all of Canada.

Antigonish County Warden Owen McCarron noted African Heritage Month provides a wonderful opportunity to promote African heritage while instilling knowledge and understanding, as he too encouraged everyone to participate in other events happening this month.

“We are honoured to have our venue chosen for this event,” StFX Academic Vice-President & Provost Dr. Kevin Wamsley said.

Dr. Wamsley noted there are still challenges, inequities and important issues that must be addressed. But there is hope.

“There is such great hope in an event like this.”

As part of the ceremony, several students in St. Andrew Junior School teacher Morgan Gero’s class read from poems they wrote for a class poetry project. Each poem was inspired by African Nova Scotians.

Students from St. Andrew Junior School and Dr. John Hugh Gillis Regional High School were also ably represented in performances by the African Drumming group led by Ms. Gero.  

Kelsey Jones, StFX African Descent Student Affairs Coordinator, acted as the event emcee, while remarks were also read from the Hon. Randy Delorey, MLA, and Sean Fraser, MP.

StFX religious studies faculty member Dr. Ron Charles offered an opening prayer, and Rev. Peter Smith offered a blessing for the food.

The event is hosted by the Town of Antigonish, Zone #7 African Cultural Awareness Association, African Nova Scotia Affairs, Support 4 Culture, the County of Antigonish, SRSB, and StFX.

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