Maroons suspend Emancipation celebrations
MOORE TOWN, Portland:
The Moore Town Maroons in Portland (East) have suspended Emancipation Day celebrations this year owing to health concerns associated with the spread of the coronavirus.
Colonel Wallace Sterling of the Moore Town Maroons in Portland said that the Emancipation celebrations, which normally attract a large gathering, would not be held this year as the safety of the Maroon population and other persons is paramount.
“It is better to cancel or suspend such activities in order to save lives,” Sterling said in a Gleaner interview.
“I am sure that everyone will agree that if such activities are not held for a year or two as a result of COVID-19, no one will die. But if the events are held, then it puts us at a greater risk of contracting the virus, which could result in death. The space is simply not there to accommodate any large gathering, bearing in mind that we have to observe the practice of social distancing,” he said.
He said that the Maroons would be having a council meeting on Monday to determine whether Nanny Day celebrations will be held on October 19. At the same meeting, it will also be decided whether National Heroes Day celebrations will be held.
According to Sterling, since the hours of the curfew imposed by Government have been extended, he has observed that many are no longer wearing masks and social-distancing protocols are being ignored.
He argued that persons are now treating the COVID-19 as if the worst phase of the virus has passed.
“It is such wayward thinking that has led to complacency on the part of residents, which could seriously affect them in the long run. Many who had early observed the regulations and guidelines set out by the Ministry of Health are the very ones who are now taking things for granted,” he said.
Emancipation Day, National Heroes Day and Nanny Day celebrations are three important events in the life of the Maroons from Moore Town.