by Linda Straker
- Church bells to mark 19 – 25 October
- 2018 marks 35th anniversary of the 19 October killings on Fort George
- 2017 CCG draft recommendations not finalised
AnnMarie Marecheau, Chairperson of the National Celebrations Committee, said that for the first time since the commemorating of activities for 19 and 25 October, bells would be tolled at churches for that 7-day period.
“On 19 October the bells at the churches will be tolled at exactly 1:05 pm to remember the time the killings occurred on that day and it will happen at noon each day until the 25th,” said Marecheau. She explained that the main activity on 19 October would be spearheaded by the Maurice Bishop and October 19th, 1983 Martyrs Foundation.
2018 marks the 35th anniversary of the 19 October killing of former Prime Minister Maurice Bishop, government ministers of the People’s Revolutionary Government (PRG) along with other civilians at Fort George because of internal struggles within the top ranks of the revolutionary government.
Terrence Marryshow, who is an executive member of the foundation said that the 4:30 pm church service on 19 October at Fort George will see the regular laying of wreaths for the persons who died at the location. “We will continue to remember them, those who lost their lives there,” said Marryshow.
Members of the Conference of Churches Grenada (CCG) and the National Celebrations Committee are spearheading activities for 25 October – the day when USA armed forces invaded the country following the internal struggles which had put the entire country under siege.
Marecheau said that the annual ecumenical church service would be held at the St Mark’s Roman Catholic Church and among the highlights will be a message from the US Government and Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell.
The 2017 draft recommendations from the CCG to observe a week of activities from 19 – 25 October are yet to be finalised by all the parties involved, and as a result, they will not be implemented for the 2018 commemorations.
“Before anything is done, these recommendations must get the approval of cabinet for national implementation,” she said.
The draft recommendations include:
- A week of activities from 19 October to 25th;
- A vigil to remember the dead from all sides – Grenadian, Cuban, and American by their names being called;
- The names of the Grenadian combatants killed during the conflict should be added to those at the monument in the Botanical Gardens and remembered on Remembrance Day
- Each day of the week, activities of significance will occur highlights being the 19th and the 25th
- Schools, on the 19th, if not the day of the public holiday, should have in-school debates, panel discussions and book readings about the revolution period.
The theme for the 2018 commemoration is: ‘Remembrance and Resilience.”