NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Culture Minister Lanisha Rolle yesterday announced her ministry will seek to mediate the fallout between the Valley Boys and the Junkanoo Corporation New Providence (JCNP).
Valley Boys resigned as a member of the JCNP following the overturned 2019 Boxing Day parade results, which knocked out their unofficial win.
“It’s certainly surprising to hear what has transpired over the last few days, but what we want to do is continue to come together as a cultural community,” Rolle told reporters outside Cabinet.
“I believe that the people of The Bahamas are looking to the cultural community and particular the Junkanoo community to continue to unite and to be able to work out whatever issues there are.
“I have not been fully briefed on the details surrounding any resignation, actual or proposed, and once I have that information, certainly I would look to bring the parties together to see how we can resolve the issues that have come about.”
She continued: “The important thing we must remember is that Junkanoo as I said before is bigger than all of us, it has been before all of us, and I gather it will be here after all of us.
“So we must make the best of what we have, we must try to preserve what we have, honor what we have and respect what we have and the only way we will do that is also by respecting each other.
“We will always have differences but it’s how we resolve those matters is what history is going to speak of us at the end of the day.”
The Valley Boys was named the unofficial winner of the 2019 Boxing Day parade, however the Shell Saxons Superstars protested their scores with the Independent Review Committee (IRC).
After presenting its report, the IRC determined that the Saxons emerged as the official winners of the both holiday parades.
The Valley Boys gave its resignation in a letter dated January 27, advising the organization that it is “unwilling and do not intend to participate in any events managed by the JCNP”.
JCNP Chairman Dion Miller defended the judging process, noting that organization is a combination several groups and the Valley Boys is just one group in that pie.
Although the official ruling of the IRC is binding on all groups involved in the parades, the JCNP did indicate that they took issue with several aspects of that report.
Asked yesterday whether there were any concerns regarding the management of the parades, Rolle said: “In any developing business, organization, there are cycles of development, and I believe that the JCNP…perhaps there must be a consideration for how there can be a rejuvenation of whatever it is they are doing and there’re always room for growth.
“So once we understand that in any business cycle or team life cycle that there is going to be need for growth for innovation for injection of new ideas, I believe that it will run smoothly.”
Rolle said it is too early to draw any conclusion on how the move will impact the future of Junkanoo, but added she believes the groups’ passion for the parade will result in ‘calmer heads’ prevailing.