“United in the Caribbean. With one Caribbean beat. Joined in musical matrimony. . . sounding so sweet.”
The lyrics of this 1996 song were made true last night at Kensington Oval for the One Caribbean concert held in aid of the storm-ravaged Nature Isle Dominica.
Over 45 artistes from across the Caribbean came out to lend their talents and support to the cause, and no one was more appreciative than Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit.
Skerrit attended the concert to thank the organizers and Barbadians for coming together at this time to lend a helping hand to his country and borrowed from Peter Ram’s hit 2015 song saying , “All ah we is one Caribbean”.
“It’s one thing to see the CARICOM [Caribbean Community] heads of government meeting and speak of regional integration and the coming together of our nations and our people. In that formal setting it is ideal that we work towards it. Tonight here at the Kensington Oval in Barbados, it is a vision that has been accomplished. In this crowd, there are no Antiguans, St Lucians, Jamaicans, Dominicans or Barbadians. I see and experience one people, one region who are here tonight for the cause of Dominica,” he said.
Addressing the very appreciative crowd at the One Caribbean: The Concert for the Children of Dominica, Skerrit said Dominicans would always be grateful to the Barbadian public for offering so much support to his country in its time of need. He said it spoke volumes about Barbadians.
“I wish tonight to express my profound thanks and gratitude to Mia Mottley and the organizers of this event. I wish to thank PM Freundel Stuart and his Government for facilitating in its success in many ways. This co-operation by itself is what makes Barbados such a great nation.”
Reiterating his appreciation for all that was being done for his country, Skerrit added that it was a great feeling to know that over 30 million people in the Caribbean had his back.
“The Caribbean as a region, as a people, as a civilization is the winner here tonight. One Caribbean and that pleases me the most. It tells every Dominican this evening that he or she does not stand alone. I thank artistes and support staff for giving freely of their time and talent to this worthy cause. I thank the sponsors for their generosity, which has made the event possible. Most of all, I thank you the Caribbean massive for coming out expressing and manifesting your support for and solidarity with the people of my country, Dominica,” he said.
The Dominican leader added that at least one good thing came out of Tropical Storm Erica that devastated his county on August 27: it brought the Caribbean together.
“Tropical Storm Erica brought us in Dominica closer together. And it has brought the people of the Caribbean together as one. We must build on this unity; we must lead regional unity and cooperation each and every single day.
“On behalf of Dominicans, I say to the people of Barbados and visiting friends from across the regions, thank you so much for your kindness, love and concern. Thank you for stepping forward and up to the plate,” he added.
He also gave an update on the progress in Dominica, saying they were well on their way to getting back on their feet thanks to the wonderful support.
“The landscape of Dominica is in rebuilding mode. Electricity has been restored to all communities; running water is not very far behind; housing solutions are being constructed; people are determined. They know and appreciated your concern [and] they value your contribution. Together I am confident we will rebuild our country, Dominica. Not only are we going to rebuild Dominica but we are going to tell and show the world after that we in the Caribbean are our brothers keeper.”
Before exciting the stage, Skerrit had one final message: “All ah we is one family. Touch one in the Caribbean, you touch all.”