All across Montserrat, in the early hours of March 17th, the mountains and valleys will reverberate with the sounds of the drum accompanying the voices of men, recounting and remembering those who tried and those who died on Montserrat on St. Patrick’s Day, 1768.
The Montserrat Arts Council has put its support behind the community initiative to give thanks for freedom.
Awakening Montserrat at midnight, in Lookout, the procession will make its way across the island to Salem, keeping vigil until the early morn. All of Montserrat is invited to move with the procession, joining at each village centre, when they stop to give homage and celebrate the island’s heritage.
Between Runaway Ghaut and Salem the drums, the voices and the people will join for Drum Jam, as the procession continues on foot, walking and dancing, “making a joyful spirit noise in celebration of the courage of our ancestors, in remembrance of their sacrifice and in gratitude for the freedom that we now enjoy.
“Transporting us through the night and into the early morning, this spectacular demonstration of art, culture and spirituality will set a high tone for the celebrations of our people on this sacred and momentous day,” a release from the council stated.
“As this year marks the 250th anniversary of the legendary insurrection, it is fitting that this event begins at its earliest hour. Awakening the spirits and greeting the dawn with the sounds of drums, and with the sounds of a free people. There is no better way to acknowledge the sacrifice of our benevolent ancestors in their fight for freedom. It is my hope that this would be a permanent part of the calendar of events. It is a relevant reverent spectacle which acutely captures the true spirit of this heritage festival. It has been a pleasure to produce this event with Miss Osborne and the enthusiasm shown by the community has been encouraging,” said Chadd Cumberbatch, Director of the Arts Council.