‘We need to work this out’

The leader of The Immortals Junkanoo group said yesterday he is willing to sit down and meet with the Junkanoo Corporation of New Providence (JCNP).

“We need to find some way to work this out because we have a community involved and we have youth involved,” said Jamaine Williams, the leader of the group.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Lanisha Rolle was trying to overrule the JCNP’s decision to not let The Immortals participate in the upcoming parades.

The JCNP has raised concerns over the announcement, noting that it will not recognize the group.

Williams said Rolle got involved after noticing The Immortals’ work in the community.

“The minister of culture got involved when [she] saw the group in the community doing certain rushes for back-to-school,” Williams said.

He added, “She saw that we had this thing where we applied to the government to give us a building because we wanted to help youth in the community to get back to their roots and learn what Junkanoo is to take them off the streets. That’s all we did and the ministry saw that.”

Yesterday, JCNP Chairman Dino Miller noted that his organization does not have anything personal against any Junkanoo group.

“Every year we have a number of groups who apply,” he said.

“Some are accepted, some are rejected. The process is the process.

“In 2016, we amended the standard operating procedure that says that a new group that wants to join the JCNP in parades should apply by April 1. The Immortals missed that deadline.

“I think the application came in May 15 or something like that. Nevertheless, the matter was still taken to the floor and the floor said, ‘You know what, we’re going to maintain our rules and we’re going to abide from it…’”

A letter addressed to The Immortals and dated June 6, 2019 notes that 12 members of the JCNP voted against allowing The Immortals to participate in the upcoming parades.

It also notes that three voted to allow the group, four were absent and three abstained.

Yesterday, Miller said that the group is still invited to participate in the 2019 Boxing Day Parade and the 2020 New Year’s Day Parade.

“We are not telling them that they can’t parade,” he said.

“The only thing is they cannot compete for a JCNP prize, that’s the only difference.” 

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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