Antiguanization – "Revisiting Our Past, Securing Our Future"
It has been said that we cannot know where we are going if we do not know where we came from. Implicit in this statement is the understanding that there is a strong link between our past, present and future.
The importance of capturing the values by which our forefathers lived, and preserving them for future generations is seen in Psalm 78.
"For I will speak to you in a parable. I will teach you hidden lessons from our past—stories we have heard and known, stories our ancestors handed down to us. We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders." Psalms 78:2-4
New Living Translation (NLT)
This is the premise that birthed Antiguanization, launched by Precision Centre in 2012.
The search started when we began to discuss the way of life of our forefathers – their health remedies, village life, relationships, etc. We realized that our forefathers operated by strong values that have been lost over time. Village life for instance, was characterized by a great deal of trust for their neighbor, respect for their elders and shared resources; it was indeed the village that raised the child. Our forefathers or (forebears) were resourceful; they ensured that nothing was wasted and they produced everything that they needed.
As a result, the leadership of the Precision Centre community selected a Committee that was given the responsibility to develop plans to unearth the history of our nation. They recorded a series of interviews with a number of Antiguan senior citizens within the community, who gave a rich account of life in Antigua in their childhood years. These interviews revealed that our seniors have a wealth of information, which must be chronicled, so that the present and future generations would know the values that lay at the root of being Antiguan.
This process culminated in the very first Antigua Then Day, which took place on November 3rd 2012 at the Precision Centre facility in Paynters. The community was divided into eight teams that produced interactive and realistic displays featuring many aspects of Antiguan life back then ranging from education, music, festivals, and games, to village life and more. The children were included because it is important that our youth learn to appreciate our heritage and embrace the values which held our forefathers together.
In December of the same year at the request of the National Heroes' Day Committee, this initiative was repeated with a special feature on the lives of the five national heroes of Antigua and Barbuda. It was enlightening as many were able for the first time to truly appreciate the valuable contribution that these persons have made to shape this nation.
There are many more initiatives to come out of the Antiganization Project and the process of unearthing continues. Many truths are buried in the lives and experiences of our ancestors that must be effectively stewarded. These are the truths that characterize us as Antiguans and could be lost if not effectively uncovered, consciously stewarded, cultured, refined, packaged and handed down through generations.