Homes & Gardens
Friday, 14 December 2012 02:30
By caribarena news
Antigua St. john's - Under the theme ‘Think Beautification for the Nation’s Health and Wealth’, the Community Development Division in the Ministry of Health, Social Transformation and Consumer Affairs honored dozens of home- and garden-loving Antiguans and Barbudans in its fifth annual Homes, Families and Garden Festival (HFGF) Awards Ceremony.
The event, hosted at the Sandals Grande Resort and Spa on Thursday night, came under the chairmanship of Chief Environment Officer Mrs. Diann Black-Layne and Mr. David Spencer.
Director of the Community Development Division, Mrs. Brenda T. Odlum, said the festival’s five-year milestone was indeed one to be proud of, as Antigua and Barbuda, through initiatives like these, continues to develop a cleaner and more beautiful nation.
On hand briefly to witness the event were Governor General Dame Louise Lake-Tack and Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer, who commended all players involved for keeping the festival alive. “We can look back with some degree of satisfaction that this whole concept of nation building is regaining its footing,” the PM said.
He noted that the initiative speaks to both pride and conscientiousness in Antigua and Barbuda, while bringing into focus community awareness, coupled with the cognizance of healthy surroundings and generally protected environments. “Your participation allows for us to be gathered here to celebrate and to socialize, and be aware of the importance of this activity, and of nation building. We must see this as an integral part of the building of the nation.
“Let me congratulate all the winners, participants and persons who have worked tirelessly over the years to ensure that this program could survive to this day,” the Prime Minister said.
The festival runs in partnership with several government departments including the ministries of Tourism, Agriculture, Finance and Education. The Treasury Department, Central Board of Health, the Environment Division, the DCA and the Public Works Department are also involved.
This year the Homes, Families’ and Gardens Festival competition saw the participation of 72 individuals, groups, organizations and businesses competing throughout five zones in the three categories – Landscaping and Pools, Flower Gardens and Fruits and Vegetable Gardens.
The Poetry and Research Competition comprises another of the festivals’ highlights, with Christ the King High school submitting a mammoth 98 entries.
Also participating this year were the Bolans Primary School, Old Road Primary School, Antigua Girls High School, Potters Primary School, and individuals from the communities.
“Truly we can appreciate the wealth of information provided in this category, which can only augur well for the sustainable development of our nation’s history from the youth’s perspective,” said Coordinator of the HFGF, Ms. Dale O’Brien.
She said the journey of thinking beautification for the nation’s wealth and health began with a unique and dynamic cross-sectoral committee, which has proven the best practices of teamwork. “Tonight is very crucial for those persons who have toiled, but, as the saying goes, reward sweetens Labour…It was a tough task, but we persevered, mediating on our purpose at the Community Development Division to build the capacity of community members, while enabling them to assess and utilize their resources effectively to harness their potential to plan and manage their own development, in collaboration with other critical stakeholders in a sustainable and holistic manner,” O’Brien said.