By:Curtis Morton

Zion Village-Nevis-If there was any doubt left in anybody’s mind, that would have been cleared on the evening of Thursday 22nd December, as the ceremony for the much anticipated Christmas tree lighting at Zion Village, was held.

Scores of individuals from all across the island, were present to witness the event first hand and by their overwhelming presence, it was confirmed that the most popular tree lighting ceremony to be held each, year, is at Zion.

One person readily admitted that she showed up because she wanted to see what new additions the committee had put in place for this year.

The man who conceived the original idea of the Zion Village Theme Park, Mr. Carlton Williams, in his brief address to the gathering, noted that he was happy that other communities are stepping up their game and improving their lighting ceremonies every year but was quick to point out that it was not a competition. He offered to guide anyone interested and stated that he would be willing to recommend his sources, so that they too can elevate their standards.

He took time to single out Vern Liburd, Keith Swanston and others who year after year, make the necessary sacrifice to make the magnificent lighting ceremony happen.

Area representative, Premier Vance Amory was absent but was ably represented by Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Stedmond Tross, who was clear in his pronunciation, that the ‘lighting at Zion was the best.’

He wished everyone warm Christmas and New Year greetings on behalf of Premier Amory and himself.

The invocation and sermonette was presented by an upbeat Pastor Theophilus Kelly who advised his hearers to get to know the savior of the world personally as it will all come down to a choice between living to please God or to please the evil one, Satan.

There were quite a number of poems and songs, some of which featured the members of the Zion Methodist Church and the Zion Chapel and children from the general area.

One number which caught the attention of the crowd in a big way, was a rendition of a song ‘Back to Bethlehem,’ by Meredith Browne, which drew an immediate encore.

Also performing in dynamic style and with much versatility, was the Sugar Hill String band, who were truly excellent on the night.

The ceremony was held under the patronage of long serving Water Department employee and animal farmer, Mr. Cedric David, who was absent due  to illness.

However, a fruit basket from the organizing committee, was received on his behalf by his grandson, who also had the privilege of pulling the two switches, which effectively lit up the theme Park in spectacular fashion, much to the approval of the huge crowd.

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