Features — 14 June 2013 — by Albert J. Ciego
Perry “Sticks” Smith does it again: Another Day of Healing and Candlelight Vigil

After a successful Day of Healing and candlelight vigil event that was held in the Lake I community in April, in which over 700 people participated, Perry “Sticks” Smith is organizing a similar event, which will be conducted in the communities of Queen Square and Mesopotamia at the Albert Hoy Football Field, next to the Raccoon Street Police Headquarters. The Day of Healing and candlelight vigil for these neighbourhoods will be held on Sunday, June 16, Father’s Day.

Smith said that the aim of the event is to provide an opportunity for neighbourhood residents to show love and appreciation for each other, to make an effort to take back their community, and to appreciate and nurture the talents of the children. It is designed to be a family fun day, on which parents will come out with their children, to have wholesome fun and engage in friendly competition, and to see the talents of the children.

Some of the activities planned for the occasion include writing competitions, drawing, lime and spoon races, a football tournament, a volleyball game, and plotting of the maypole. Medals and trophies will be given to the winners, and parents participating in the competitions will also be given medals and prizes, Sticks said.

He noted that food and drinks, as well as other items, will be given to the people, free of cost, and he reminds vendors to refrain from attempting to sell their goods at the event, but if they wish to participate in the healing of the community, they can give away their products free to the children.

The organizer said that the Day of Healing will begin at 9:00 a.m. and at 6:00 p.m. the candlelight vigil will commence. The procession will start at the football field, proceed into Curassow Street, turn right into Cemetery Road, in front of Mike’s Auto Parts, and go down towards Rogers Stadium. The vigil will turn right into Dolphin Street by Rogers Stadium and right into Iguana Street down towards the field and left into the football field, where it will conclude. Smith said that along the way, people will light candles and say a prayer to honor the memory of their loved ones who lost their lives to the ongoing senseless gun violence in the city. The vigil will celebrate the memory of the loved ones who have fallen, and appreciate those ones who are with us. At the conclusion of the vigil, trophies and prizes will be awarded to the winners of the day’s various events, said Smith.

Smith calls on members of the communities, including rival street gangs, to attend the Day of Healing. He urges members of Ghost Town, Back a Town, George Street, PIV, South Side, Kraal Road, and Jerusalem, among other groups, to come in peace and appreciate each other, and to compete with each other in a friendly atmosphere. He also invites concerned citizens, as well as parents and other family members of victims of the senseless violence.

Smith is seeking donations from the public, including food and refreshment, to ensure the success of the day. The donations are required as soon as possible. Individuals can also make the food and bring it to the field on that day and present it. Monetary contributions will be used to pay for food and refreshment, to rent toilets and other facilities, and to purchase prizes and t-shirts for the event. No alcoholic beverages will be served. Anyone desiring to make a contribution can contact Sticks at 601 – 2342

Sticks said that the Day of Healing Committee is planning three more Days of Healing to be held in August, October and December, in different communities throughout the Southside of the city, and maximum participation from the public is desired.

He also mentioned that the Day of Healing Committee identifies the grassroots members in the various communities who are genuinely working for the upliftment and the betterment of the community and efforts will be made to help them, to help the community.

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