Bahamas’ Junkanoo groups were not spared by Hurricane Matthew and many had costumes for the end-of-year celebrations wrecked by rain.
Free National Movement leader Dr Hubert Minnis made personal donations of $7,000 to the Shell Saxons Superstars and $2,000 to the Valley Boys.
Quoted in The Tribune newspaper, Minnis said: “It’s essential that our culture is maintained and essential that our Junkanoo groups still come out during the Christmas week.”
Valley Boys chairman Brian Adderley pointed out that the traditional festivities provide “a space for persons who have stress to come and get that stress off”. The hurricane damaged the group’s shacks and water ruined some of the costumes, reported Adderley.
The storm “bulldozed” Saxons’ shacks, said the group’s leader, Percy ‘Vola’ Francis, who thanked Minnis for his gift. “Junkanoo is the soul and the heart of the Bahamas,” he added.