The Valley Boys on Bay Street at the 2019 Junkanoo Boxing Day parade. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff
By NICO SCAVELLA
Tribune Staff Reporter
VALLEY Boys Chairman Brian Adderley yesterday said the majority of the group’s members are in support of its decision to leave the Junkanoo Corporation of New Providence (JCNP), with their focus now on “moving in a new direction”.
Mr Adderley, answering questions from The Tribune by email, said most of the Junkanoo group’s members supported its decision to resign from the JCNP last month, adding some members felt the group “should have left sooner”.
Mr Adderley did not say whether or not the group has reconsidered its hardline stance on not participating in future parades under the JCNP; however, he said he looks forward to meeting with the relevant government ministry to “discuss our views for sustainable Junkanoo”.
As far as the future is concerned, Mr Adderley said Valley Boys members are “excited” about the group’s plans to “revolutionise the Junkanoo industry”. He said the group will—pursuant to “further consultation” with its membership —host a press conference to outline its new mission.
Mr Adderley’s statements came after the group held a general meeting at the Thomas A Robinson National Stadium on Saturday. According to Mr Adderley, Saturday’s attendance was the largest it’s been in six years.
His statements also came less than two weeks after the Valley Boys announced their resignation from the JCNP with immediate effect over a row about official results for the Boxing Day parade.
And that resignation came after the JNCP’s Independent Review Committee (IRC) pushed the Saxons Superstars to first place and the Valley Boys, the unofficial winner, to second place, in the official Boxing Day results.
The JCNP announced last week that it had received an ultimatum from the Valley Boys that if the IRC and its recommendations were allowed, it would no longer participate in any future parades that are managed by the JNCP.
After the official results were posted, the Valley Boys followed up on its threat by electronically submitting a letter of resignation from the JCNP with immediate effect.
A day after the Valley Boys shocked the nation with its announcement, Youth, Sports and Culture Minister Lanisha Rolle said her ministry would work to bring all groups together for a discussion to resolve any ongoing issues.
Even former Prime Minister Perry Christie, a long-time supporter who has rushed with the group in past parades, told a local newspaper he is “prepared to get involved” to help resolve the matter.
However, Mr Adderley subsequently said that while the Valley Boys members are open to discussions to address issues concerning the handling of Junkanoo parades, its members are still not prepared to participate under the current parade’s management.
The Valley Boys held a meeting at the national stadium on Saturday, which, according to Mr Adderley, was to discuss the 2019 and 2020 parade season and the group’s reasons for moving in a new direction. He also said new formats for future parades, commercial opportunities and Junkanoo-themed events were discussed.
When asked if the meeting resolved any of the group’s outstanding concerns, Mr Adderley replied: “The meeting was very productive and our members are excited about our future.
“…Our members are excited about our plans to revolutionise the Junkanoo Industry. After further consultation with our membership we will have a press conference to discuss our new mission,” Mr Adderley said.
With 81.44 points, the Valley Boys were the unofficial Boxing Day parade winners. The Saxons Superstars, meanwhile, initially came in a close second with 80.01 points. The unofficial results were released on Boxing Day.
However, the official results — which came out roughly a month later — put the Saxons in first place with 85.01 points and Valley Boys in second with 81.44 points after a three-point penalty.
As for the New Year’s Day parade, Saxons Superstars came in first with 84.50 points, Valley Boys second with 81.44 points, One Family third with 81.10, and Roots fourth with 76.39 points.