325 total votes.
By EARYEL BOWLEG
THE Valley Boys resigned from the Junkanoo Corporation New Providence (JCNP) yesterday, saying they will no longer participate in upcoming parades managed by the body.
The bombshell announcement came after parade management team chairman, Anthen Mortimer, announced the Saxon Superstars were crowned the official winners of the Boxing Day and New Year’s Day parades and Valley Boys took second place in both events.
With 81.44 points, Valley Boys were the unofficial Boxing Day parade winners and the Saxons initially came in a close second with 80.01 points. However, the official results put the Saxons in first place with 85.01 points and Valley Boys in second with 81.44 points after a three-point penalty. In a statement posted to the Valley Boys’ Facebook page, group chairman Brian Adderley said: “We trust that a new entity will be put in place to manage future Boxing Day and New Year’s Day parades so that justice and fairness can prevail in future Junkanoo competitions.”
At a press conference yesterday, the JNCP said the decision was disappointing. However the body conceded that in light of the protest over unofficial Junkanoo scores this parade season, the Independent Review Committee (IRC) and “protest procedures in general” need to be reviewed. The JCNP said it is committed to reforming this “segment of the parade aftermath in short order” ahead of the 2020/2021 parades.
“On Friday past, the JCNP received an ultimatum from the Valley Boys Junkanoo group stating that if the IRC and its subsequent recommendations are allowed, they will no longer participate in the upcoming parades that (are) managed by the JNCP,” the JNCP announced yesterday.
“Today, the Valley Boys followed up by submitting electronically a letter of resignation with immediate effect. While the JCNP is disappointed in the Valley Boys’ decision, the JNCP wishes them the best in their future endeavors.”
At a press conference yesterday to announce the official results, JCNP President Dion Miller was reluctant to comment further on the group’s resignation.
He replied: “Well, the JCNP has combination of about 24 or 25 groups, the Valley Boys is one group in that pie. So we have six other category A groups. The JCNP represents a collective. So we look out for the best interest of all of our groups.
“Our job is to prepare for the parade and that’s with all of the groups, some the groups – whatever. We’re here for the greater good. So, we’re not going to focus on one or two particular entity.”
Some observers have expressed frustration about having to wait for a month for official parade results. Mr Miller said the timeframe is nothing new, saying it was a “normal occurrence” and that the groups are aware that the results can change.
Yet, he admitted that the IRC process needs to be improved as he found it to be a bit outdated and lengthy.
“I think that within 24 – 48 hours the parade (results) should be final; should be done and we can move on. So I’m in that leaning towards that where we could streamline the process to make this quicker,” Mr Miller added.
Compounding the issue, the JCNP revealed in a press statement that the body took issue with several aspects of the IRC’s final report including the Fancy Dancers protest of a 10-point penalty for a vehicle blocking the parade route.
“. . .The corporation’s view is that a more in-depth investigation by IRC would have uncovered that the said infraction did not take place on the parade route as stated in the 2019/2020 JCNP Parade Rules,” JCNP noted. “The corporation is also of the view that all obstruction penalties constituted a more in-depth approach such as interviews, etc. The JCNP also takes issue with a ruling as it relates to a category A lead costume. The IRC report essentially gave two different rulings on the costume, resulting in the IRC recommending the JCNP to further investigate.”
In spite of the controversy, Mr Miller defended the judging of the parades. “The JCNP takes every precaution to make sure the parade is fair,” he said. “. . .My job is (to ensure) that the process is fair, is transparent, and doing what we supposed to be doing and I’m quite confident and quiet comfortable with that.”
The JCNP’s report, which is available online, revealed that the Valley Boys received penalties for visible cloth undergarment on some its members.
The official category A results show that Genesis remained in third place but with 76.71 points after a three point penalty. One Family was fourth place with 74.19 points after a 12 point penalty. Roots finished last with 69.31 points after a 10 point deduction.
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.
Meanwhile the Valley Boys posted on Facebook that the group will hold a general meeting this week to address the issues arising from the parades.