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Danish Homecoming: Friends of Denmark Welcome Visitors for Transfer Day Festivities

March 11, 2007 — It will be a diamond-and-emerald jubilee as the Friends of Denmark (FOD), under the auspices of the V.I. government, welcome guests from their namesake country for the 90th anniversary of Transfer Day.
The theme of this year's anniversary celebration is "Emeralds of the Sea Celebrate the Diamond 90th Anniversary: Recalling Our Past, Forging our Future." A wide array of events will take place on both St. Thomas and St. Croix throughout the month, including receptions, tours, concerts and lectures as parts of USVI-Denmark Month and Transfer Day observances. Most are open to the public, and people are encouraged to turn out to welcome the Danish guests and learn about this important cultural aspect of the territory.
The schedule of events was unveiled Friday by Myron Jackson and Julia Watthey, co-chairs of the St. John and St. Croix districts, respectively, and Ronnie Lockhart, president of the St. Thomas-St. John FOD. They were joined via video link from St. Croix by Administrator Pedro Encarnacion and Bill Bass of the St. Croix FOD.
Jackson and Watthey highlighted many of the upcoming events. "We have quite an exciting schedule of events," Jackson said. "The committee has come up with some creative programming that represents both the historical aspects of our history and elements of the arts and humanities."
Lockhart told of the history of the FOD, which was founded in 1967, and its counterpart in Denmark, the Danish West Indian Society. Every two years one group visits the other, he explained.
"We are lucky to have them come for this very historic event, and we have a whole host of activities planned," Lockhart said. The Danish guests will stay with local FOD hosts. According to Lockhart, many of the Danes that left after the transfer still have connections here. One of the most important venues on the FOD itinerary is the visit to the Danish Cemetery.
Other festivities include a reception by the governor, educational tours of St. Thomas and St John, museum visits, private parties, banquets, picnics and a ceremony at the V.I. Legislature. The dignitaries will include the Danish ambassadors from Washington, D.C., and New York, as well as Stacy Smith, Miss Virgin Islands 2006.
Jackson noted the free Wednesday concert series called "Lunch in the Garden," featuring music from noon to 1 p.m. at Emancipation Garden. A different local school will perform each week throughout March.
On March 16 at CAHS, there will be a showcase presentation of "The Jamesie Project" by independent filmmaker Andrea Leland, which chronicles the music of James "Jamesie" Brewster. Jamesie is known throughout the Caribbean as the undisputed King of Scratch Band Music and for his humorous, provocative and playful compositions and lively performances.
On St. Croix, local storytellers will recall the first Transfer Day in an event called "Passing the Torch" in Budhoe Park on March 20 from 10:30 a.m. until noon.
March 14 — Lunch in the Garden: Charlotte Amalie High School Band, noon to 1 p.m., Emancipation Garden.
March 15 — The Vaedderen (The Ram) with Galathea 3 Danish research ship arrives at Crown Bay, 8 a.m.
March 16 — Roy Lawaetz's "Transfer Exhibition" opening reception, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Fort Frederik Museum; Sunset Jazz performance, 6 p.m., Fort Frederik Beach, Frederiksted; The Jamesie Project documentary, 7 p.m., Charlotte Amalie High School auditorium.
March 18 — Family Day: "Recalling Our Past, Forging our Future," noon to 5 p.m., St. Croix Agricultural Fair Grounds; Family History/Genealogy Workshop, noon to 5 p.m., St. Croix Educational Complex.
March 20 — Storytelling: "Passing the Torch," 10:30 a.m. to noon, Buddhoe Park, Frederiksted.
March 21 — Lunch in the Garden: Leonard Dober, Ulla Muller and Gladys Abraham elementary schools, noon, Emancipation Garden.
March 23 — Quadrille Dance, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., Custom House, Frederiksted.
March 24 — Sunset Cultural Showcase: Superior Court Rising Stars Youth Steel Orchestra, 5-7 p.m., Emancipation Garden.
March 26 — The Vaedderen Galathea 3 arrives at Ann Abramson Pier, 8 a.m., Frederiksted.
March 27 — Public Concert, 7-9 p.m., Cruz Bay, St. John, bandstand.
March 28 — Lunch in the Garden: Ivanna Eudora Kean High, noon to 1 p.m., Emancipation Garden.
March 29 — Society of Caribbean Artists (SOCA) organizational launch, 5-8 p.m., Fort Frederik Museum.
March 30 — Quelbe-Quadrille Evening with: St. Croix Educational Complex Quelbe Band, Native Rhythm Band, Lockhart Elementary Quadrille Dancers, Mungo Niles Cultural Dancers and the St. Thomas Heritage Dancers, 5-9 p.m., Emancipation Garden.
March 31 — Transfer Day Ceremonies: 10 a.m. Lawaetz Museum, St. Croix; 3 p.m. V.I. Capitol grounds, St. Thomas. Jungle Band and Milo's Kings will play at 5:30 p.m. at Emancipation Garden.
At exactly 4 p.m. on March 31, it will be 90 years since Denmark transferred the territory to the United States for $25 million. According to the Royal Danish Consulate website, "The United States' interest in the Virgin Islands was primarily for their strategic location, while any economic benefits were secondary. The islands represented a much-needed foothold in the Caribbean for the American navy, and later were looked toward as a base to guard the Panama Canal. American negotiations with the Danish government can be characterized as ones of strategic diplomacy. All offers of proposed purchase came on the heels of American military conflicts."
One interesting aspect of this particular Transfer Day anniversary will be the arrival of the navy surveillance vessel Vaedderen ("The Ram") on March 15. The ship is a part of Galathea 3, an ongoing scientific-research project. The corvette Galathea 1 sailed the oceans from 1845 to 1847.
A little more than 100 years later, from 1950 to 1952, Galathea 2 went on an expedition to explore the deep sea, and the scientific results produced by this voyage in many ways exceeded expectations. The activities on Galathea 2 also included ethnographic surveys.
Now, 50 years later, the project continues with further gathering of information. The natural science researchers are going to focus on biological processes, climatic changes, bacteria, plankton and algae.
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March 11, 2007 -- It will be a diamond-and-emerald jubilee as the Friends of Denmark (FOD), under the auspices of the V.I. government, welcome guests from their namesake country for the 90th anniversary of Transfer Day.
The theme of this year's anniversary celebration is "Emeralds of the Sea Celebrate the Diamond 90th Anniversary: Recalling Our Past, Forging our Future." A wide array of events will take place on both St. Thomas and St. Croix throughout the month, including receptions, tours, concerts and lectures as parts of USVI-Denmark Month and Transfer Day observances. Most are open to the public, and people are encouraged to turn out to welcome the Danish guests and learn about this important cultural aspect of the territory.
The schedule of events was unveiled Friday by Myron Jackson and Julia Watthey, co-chairs of the St. John and St. Croix districts, respectively, and Ronnie Lockhart, president of the St. Thomas-St. John FOD. They were joined via video link from St. Croix by Administrator Pedro Encarnacion and Bill Bass of the St. Croix FOD.
Jackson and Watthey highlighted many of the upcoming events. "We have quite an exciting schedule of events," Jackson said. "The committee has come up with some creative programming that represents both the historical aspects of our history and elements of the arts and humanities."
Lockhart told of the history of the FOD, which was founded in 1967, and its counterpart in Denmark, the Danish West Indian Society. Every two years one group visits the other, he explained.
"We are lucky to have them come for this very historic event, and we have a whole host of activities planned," Lockhart said. The Danish guests will stay with local FOD hosts. According to Lockhart, many of the Danes that left after the transfer still have connections here. One of the most important venues on the FOD itinerary is the visit to the Danish Cemetery.
Other festivities include a reception by the governor, educational tours of St. Thomas and St John, museum visits, private parties, banquets, picnics and a ceremony at the V.I. Legislature. The dignitaries will include the Danish ambassadors from Washington, D.C., and New York, as well as Stacy Smith, Miss Virgin Islands 2006.
Jackson noted the free Wednesday concert series called "Lunch in the Garden," featuring music from noon to 1 p.m. at Emancipation Garden. A different local school will perform each week throughout March.
On March 16 at CAHS, there will be a showcase presentation of "The Jamesie Project" by independent filmmaker Andrea Leland, which chronicles the music of James "Jamesie" Brewster. Jamesie is known throughout the Caribbean as the undisputed King of Scratch Band Music and for his humorous, provocative and playful compositions and lively performances.
On St. Croix, local storytellers will recall the first Transfer Day in an event called "Passing the Torch" in Budhoe Park on March 20 from 10:30 a.m. until noon.
March 14 -- Lunch in the Garden: Charlotte Amalie High School Band, noon to 1 p.m., Emancipation Garden.
March 15 -- The Vaedderen (The Ram) with Galathea 3 Danish research ship arrives at Crown Bay, 8 a.m.
March 16 -- Roy Lawaetz's "Transfer Exhibition" opening reception, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Fort Frederik Museum; Sunset Jazz performance, 6 p.m., Fort Frederik Beach, Frederiksted; The Jamesie Project documentary, 7 p.m., Charlotte Amalie High School auditorium.
March 18 -- Family Day: "Recalling Our Past, Forging our Future," noon to 5 p.m., St. Croix Agricultural Fair Grounds; Family History/Genealogy Workshop, noon to 5 p.m., St. Croix Educational Complex.
March 20 -- Storytelling: "Passing the Torch," 10:30 a.m. to noon, Buddhoe Park, Frederiksted.
March 21 -- Lunch in the Garden: Leonard Dober, Ulla Muller and Gladys Abraham elementary schools, noon, Emancipation Garden.
March 23 -- Quadrille Dance, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., Custom House, Frederiksted.
March 24 -- Sunset Cultural Showcase: Superior Court Rising Stars Youth Steel Orchestra, 5-7 p.m., Emancipation Garden.
March 26 -- The Vaedderen Galathea 3 arrives at Ann Abramson Pier, 8 a.m., Frederiksted.
March 27 -- Public Concert, 7-9 p.m., Cruz Bay, St. John, bandstand.
March 28 -- Lunch in the Garden: Ivanna Eudora Kean High, noon to 1 p.m., Emancipation Garden.
March 29 -- Society of Caribbean Artists (SOCA) organizational launch, 5-8 p.m., Fort Frederik Museum.
March 30 -- Quelbe-Quadrille Evening with: St. Croix Educational Complex Quelbe Band, Native Rhythm Band, Lockhart Elementary Quadrille Dancers, Mungo Niles Cultural Dancers and the St. Thomas Heritage Dancers, 5-9 p.m., Emancipation Garden.
March 31 -- Transfer Day Ceremonies: 10 a.m. Lawaetz Museum, St. Croix; 3 p.m. V.I. Capitol grounds, St. Thomas. Jungle Band and Milo's Kings will play at 5:30 p.m. at Emancipation Garden.
At exactly 4 p.m. on March 31, it will be 90 years since Denmark transferred the territory to the United States for $25 million. According to the Royal Danish Consulate website, "The United States' interest in the Virgin Islands was primarily for their strategic location, while any economic benefits were secondary. The islands represented a much-needed foothold in the Caribbean for the American navy, and later were looked toward as a base to guard the Panama Canal. American negotiations with the Danish government can be characterized as ones of strategic diplomacy. All offers of proposed purchase came on the heels of American military conflicts."
One interesting aspect of this particular Transfer Day anniversary will be the arrival of the navy surveillance vessel Vaedderen ("The Ram") on March 15. The ship is a part of Galathea 3, an ongoing scientific-research project. The corvette Galathea 1 sailed the oceans from 1845 to 1847.
A little more than 100 years later, from 1950 to 1952, Galathea 2 went on an expedition to explore the deep sea, and the scientific results produced by this voyage in many ways exceeded expectations. The activities on Galathea 2 also included ethnographic surveys.
Now, 50 years later, the project continues with further gathering of information. The natural science researchers are going to focus on biological processes, climatic changes, bacteria, plankton and algae.
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.