Tag Archives: Government House

Guides serve up High Tea and HATS!

I try not to have too much overlap here between Wadadli Pen (which is completely voluntary) and my professional services. But from time to time, there is overlap – some of the articles I’ve done for various publications and/or organizations that centre on art, youth, or the community – have been re-published here. This one is a release for Guides – with which I’ve both volunteered and for whom I have, at other times, provided professional services. I’m sharing this press release on Wadadli Pen because it involves young people  (playing pan, dancing, serving, modelling, presenting poetry) and creative hat designs.


At the Annual Guides Party, It’s all about the Hats!

March 22nd 2016

There’s something about high tea on the elegantly manicured Government House lawn that makes an ordinary Saturday afternoon feel special. There’s the beautiful garden setting; the atmospheric music courtesy Le Chateau d’Or; dance of the liturgical kind à la Passion de Christ Methodist Youth Dancers; poetry written specifically for the occasion by Alaina Mussington; and an Easter Hat Parade fashioned by founding partner Pink Mongoose. The hats especially are what add to the event’s allure as it seems to challenge the ladies-who-tea to, as one put it, “dress for the occasion”. The pre-Easter activity, held this year on March 19th under the theme ‘Connect with Friends’, has been a staple of the Girl Guides Association of Antigua and Barbuda [GGAAB]’s fundraising calendar since 2002, and it continues to grow, which is good as the money raised – EC$20,000 targeted with 200 tickets sold – will fund this girls’ leadership training organization all year round.

There are other benefits.

It is an opportunity to woo and win adults to volunteerism. As such, recruitment cards inviting interested individuals to email abggarecruit@gmail.com were being circulated. “It is an opportunity,” said Jennifer Maynard, GGAAB Vice President, “to promote the adult image of the organization.” Speaking not exclusively of the uniformed body but the Council which functions as the Board of Guiding, she said they need to build the adult membership so that they can not only have women to lead the girls but to improve the functionality of the organization, bringing different skill-sets – management, fund development, event organizing, and more – in to play.

The event also serves as a training exercise within which badges can be earned by some of the 600+ girls making up the GGAAB – “they’re doing a fine job”, said one attendee of their service on this occasion. This aspect: the training of girls, allowing them to fully explore their potential, remains extremely important to the Antigua and Barbuda arm of the world body. “The space to be girls, the space to not always be what you are in context of a male,” remains very relevant Maynard said.

The venue has been Government House since Lady (Emma) Carlisle first floated the idea of high tea. Today, Lady (Sandra) Williams, wife of the current Governor General, embraces her role as patron of the GGAAB and the opportunity to help young girls learn different skills and values. It’s, also, another opportunity, as she sees it, to open up Government House to the community – and it’s worth noting that Tea Party attendees were encouraged to view the latest in a series of art exhibitions being showcased there.  “Art and culture go hand in hand,” said Lady Williams. “We don’t want to see it die.” So, though not a hat person herself, she certainly appreciates the designs as artistic expression.

Let’s talk about these art pieces! Every lady seated there is well aware of the ‘secret’ judging and rises to the occasion. “A woman’s hat tells her personality,” said Lisa Francis. She wore the Largest Hat with Coordinated Ensemble, named among the top three of a dozen prizes along with Most Original (Deena Martin) and Most Original with Coordinated Ensemble (Margaret Gouveia) – hats which included, respectively, Easter egg replicas and crocheted tea cups.

Finally, though it’s a lady’s day in many ways, the men get in on the action too. “I feel out of the way to see that I’m here,” said Sinclair Henry, the Best Coordinated Male.
The GGAAB would not be able to pull off this elaborate affair without the generosity of Abbott’s Jewelry and Perfumery, ACB Mortgage & Trust, Admiral’s Inn, Antigua Jewellers, Antigua Home & Garden Discount Centre, the Antigua and Barbuda Defense Force, A. S. Bryden & Sons, Bailey’s Countryside, Miss MaudVere Bradford, City Nursery, Flowers, Billy’s Food Mart, Bits ‘n Pieces, Caribbean Union Bank, Carlisle Bay Resort, Charlie’s Service Station, Christo’s Supermarket, CIBC/First Caribbean, Colombian Emeralds, Copper and Lumber Store Hotel, Cortsland Hotel, Curtain Bluff Hotel, Daily Fresh, Digicel, Ebenezer Methodist Church, El Taco Loco, Epicurean Fine Foods, Exotic Antigua, Flo’s Perfume Plus, Frank B. Armstrong, Goddard’s Catering Group, the Hospitality Training Institute, Intimate Touch, Island Provisions, Jason Brodie, Joe Mike’s Hotel and Plaza, Jolly Beach Resort, Le Bistro, LIAT 1974 Ltd., LS Catering, Mrs. Blondell Micheal, Mingles Unisex Salon, the Ministry of Tourism, Occasions Party Rentals, O’Mardes Depot, Party Paradise, Percival’s Service Station, Roti King, Sandals Antigua, Scotia Bank, Spring Gardens Moravian Church, St. James Club/Verandah Hotel, Townhouse Megastore, and other Friends of Guiding; with special acknowledgment to Eustace James who, with Sharon Herbert, judged the hat competition.

The organization expresses gratitude to all who contributed to the success of its high tea and its ongoing mission to mentor young girls.

Remember to #connect10million

Leave a comment

Filed under A & B Lit News Plus, Literary Gallery

Sips and Verses Photo Gallery


Last month, I wrote about Sips and Verses at my other blog (and about how Kimolisa Mings, pictured above, was my favourite of the night). More recently I wrote on this blog about an upcoming photography exhibition.

The thing tying these two events together is the venue and the purpose…which is related to the venue: Government House. The historical site is in need of an US$8 million (yes, million dollar) rehabilitation and a series of arts events – including a black tie dinner and art show earlier in the year – have been had (have been had?) to draw public attention and interest and raise some funds. Ramble ramble. Click the links to relive those highlights and find out how you can support. Meantime check out these great pictures by Photogenesis courtesy of the folks at the Government House. You’ll notice there are no pictures of me…I’ll try not to take it as a commentary on my photogenic…ness (?)

Enjoy…and, yes, you should feel bad that you weren’t there! You missed some good readings. Let that be a lesson to you. *smile*

Claudia Elizabeth Ruth Francis is holding up the Tides that Bind, but she actually read a very powerful piece from Missing. You should know that these books are international thrillers - kidnappings, family dynasties, continent hopping, big money, terror...

Claudia Elizabeth Ruth Francis is holding up the Tides that Bind, but she actually read a very powerful piece from Missing. You should know that these books are international thrillers – kidnappings, family dynasties, continent hopping, big money, terror…

Reading Roy Dublin's poetry. Roy Dublin is the late author of Tomorrow's Blossoms. And this is his...daughter (?)

Reading Roy Dublin’s poetry. Roy Dublin is the late author of Tomorrow’s Blossoms. And this is his…daughter (?)

Dorbrene O'Marde read a timely Carnival story.

Dorbrene O’Marde read a timely Carnival story.

Michelle Toussaint read from her book, Now Taking a Lover.

Michelle Toussaint read from her book, Now Taking a Lover.

Fashionable Joy. Joy Lawrence.

Fashionable Joy. Joy Lawrence.

As with all content on Wadadli Pen, except otherwise noted, this is written by Antiguan and Barbudan writer Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!, Fish Outta Water, Musical Youth, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings; also a freelance writer, editor, writing coach and workshop facilitator). Excerpting, reblogging, linking etc. is fine, but PLEASE do not lift ANY content (images or text) wholesale from this site without asking first and crediting the creator of that work and/or copyright holder. All Rights Reserved. If you like the content here follow or recommend the blog, also, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. Thank you.

Leave a comment

Filed under A & B Lit News Plus, A & B WRITINGS, Links We Love, Literary Gallery


The Government House Restoration Committee is holding an inaugural photography exhibition in August 2015 following the Carnival celebrations.

The theme of the exhibiting photography is ‘Antigua & Barbuda: The People and the Place’.  Photographers interested in participating should contact Miss Hunte at Government House – Tel: 462 0002/03/04/05, Email: Kelisa.Hunte@ab.gov.ag.  There will be limited spaces.

The exhibition will showcase works by Antiguan photographers, portraying evocative images of our island and its people.  Photographers will be at hand during the exhibition to speak about their work.

This inaugural event will raise funds for the restoration of Government House through entrance fees and photography sales.

Admission for adults is $50, and $20 for children under 18.  Tickets available at the gate.

The gardens and public areas of Government House will be open to the public during this event, allowing visitors the opportunity to view and experience this great historical building.

Refreshments will be available.

Visitors are requested to dress appropriately.

The inaugural photography exhibition will be open on:
– Wednesday 5th August  2015, 1.00pm – 4.00pm
– Thursday 6th August 2015, 1.00pm – 4.00pm
– Friday 7th August 2015, 1.00pm – 4.00pm
– Saturday 8th August 2015, 10.00am – 5.00pm
– Sunday 9th August 2015, 1.00pm – 5.00pm

This (above) is a press release from the Antigua Government House Restoration Committee.


Read about my participation in Sips and Verses, the last Government House fundraiser.reading from Oh Gad at Government House 2015

Leave a comment

Filed under A & B Lit News Plus, A & B WRITINGS, Links We Love