Parish-based Liberation Day celebrations ‘more inclusive’

PARISHES across the island are largely supportive of plans to stick with more community-based Liberation Day celebrations this May.

Liberation Day celebrations in St Andrew’s last year, as parishioners wave to the cavalcade. (30419420)
Liberation Day celebrations in St Andrew’s last year, as parishioners wave to the cavalcade. (30419420)

Although Covid-19 has delayed planning and organisation, parishes have agreed that the next few weeks will enable them to clarify details and plans for the 2022 celebrations in honour of 77 years since Guernsey was liberated from the German occupying forces at the end of the Second World War.

St Andrew’s senior constable Martin Thwaite said his parish has always held its own events, most notably themed celebrations held at the Last Post pub.

However, the new community and parish emphasis may see St Andrew’s plan other events outside of this.

‘I think it’s a good idea to keep celebrations community-based,’ he said.

‘Last year, the cavalcade went through the middle of the parish, and as far as I’m concerned, more people than ever were able to participate.’

St Peter Port constable Zoe Lihou said she personally had no issues with more island-wide Liberation celebrations, and taking the event out of the centre of town.

However, the matter will be discussed at a douzaine meeting tonight.

‘I think this way of doing things is more inclusive,’ she said.

‘It’s easier for the elderly and the home-bound to watch the cavalcade, and people with small children can have a better view if everyone is dotted around the island.’

The only potential concern from Mrs Lihou’s point of view is relying too heavily on a volunteer planning force for celebrations. If volunteers come and go year-on-year, Mrs Lihou said she would not want to see celebrations lose focus going forward.

St Sampson’s douzeniers have also said Covid-19 has delayed plans.

It will also consider its response at a douzaine meeting this week.

Mrs Lihou said it was intended that the normal Liberation Day events at Town Church and live music at Castle Cornet would still go ahead as usual.

The cavalcade and military procession would also be proceeding as usual, with the island’s new Lt-Governor expected to be involved.

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