THE GRIOT
The Sapelo Island Cultural and Revitalization Society, Inc. Newsletter
December 2002    -     Volume 3 Issue 3
P. O. Box 6, Sapelo Island, GA 31327

sicarsferry1@aol.com


 
Karen Grovner, Editor
Dr. Benjamin F. Lewis, Asst. Editor
Cultural Day 2002 on Sapelo Island (SOLD OUT!!!!)


Responses from Attendees
Wonderful time! Enjoyed every minute! Tour was great! Great experience!
Very enjoyable! Loved it! Food was superb! Entertainment was great!!
Would change nothing! Will be back next year! Thank you, Lord!

The Sapelo Island Cultural and Revitalization Society, Inc. sponsored Cultural Day 2002 on Saturday, October 19, 2002 from 9 am to 5 pm on Sapelo Island, off the east coast of Georgia. This annual event showcased the history, culture and legacy of the original Gullah/Geechee people who are direct descendants of slaves. The Gullah/Geechee community on Sapelo Island still maintains many elements of the unique West African culture; language and traditions brought over from the “Rice Coast” of Africa by their ancestors.

Activities included music, storytelling, dancing, and cultural-demonstrations. The participating artists were the McIntosh County Shouters, The Buffalo Soldiers, The Gospel Messengers, The Moran Family, Lillian Baptiste, Louise Cohen, the Sea Island Singers and the Djedje-Gervais and Company African Dance Troupe along with Hog Hummock Youth Dancers. Some of the demonstrations included fish netting, net casting and basket weaving. Numerous slave artifacts and herbs peculiar to Sapelo were on display. Gourmet Island foods included smoked mullets and grits, deviled crabs, potato salad with shrimp, low county boil and all forms of chicken and ribs (including jerk chicken and pork prepared by an authentic Jamaican chef), homemade pies and cakes. This year, vendors exhibited only African American cultural items.

Ticket prices to attend this event were $20 for non-SICARS members and $15 for SICARS members. People came from Chicago, Florida, North and South Carolina, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, all over Georgia and all. We had a great time.

 

Calendar of Events 2003

Spring Food, Jazz and Blues Festival
March 29, 2003
Meridian Dock in Meridian, GA

Beach Party
June 28, 2003
Sapelo Island, GA

Cultural Day
October 18, 2003
Sapelo Island, GA


SICARS Annual Appreciation Party
SICARS Annual Appreciation Party at the Farmers’ Alliance Hall was held on Saturday, November 23, 2002, immediately following SICARS annual Board meeting at 10 a.m.. All SICARS members, Island workers, residents and descendants were invited. SICARS provided fried fish and red rice. Participants were asked to bring their favorite covered dish.

Thanks to all for your continued support throughout the year 2002.

Congratulations to our Executive Director


Governor’s Appointment

Executive Director Carolyn Dowse has been appointed to the Sapelo Island Heritage Authority in Atlanta, Georgia for a term of four years. Executive Director Dowse will represent the Hog Hummock Community of Sapelo Island. Other members of the Authority are Governor Roy Barnes as Chairman, Georgia State Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Lonice Barrett, Georgia State Properties Commissioner Ray Crawford and Georgia State Human Relations Commissioner Brenda Cornelius ex-officio member. The purpose of the Authority is to ensure the preservation of the culture of the Gullah/Geechee people of Georgia. The date of the official Swearing In by Governor Barnes at the State Capitol was Friday, October 4, 2002 in Atlanta, Georgia at 4 pm. Congratulations to Carolyn Dowse and Hog Hummock Community!!!

Sharing with our community

Flower-strewn pathways, all our lives through;
God hath not promised Sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow, Peace without pain.
But God hath promised Strength for the day,
Rest for the labor, Light for the way,
Grace for the trials, Help from above,
Unfailing sympathy, Undying love.

In loving memory of our dear departed love one
Sis. Rosa Lee Walker Rogers

 

Community News


St. Luke Baptist Church Women’s Prayer Breakfast
The St. Luke Baptist Church of Sapelo Island recently celebrated their annual Women’s Prayer Breakfast. This event took place on August 17, 2002. The women enjoyed a spirit filled moment of worship, while the men prepared the meal.


Sapelo Island Descendants Homecoming Celebration
The First African Baptist Church at Raccoon Bluff on Sapelo Island recently celebrated their second annual descendants’ homecoming. This event was held on August 25, 2002. The guest speaker for this occasion was the Rev. J. D. Shaw. Members of Mills Grove Baptist Church, Waynesboro, GA accompanied Rev. Shaw. The Gospel Messengers, of Crescent, GA rendered music. All in attendance had a splendid time. God blessed the day with beautiful sunshine. Dinner was served on the grounds under tents. Members of The First African Baptist Church and The St. Luke Baptist Church, along with descendants from the mainland, embraced with hugs, smiles and remembrance of the “days of old”.

First African Baptist Celebrates Annual Day in White Services
The First African Baptist Church celebrated their 17th Annual Day in White Services on September 22, 2002. The speaker for this occasion was the Rev. Johnny Timmons. Members of his congregation of the Calvary Baptist Church of Liberty County accompanied Rev. Timmons. Continental breakfast was served and following the morning worship a fellowship dinner was held in the church’s annex. Many thanks to all members of the First African Baptist and St. Luke Baptist Church and all other visitors for their participation in this program and all else that was done to help with this event.

First African Baptist Sunday School Picnic
The First African Baptist Church of Sapelo Island held their second annual Sunday School Picnic. This event took place on November 2, 2002. This event was sponsored by the Sunday School and consisted of worship, games and lunch for all island residents. Guest churches were Bay Harbor Church of God and Abysynia Baptist , both of Brunswick, GA.

Thank you, SICARS !!!
The First African Baptist Church, along with the committee of the Second Annual Descendants homecoming at Raccoon Bluff would like to say thank you to SICARS’ President, Ronald Johnson and his staff for the cooperation and usage of the ground tents. Special thanks to Chairperson Jerome Dixon and his helpers, for their time volunteering, along with church members to prepare the tents for the event. We pray that God will continue to bless Mr. Dixon, along with SICARS. Once again, thank you, SICARS!

 

SICARS in ACTION


SICARS Advisory Task Force
The Advisory Task Force, under the leadership of Cornelia Bailey and James O. Thomas meets quarterly at the SICARS Multi-Purpose Center. At the last meeting on July 20, 2002, a tour conducted by Chairperson Cornelia Bailey provided a first hand view of the locations of projects included in the Hog Hummock Community Land Use Plan. The locations toured included Farmer’s Alliance Hall, areas where the following projects will be located: mechanic shop, residential housing, medical facility, artist retreat, cultural village, child care facility, plant nursery, recreational facility, organic garden, nature trail, warehouse/storage and open land/wetland. The tour provided greater insight and appreciation for the Hog Hummock Community Land Use Plan. The Advisory Task Force also now clearly can visualize how and what SICARS is planning to implement.


Next Advisory Task Force Meeting will be February 15, 2003

Library Grant
Jim Darby, Regional Library Director, is assisting Sapelo Island Cultural and Revitalization Society, Inc. (SICARS) with the library project. The Three Rivers Regional Library System, the Ida Hilton Public Library of Darien and McIntosh County and SICARS are working toward the establishment of a branch library in the Hog Hummock Community on Sapelo Island. This project will place a beginning collection in the facility provided by SICARS and it will also provide basic computer hardware and software to link Sapelo to the resources of GALILEO, PINES, and the other informational sources which most Georgians already have in their public libraries. Recently a grant was submitted requesting $16,950 to promote library services that provide all users access to information through state, regional, national and international electronic networks. This grant also provide linkages among and between libraries and to promote target library services to people of diverse geographic, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds, to individuals with disabilities, and to people with limited functional literary and information skills. The books, along with professional and clerical library assistance, will be provided by the Three Rivers Regional Library system. The software and hardware will be purchased. In-kind services of $31,933.20 will be provided by the library and partnering agencies.

Look for postings of the library opening hours in the near future!


Beach Splash 2002 (Sold Out!!!)
SICARS’ Beach Splash 2002 held on Saturday, June 29th was a great success. This year, we added all day competitive volleyball (organized by Hurbert Hillary) as an annual event and the children’s games (organized by staff, Mary Bailey) with prizes from area businesses. The weather was perfect. Additionally, there were door prizes given away which included cruises from the Savannah River Boat Cruise Line of Savannah, GA and the Emerald Princess Cruise Line in Brunswick, GA, movie passes from Island Cinema of St. Simons Island and a gift certificate fro the Prime Outlets Mall. Island guests had their choice of a day of relaxation, a tour of the island, great food including a Low Country Boil, music, and swimming in the Atlantic Ocean. All had a great time. Kudos to the entire staff, committee chairpersons and other volunteers for organizing such a great event.

Thank you to all the following businesses, which donated items for Beach Splash 2002.

• McDonald’s- Meal Tickets – Hinesville, GA
• Island Cinema – Movie Passes – St. Simon’s Island, GA
• Burger King- Meal Tickets – St. Simon’s Island, GA
• Wal-Mart – Prizes – Brunswick, GA
• Savannah River Street/River Boat- Cruise Passes – Savannah, GA
• Just 4 Fun Toys – Prizes – St. Simon’s Island, GA
• Prime Outlets Darien – Gift Certificate – Darien, GA
• Emerald Princess Cruise Line – Brunswick, GA

Sapelo Youth Celebrate Kids’ Week
Youth residents and descendants of Hog Hummock Community on Sapelo Island celebrated Kids’ Week with a bang.

Kids’ Week Program Director, Mary Bailey and residents of the community put together a weeklong program that consisted of photography, enhancing writing and communications skills, along with community and music appreciation. Two interns of the University of Georgia Marine Institute took the children on a tour of the lab. Mrs. & Mrs. Lewis Heidel of Brunswick, GA came to the community and taught the children how to make pizza from scratch. Maureen Heidel allowed the children to express their own wonderful and unique individuality by designing a heritage quilt. The quilt is hanging in the Media Center to be enjoyed by all for years to come. Activities culminated with an overnight trip to Valdosta’s Wild Adventures Theme Park.

Kids’ Week ended with a short program, where the children displayed their Kids’ Week projects. This was truly memorable Kids’ Week 2002. Once again, we would like to thank all those who helped to make Kids’ Week 2002 a great success.

A Heartfelt Community Thank You from SICARS
Our President Ronald Johnson, along with the entire SICARS staff and committees for Beach Splash 2002, would like to say to all the Island residents, thank you. It has been noted by SICARS’ Board of Directors, the dynamic job of staff and island residents working together at Beach Splash 2002 that made this years’ event, the best that it has ever been. Again, from the entire SICARS Board and staff, thank you. We could not have done it without you!!

We would like to express gratitude to all SICARS staff and volunteers for donation of time and assistance with all projects during 2002.

Training Sessions
In order to ensure a productive and efficient operation, SICARS contracted with the Kenneth J. Jones of Jacksonville, FL to conduct a series of training sessions. Several have already been completed. They were constructed to enhance SICARS administrator and staff in the areas of organizational planning, business planning, budgeting and fiscal management, review of government contracts and compliance and program planning.


In-Kind Services and Goods
SICARS is documenting all in-kind services and goods. Forms for this documentation are available in SICARS office. Call or e-mail the SICARS office and request a copy of the form. SICARS is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) corporations. Donations are deductible to the full extent provided by the Internal Revenue Service regulations. Be sure to check with your tax consultant relative to taxable deductions.