By Carlena Knight
For the third consecutive year, the popular Malcolm Nicholas Cup which had long been a staple on the annual Police Week calendar of events, will not be held.
Police Public Relations Officer Inspector Frankie Thomas broke the disappointing news on Tuesday during a state media interview where he outlined this year’s activities.
The competition, which was introduced in the early 1970s, gave firemen and women from stations across the island the chance to showcase their firefighting skills in the fastest possible time.
Johnson’s Point Fire Station last earned bragging rights in 2019.
According to Thomas, despite the absence of the marquee event, the fire department will be hosting another activity.
“Unfortunately, we will not have the competition … I know many of us will be a little disappointed but circumstances will not allow us to have it the way that we would want to.
“What we will do, though, the fire department will have a display at Police Headquarters forming part of the Open Day Exhibition. So, they will be a part of that … starting from 10am all the way up until 4pm,” Thomas explained.
That Open Day Exhibition will take place on September 5 at the American Road facility.
Another popular event, the dramatic presentation and variety concert, will take place on September 10 at the Antigua Recreation Grounds (ARG) starting at 8pm. Admission is $20.
The 54th anniversary of Police Week will be preceded by a number of events.
These include a hike to Mount McNish on August 20, a netball competition on August 24, a fitness jam on August 26 and a road race on August 28.
“We realised that the week itself is too short to fit everything in it, so we have tried as much as possible to have these pre-events to at least give you an idea,” Thomas explained.
One of the highly anticipated events is the queen show pageant which will see five ladies representing different districts and departments from the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda (RPFAB) vie for the crown on September 3 at the ARG at 8pm. Admission is $20.
It is the first time since 2019 that Police Week will be conducted in a face-to-face format as the Covid-19 pandemic forced the officers to host a number of events virtually.
Thomas explained that officers are looking forward to finally being able to interact fully with each other and the public.
That interaction kicks off with a church service and brunch on September 4.
“This time, we intend to have a divine church service at the Swetes Wesleyan Holiness Church and this will start at 9am. Following that service, we intend to stay in the Swetes community and have a brunch right there on the Swetes playing field. That in itself will be a community-oriented Sunday so to speak,” Thomas detailed.
On September 6, the police will host their inter-house sports day.
The sick and shut-in officers will be visited on September 7 and will be presented with food packages, while the staple calypso competition will take place at the ARG later that night. It starts at 8pm and admission is $20.
The veterans cocktail party will take place at the Sir Wright F George Academy on September 8 at 5pm.
“This is more so for those officers who would have reached 18 years and more in service and this is sort of our way of showing our appreciation to them for their hard work in years of service,” Thomas added.
September 9 will see a sports day march past, while a shooting competition will be held the day after at the Crabbs Shooting Range at 10am.
The week of activities will culminate with a beach day on September 11.
The theme for this year’s Police Week is ‘Overcoming the Challenges Together’.