Tobago gathering postponed until 2004

The uncertainty of world events as well as potential scheduling conflicts have forced organizers of the 13th Latvian gathering in Tobago to postpone the event until June 2004.

News of the change came in an e-mail forwarded to Latvian media by the World Federation of Free Latvians in Rīga.

In the mid-1600s, Tobago was briefly a colony of the Duchy of Courland, an area that included what today is the Kurzeme region of Latvia. Tobago is the smaller of the two main islands that make up the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago.

The 2004 gathering would begin June 17 with participants arriving in Port-of-Spain on Trinidad, according to the e-mail from Guntars Gedulis, a Latvian living in Venezuela. Participants would travel to Tobago on June 19 and would stay at least through a Midsummer, or Jāņi, celebration. The gathering is scheduled to end June 26.

Uncertainty about world events tied to the crisis over Iraq, as well as concerns that organizing a visit to the island at the same time that the major song festival is planned in Latvia, convinced organizers to move the event to next year, according to Gedulis.

On Tobago, participants would visit locations where Courlanders settled as well as view the Latvian section of a local museum. Other excursions to view the island’s habitat also are planned.

Further information about the gathering is available from Gedulis via or telephone, +58 212 575-2874. Some Latvian tourist bureaus also should have information about the gathering.

Tobago gathering

Participants in 12th Tobago gathering in 2001 pose in front of a monument to the Courlanders erected in 1978 in Plymouth, Tobago. (Photo courtesy of Guntars Gedulis)

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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