Antigua and Barbuda Cultural Association of BC



Upcoming Events

Tue Oct 15 @ 7:00PM - 08:00PM
BCOCCA Board Meeting
Sat Oct 19 @ 6:30PM -
Sun Oct 27 @12:00AM
Trinidad/Tobago Fall Lime
Sat Nov 02 @12:00AM
Barbados Independence Gala

BCOCCA President - Neville Thomas

Neville Thomas 200px

As President of British Columbia Organization of Caribbean Cultural Associations, I am grateful for the opportunity to work on behalf of the Caribbean Community to identify and execute Community Building initiatives which embrace BCOCCA'S mandate.




The Purposes of The Antigua and Barbuda Association of British Columbia are:


  • To provide a forum for discussion of matters of interest to Antiguans and Barbudans living in British Columbia;
  • To institute and promote activities that will enrich the cultural heritage of Antiguans and Barbudans;
  • To establish channels of communication between Antiguans and Barbudans living elsewhere;
  • To promote Educational Activities in the community through specific planned programs;
  • To assist individuals and groups in Canada and other Communities in time of need;
  • To raise funds to be used solely for the execution of the planned programs and activities approved by the membership;
  • To build and strengthen relationships between the Antiguan and Barbudan Community and other communities




Overview of Island/country



Where Antigua and Barbuda are located:


Satellite Caribbean 650px





Antigua was first inhabited by the Siboney ("stone people") whose settlements date at least to 2400 BC. The Arawaks who originated in Venezuela and gradually migrated up the chain of islands now called the Lesser Antilles succeeded the Siboney. The warlike Carib people drove the Arawaks from neighboring islands but apparently did not settle on either Antigua or Barbuda.Christopher Columbus discovered the islands in 1493 naming the larger one "Santa Maria de la Antigua." The English colonized the islands in 1632. Early settlements by the Spanish and French were succeeded by the English who formed a colony in 1667.Sir Christopher Codrinton established the first large sugar estate in Antigua in 1674, and leased Barbuda to raise provisions for his plantations. Barbuda's only town is named after him. Codrinton and others brought slaves from Africa's west coast to work the plantations. Antigua slaves were emancipated in 1834 but remained economically dependent on the plantation owners. Economic opportunities for the new freedom were limited by a lack of surplus farming land, no access to credit, and an economy built on agriculture rather than manufacturing. Poor labor conditions persisted until 1939 when a member of a royal commission urged the formation of a trade union movement.The Antigua Trades and Labor Union, formed shortly afterward, became the political vehicle for Vere Cornwall Bird who became the union's president in 1943. The Antigua Labor Party (ALP). formed by Bird and other trade unionists, first ran candidates in the 1946 elections and became the majority party in 1951 beginning a long history of electoral victories. The island became an independent state within the British Commonwealth of Nations in 1981. Voted out of office in the 1971 general elections that swept the progressive labor movement into power. Bird and ALP returned to office in 1976, winning renewed mandates in every subsequent election under Vere Bird's leadership until 1994 and also under the leadership of his son, Lester Bird, up until March 2004, when the ALP lost power in national elections.As a member of CARICOM, Antigua and Barbuda supported efforts by the United States to implement UN Security Council Resolution 940,designed to facilitate the departure of Haiti's de facto authorities from power. The country agreed to contribute personnel to the multinational force, which restored the democratically elected government of Haiti in October 1994.During the election in March 1994, power passed from Vere Bird to his son, Lester Bird. In the election in March 1999, the ALP gained a 12 seat majority, while the oppposition United Progressive Party (UPP) led by Baldwin Spencer retained four seats, and the Barbuda People's Movement (BPM) retained one seat. Antigua and Barbuda's location is close to U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico makes it an attractive transshipment point for narcotics traffickers. To address these problems, the U.S. and Antigua and Barbuda have signed a series of counter-narcotic and counter-crime treaties and agreements, including a maritime law enforcement agreement (1995), subsequently amended to include over flight and order-to-land provisions (1996); a bilateral extradition treaty (1996); and a mutual legal assistance treaty (1996).In the elections on March 23, 2004, the United Progressive Party (UPP) led by W. Baldwin Spencer gained a 13-seat majority, while the opposition, (ALP) then led by Robin Yearwood, retained four seats.At the June 12, 2014, general elections the Antigua and Barbuda Labor Party (ABLP) led by Gaston Browne assumed the reins of control of government for Antigua and Barbuda. As evident the transfer of control from one administration to another is not deemed unusual. It had occured at least four times before, beginning in 1971, and again in 1976, then in 1994, and the fourth time in 2004.


Flag and Coat of Arms


Antingua barbuda150px-Coat of arms of Antigua and Barbuda




Photo Gallery


Event Calendar

- Spring Annual - General Meeting
- May - Mothers Day Event
- August 17, 2014 - OECS Family Picnic
- November 02, 2014 - Independence Church Service
- November 15, 2014 - Independence Banquet
- December 14, 2014 - Christmas Brunch




Official Government Website

On-line website link



- Associations's news




- Regular Members
- Junior Members
- Associate Members
- Honorary Members


Board Members


- President: Edward Morrissey
- Vice-President: Alston Jacobs
- Secretary: Constance Henry
- Treasurer: Neville Thomas
- Fund Raising/Youth Coordinator: Noreen Richards, Avery Henry and Loraine Jacobs


General Membership


- Membership Application: ( See attached)
- Member Profile
- Meeting Minutes


Communiity Activity


- Membership: BCOCCA
- Charitable Donations: United Children Christmas Fund
Antigua and Barbuda Mount St John Medical Centre




- Education Assistance Grants




- President: Edward Morrissey (604) 294-9080
- Vice-President: Alston Jacobs (778) 840-2859
- Secretary: Constance Henry (604) 468-9695
- Treasurer: Neville Thomas (604) 274-6550

Monthly Meeting of BCOCCA Directors

7:00 PM, 3rd Tuesday, each month

Metrotown Community Meeting Room

4650 Kingsway, Burnaby, BC


Our Vision

"British Columbia Organization of Caribbean Cultural Associations (BCOCCA) is a Leading Advocacy Linkage Community Awareness Umbrella Organization consistently providing reliable and dependable Programs and Initiatives for its Members."