Brooklyn group honors stalwart officials

The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Progressive Organization of New York (SPOONY), an arm of the main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP), on Sunday bestowed special honors on two stalwart officials during a town hall meeting in Brooklyn.

The Brooklyn-based group, which was formed in 2002 to aid the NDP, honored its former president and co-founder Vincent Bacchus, and chaplain and co-founder, the Rev. Alwyn Craigg, at the forum that was addressed by NDP president and Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustice, Member of Parliament for North Leeward Roland “Patel” Matthews, and former NDP Communications and Works Minister Glenford Stewart.

Eustace, who presented the awards to the officials, at the Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center in Brooklyn, described them as men of high integrity, genuine, hard-working and deeply committed to the party cause, among other superlatives.

He said he has known both officials for “quite a long time,” and that he’s related to Bacchus’ wife, Gloria.

“I’ve known him for being a man of integrity and a man who’s willing to serve,” said Eustace of Bacchus, a former sergeant in the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force in charge of telecommunication. “I heartily commend him.”

The Opposition leader said Craig – a former school teacher, police officer and sanitation employee at home, “believes in the NDP.

“He keeps me abreast of what’s happening up here (in New York),” he said. “Rev. Craig never gives up; he’s a genuine soul.”

In reading a brief background of the honorees, Sally-Ann Cuffee, SPOONY’s assistant general secretary, noted that Bacchus has “consistently served” the group “in various capacities.”

“Because of his knowledge and passion for the furtherance of goals and objectives of this organization and that of the NDP, he continues to serve in the capacity of trustee,” she said.

“Talk about commitment, Mr. Bacchus has it, not even the weather stood in his way as he will drive from Queens to Brooklyn to attend meetings and other activities of SPOONY,” Cuffee added. “His affiliation with the organization has made him the undisputed senior consultant of SPOONY.

“Mr. Bacchus is of the opinion that SPOONY, though young, is still a force to be reckoned with,” she continued.

Bacchus, who designed the local constabulary’s telecommunications system, told Caribbean Life afterwards that he felt “very good” about the honor.

Cuffee described Rev. Craigg’s “commitment and dedication” to SPOONY as “immeasurable”.

“His resident has been used, and continues to be used, as a meeting place for SPOONY,” she said of Craigg, the founder and senior pastor of the Abundant Life Christian Church, on Church Avenue in Brooklyn.

“Rev. Craigg always ensures that all his chores are completed before the commencement of the ‘New Times’ program on [local] NICE Radio daily, and is also a regular contributor,” she added. “Today, we salute Rev. Craigg for his contribution not only to SPOONY but [also to] the New Democratic Party of SVG on a whole.”

Craigg told Caribbean Life that his work was of God’s doing and “in the interest of my little island, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”

“I’m just humble and very simple,” said Craig, tersely, who was initially late to accept the award because of what he said was a major thunderstorm that gripped the New York metropolitan area just before the forum began.

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