The Brooklyn-based St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) Diaspora Committee of New York, Inc. said on Monday it will honor former national netball captain Stella Boyea-Ashby with its Lifetime Achievement Award for Sports during the group’s third Heritage Awards, on Saturday, Nov. 2, at the Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center in Brooklyn.
According to Sherill-Ann Mason-Haywood, the group’s chairperson, Boyea-Ashby, a St. Vincent and the Grenadines sports ambassador, will be honored along with several Vincentian individuals and a group for their “outstanding contributions to Vincentian life in the areas of sports, culture and humanitarian efforts.”
Mason-Haywood said the other honorees will be: Sports Awardees – Gloria Lewis (netball) and Adolphus “Pabits” Davis (soccer); Culture – Evangelist Bridget Blucher (gospel music) and Shertz “Problem Child” James (soca artiste and songwriter); and Humanitarian Efforts – Kyra-Lee Harry and St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ex-Teachers Association of New York.
The SVG Diaspora Committee of New York, Inc. will also present Memorial Awards to the families of Maxwell Haywood, the group’s former president and Mason-Haywood’s late husband, and the late Moreen King for “exemplary service and dedication to SVG Diaspora Committee of NY Inc. and the Vincentian community.”
Mason-Haywood said the objectives of the Heritage Awards are “to recognize Vincentians who have made sterling contributions to SVG or its Diaspora in the USA; to motivate and inspire Vincentians to continuously strive for excellence; to document the legacies of the Vincentian diaspora in the USA; and to promote unity among Vincentians in the Diaspora to strengthen the cohesiveness of the Vincentian Diaspora.”
“The 2019 SVG Diaspora Heritage Awards, a signature event of the committee, will celebrate our awardees and showcase the best of Vincentian heritage, including a cultural package and an extended cocktail hour featuring Vincentian cuisine and beverages,” she said.
Mason-Haywood said the gala ceremony will be held in collaboration with the SVG-USA Sports Association (SVGUSASA) and Cultural Association of Vincentians in the USA (CAVUSA) under the theme “Celebrating Vincentian Exceptionalism”.
Boyea-Ashby was the captain of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Netball team for 14 years, from the 1970s to the 80s.
Over the years, she received numerous trophies and awards, and, in 1983, was voted St. Vincent and the Grenadines Sportswoman of the Year.
Before migrating to New York, Boyea-Ashby worked at the St. Vincent Electricity Services, otherwise known as VINLEC.
For a number of years, she worked as an executive assistant in the Communications Department at one of the leading New York Public Television stations, Channel 13.
“One cannot go through this life without knowing our Lord and Savior,” says Boyea-Ashy, who worships at St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church in Brooklyn and is actively involved in various lay ministries.
In January 2011, she was elected to serve on the vestry as one of the church’s wardens.
Her mantra is: “Through adversities, we will conquer.”
Boyea-Ashby is married to her compatriot Keith Ashby; they have one child, Ariella.