Guyana’s First Lady Sandra Granger was greeted with a thunderous applause on Sunday by nationals gathered to welcome her at St. Stephen Lutheran Church, 2806 Newkirk Ave., Brooklyn.
According to Sherif Barker Fraser, president of the Guyana Unity Movement, Mrs. Granger arrived just off her trip from Singapore, where she commissioned the “Liza Destiny”, the first in a series of Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessels for ExxonMobil Guyana.
Barker Fraser said the stop in Brooklyn was organized by the Coalition of Guyanese Women, who last year, hosted a similar event to raise funds for the First Lady’s projects in Guyana.
Besides Barker Fraser, the coalition comprises president of the Guyana Unity Movement, Cloyette Harris-Stoute; founder and president of Guyanese Girls Rock Sheron Devonish Leid; and chief executive officer of Netstruc PR and internist Dr. Candace Cummings.
Dubbed a “Meet and Greet” event, Barker Fraser said the program also included an interactive session “Conversations with the First Lady”, “as the audience were given an opportunity to ask questions about the projects the First lady continues to champion.”
Barker Fraser and James Richmond served as Mistress and Master of Ceremonies during the almost three-hour, packed program.
After the opening prayer and a rendition of both the United States of America and the Cooperative Republic of Guyana’s National anthems, sung by Felina Backer, the First Lady was presented with a bouquet of flowers by Mildred Gonsalves of Verdun Homecare Agency, Barker Fraser said.
She said a jazz compilation by trumpeter Roland Caulker and recital of “Guyana Ozzing Oil” by Richmond, also a poet, accompanied by Akoyaw Rudder on drums, “received thunderous applause.”
Barker Fraser said Mrs. Granger, “who continues to champion a number of projects since becoming the First Lady of Guyana, then discussed her on-going projects, The Buxton Youth Initiative, STEM Guyana, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Empowerment of Teenage Mothers, Self-Reliance and Success in Business Workshops for Women, and Caring for the Elderly workshops.”
“She thanked those in attendance for their contributions and their continued support towards progress made over the years, but was also cautious to remind them of the work that remains,” Barker Fraser said. “She especially thanked the members of Brooklyn Crown Heights Lions Club for their donation of 100 pairs of shoes.”
Club president said: “After learning about the Kind Soles initiative from one of our members, Ms. Jean Corbin, there was no hesitation.
“The club immediately decided to get involved,” she said. “Subsequently, we all got on board to support his initiative with the purchase of 100 pairs of shoes for the children of Guyana.”
Barker Fraser said Mrs. Granger also commended the hosts for the great work they continue to do to uplift Guyana.
President of Guyana United Youth Development Association Leslie Stewart and several members also made a financial donation to the First Lady’s projects, Barker Fraser said.
“To everyone’s surprise, Ms. Jean Joseph, president of the West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA) nominated the First Lady as Grand Marshall for the Sept. 2, 2019 Labor Day celebrations,” she said. “We all hope she accepts.”