Ambassador Bayney Karran was full of praise for the Guyana Cultural Association. The diplomat acknowledged the dedication and patriotism of the members of the GCA during the organization’s its 10th Anniversary Awards at Brooklyn Borough Hall, recently.
Stating that Guyanese in the U.S. are now becoming a third generation immigrant community, the diplomat singled out grandchildren and great grandchildren whom he said are being born to Guyanese settlers who hold on to their culture and aspire to preserve their traditions.
“Its important for the Guyanese Diaspora to propagate and regenerate our culture,” said Karran, adding that it will leave a legacy for coming generations outside of Guyana.
“Undertakings like the Folk Festival therefore, are priceless to our national patrimony, because they preserve the identity of our overseas communities, and give them a sense of connection, togetherness and fulfillment.
“I saluted the board of GCA, and its President Dr. Vibert Cambridge for their dedicated service, care and concern for Guyanese Americans and the community at large, were the words of Borough President Marty Markowitz, in a message to the board.
“I congratulate the organization and thank them for all that they do to make Brooklyn and beyond better places to live, work and raise a family.”
Newly elected president Dr. Vibert Cambridge in turn highlighted the organization’s importance in the community, and said it’s a vehicle for Guyanese in New York to explore their heritage and contemporary originality.
“Our team Aal Bady, Waan Bady and our goal is to encourage and support conversations on the state of the progress in which aal bady is becoming waan bady – Guyanese.”
The ceremony, which paid celebrated youth as the future, honored 10-year old phenom Claudius Agrippa for his superb violin performances. Rida Fatima, The Young Acolyts Symphony Steel Orchestra, and Syed A. Zaidi also receive medals for their stellar contribution in the community.
The GCA individual were presented to Oswald Bobb, Ronald N. Fanfair, Hugh Hamilton, Sherif Fraser, Claire Patterson-Monah, Sandra Harte, Rohan Sagar, Haynes Foundation, Nona Permaul, Al Creighton, and Narine Dat Sookram.
The GCA Exemplary and Lifetime Achievement Awards were presented posthumously to Donald Locke and Harry Whittaker respectively, while the GCA Exemplary Award went to John Criswick. The honorees also received citations from Council Members Mathieu Eugene and Jumaane Williams.
In addition, the Guyana Cultural Association was honored with proclamations from Brooklyn Borough President, Marty Markowitz, and Senators, John Sampson and Kevin Parker.
Following this was a riveting colorful celebration that was emceed by popular stage and TV actor Ron Bobb-Semple, and featured inspiring presentations by the GCA Heritage Campers, especially six-year-old Shanice Wharton whose introduction garnered a standing ovation.
A video tribute by Margaret Lawrence, choreographies by Classique Dance Company from Guyana, Impressions Dance Theatre, and a moving violin solo by youth awardee Claudius Agrippa, rounded off a drum tribute by Winston ‘Jeggae’ Hippie and Akoya Rudder. Closing thoughts by Asante Parris, Camp Volunteer summed up the stellar evening’s proceedings. A reception followed with music by the crystal clear steel pans of the Young Acolytes, finalist in the Live at the Apollo competition.