Historic Vincy flag raising at Philadelphia City Hall

Vincentians gather after historic raising of Vincy flag at Philadelphia City Hall.
James Cordice

Vincentians on a whole, but those in Pennsylvania in particular, are expressing elation over the historic hoisting of the national flag at Philadelphia City Hall on Friday, Oct. 27.

“It was a magnificent feeling watching St. Vincent and the Grenadines flag glistening in the wind on the northeast corner of one of the oldest municipal buildings in the USA, Philadelphia City Hall, and it will fly there for one week. Wonderful!” exclaimed James Cordice, the former president of the Philadelphia-based St. Vincent and the Grenadines Organization of Pennsylvania (SVGOP), who was instrumental in getting the national flag to fly on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia in 2010.

“But this sight reminds me of 10/27/2010, when our flag was first installed on Ben Franklin Parkway,” added Cordice in a Caribbean Life interview. “Rohan Pierre, Ronaldo Pierre and myself were there, first on scene. And this warm feeling of pride lingers in my heart. Thank you, Lord! Thank you, Philadelphia for giving SVG this prominent gift.”

Yvonne O’Garro, the incumbent SVGOP president, said “it was a speculator sight and a momentous occasion” on the hoisting of the Vincentian flag at Philadelphia City Hall.

“Mayor Jim Kenny was unable to attend but declared Oct. 27 a celebration of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Independence Week in Philadelphia,” said O’Garro in a statement.

“A small group of Vincentians decked out in their national colors, stood with their eyes fixed to the sky, as they watched with pride as the flag of St. Vincent and the Grenadines being hoisted.

“Ms. Claudine Mitchell sang the National Anthem with Vincy pride and Sister John gave the invocation. It was truly a feeling of elation,” she added.

“Ms. Miriam Enrique, Director of Office of Immigrant Affairs, said she was touched by the group’s reaction as they watched their flag being hoisted.”

Sheila Hess, representing Mayor Kenny, presented a proclamation to O’Garro.

Stanley Straughter, former chairman of African and Caribbean Business Council of Greater Philadelphia, said “Ms. Yvonne O’Garro has put St. Vincent and the Grenadines on the map.”

“It was, indeed, a historical day for all Vincentians living in Philadelphia and the surroundings,” O’Garro said.

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