Philly Bajans honor Vincy stalwart

Vincentian community activist James Cordice is the first recipient of the Charles Gordon Henry Award for community work issued by a Pennsylvania-based Barbadian group.

Cordice, president of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Organization of Pennsylvania (SVGOP) was recognized at a grand ceremony at the McCall Golf & Country Club, at Highland Park, Philadelphia recently.

“For some time, we have noticed the ethical and affable way in which you have conducted yourself in the Philadelphia community,” the citation reads.

“A true Caribbean person, you have been a great source of inspiration to us as a group and individually, and we have unanimously agreed that you receive the first Charles Gordon Henry Award for community work on this occasion.”

The late Henry was considered “the force” behind BSP’s formation.

“Mr. Cordice, I know that you will cherish this award and continue to live up to the ideals that cause us to give it to you in the first place,” said BSP treasurer Trevor Henry, who with his brother Samuel, Charles Henry’s brothers, conferred the honor on Cordice.

In accepting the award, Cordice – who was joined by his family, including his youngest daughter, 16-month-old Mikayla, and members of the SVGOP – said he was delighted to be honored by the BSP.

“Thank you so much for this prestigious award,” he said. “It carries the name of a man that I respect, a little man with the biggest heart.

“I feel very proud tonight to be the first person to receive this award.

“I accept this award on behalf of my mother [who turned 85 on Dec. 5] and also on behalf of my family – they allow me to do all that I do each day – SVGOP, CAHCI [Caribbean American Heritage Collaborative, Inc.] and all the other organizations that allow me to serve.”

BSP’s award came on the heels of a similar honor bestowed on Cordice by the umbrella Vincentian group in the U.S., Council of St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Organizations, U.S.A., Inc. (COSAGO) during SVG’s independence celebrations here on Oct. 31.

Cordice told Caribbean Life that he grew up as a “well-rounded person, always organizing and delegating.”

At 15, he said he co-captained Humble Youth, one of four football teams from Clare Valley that participated in the South Leeward Soccer League (SLSL) in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

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