Former St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Deputy New York Consul General, Cyril N. Thomas was honored on Sunday for his outstanding contribution to the Vincentian community.
Thomas, a retired school teacher and U.S. Army veteran, was among three honorees at a gala luncheon Sunday at Tropical Paradise Ballroom in Brooklyn, commemorating the country’s 32nd anniversary if independence.
Organizers of the event, the Brooklyn-based Council of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, U.S.A, Inc. (COSAGO), in collaboration with the New York Consulate General, also honored community workers Ynolde Walkin and Simeon M. “Rocka” Simmons.
COSAGO also presented Certificates of Appreciation, for their respective roles in the community, to former Consul General Aide Erline Williams-King, Lawyer Colin Liverpool, veteran Broadcast Journalist Don Bobb, graphic artist Fern Dopwell, videographer Leslie Richards, and yours truly.
Thomas who carries the calypso sobriquet, Scorcher, credited a number of people for his successful careers, identifying, among them, his birth mother, Emily Thomas; his adopted mother, Mary Neverson-Morris; fellow calypsonian, Alston “Becket” Cyrus; musical arranger extraordinaire, Frankie McIntosh; and Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves.
He thanked Becket, who was featured during the dancing segment, for allowing him to “hang on to his coattail” and introducing him to “the maestro, the Hon. Frankie McIntosh.”
Thomas lauded McIntosh for his “invaluable contribution to the enhancement of my simplistic lyrics, sometimes free of charge, since I still owe him.”
He also praised the prime minister for “exercising infinite wisdom, in defiance of popular opinion, and appointing me Deputy Consul General to New York” for almost 10 years.
Thomas said the gala luncheon, which brought the curtains down on independence celebrations in New York, “pales” in the wake of his calling to national service.
“There is no greater honor than the opportunity to represent your country at home or abroad,” he said in his acceptance speech.
After Becket belched out a number of his extraordinary hits – backed up by the newly-formed Vincentian band, Equation – from his wide repertoire, including “St. Vincent and the Grenadines I Love You,” “Love is the Answer,” and “Teaser,”
Thomas, a former calypsonian widely known as “Scorcher,” brought the house down with “Party Fever.”