A spirited 100-year-old woman was among the three honorees celebrated at a festive community event called: A Salute to Yesterday’s Children.
Receiving a package of gifts and awards were: Miss Elmena Parris 100, from Guyana; Dr. Lamuel Stanislaus, 91 of Grenada and Miss Pearline Thomas-Sandy, 83, of Trinidad & Tobago. The thriving rhythms of African drums signaled the opening of the event, which took place at the Culture Barn in Brooklyn.
“A Salute to Yesterday’s Children” was an event described by its creator and producer, Glenda Cadogan as “an exercise in love, honor, obedience, gratitude and unity.” Cadogan, a writer and communications specialist who is the director of Mauby Media Services said she was inspired by the words of the calypso “Yesterday’s Children” sung by Winston “Gypsy” Peters, the current minister of Arts and Multiculturism of Trinidad & Tobago.
Yesterday’s children, Yesterday’s children
They took the strain, they bear the pain, they made the mold that shape our world
They are … yesterday’s children, yesterday’s children
So we have to treat them good, be careful with what we do
‘Cause when tomorrow comes if we’re lucky
We may become yesterday’s children too.
“The idea was born out of a desire to celebrate community elders, many of whom sacrificed their own desires and ambitions so that their children can become the high achievers of today,” she said. “But on a more personal level, the event also paid tribute to the nurturing I received from my parents Irene and John Cadogan.”
With the support of family, friends, performers, entrepreneurs, spiritual and community leaders, “A Salute to Yesterday’s Children” was a visible testament of what philosophers call, “the mystic bond of brotherhood that makes all men one.”
Three other entrepreneurial businesses supported the event in a segment called “The Gifting” in which the honorees were bestowed with gifts handmade especially for them. They included portrait pictures from Umoja Photography, personalized crocheted items from Ahsiro Creations and leather-crafted mask from Keyiko Afrikan Arts. Crowning off the gifting segment was the signature award in which the honorees received certificates authenticating that stars in the heavens were re-named after them and registered with the International Star Registry.
In interviews in preparation for the event the honorees shared their wisdom while giving glimpses into their lives. “It was a rough life growing up, but I was happy,” said Thomas-Sandy. “I worked hard and many days I had to plant garden, change the cows and wash clothes by the river. But then I enjoyed wrestling with my brothers, pitching marbles and skipping rope in the yard. Those were good days.”
In sharing his secret to a long life, Dr. Stanislaus said: “Love God, trust in him and love your neighbor as yourself.”
“There is no secret what God can do,” said Miss Elmena when questioned about the secret to living to 100 years. And subsequently, added that growing up on a diet of “duff” helped her to be as strong as she is today. “Life was rough but I made it through,” she said. “We were raised to have a contented mind, love God and do well.”
The event also raised funds in support of Senior Citizens Homes in the native home of each honoree. A total of $1,077 was raised and will be donated toward recreational activities in The Helena Charles Senior Citizens Home in La Brea, Trinidad,The Hill’s View Senior Home in Gouyave, Grenada and Uncle Eddy’s Home for the Aged in Guyana.