Sunday, Feb. 26 was a pleasant day befitting the convivial spirit and extraordinary person Godfrey Winfield Chin was. His exceptional body of work that will forever be etched in Guyana’s landscape was celebrated in the worship hall of Our Lady of Victory in Brooklyn, where a journalism prize in his name was also launched.
“A person is not honored for what he has received. An honor is a reward for what that person has given” were the sentiments expressed by Guyana’s Ambassador Bayney Karran, who added that it was a fitting tribute that the Guyana Cultural Association of New York, (organizers of the annual Guyana Folk Festival) celebrated the life of Chin during the Mashramani season, to which he gave much.
Karran thanked the former costume designer, founding members of GCA, journalist, and author, for the passionate way in which he nurtured his cultural roots, and the dedication he exhibited in cultivating the seeds of that culture within the branches of “our Guyanese family.”
Making mention of Chin’s hugely popular book, “Nostalgias – Golden Memories of Guyana,” and his video presentations, Karran said “propagating our cultural heritage was a responsibility which he undertook voluntarily, and one which he executed with singular purpose and enduring determination.
“He was a living tribute to our bygone and was adept at rekindling in us an irresistible longing for times when things seemed purer, simpler and more enjoyable,” added Karran.
“Where we are today, is testimony to your unselfish contributions said President of GCA, Dr. Vibert Cambridge, who complimented Chin for helping to shape the organization’s vision and style.
“We will remember you capturing the essence and framing GCA’s mission to Preserve, Promote and Propagate all of Guyana’s heritage with pizzazz,” added Cambridge.
The message that was read by immediate Past President, Malcolm Hall, called Chin a hero. “His love for Guyana was complete and his life has been a story of constantly adding to the great Guyanese story, wrote Cambridge.
The memorial service was filled with love and emotion for Chin, who was admired for the elegant and stylish way he did everything, from his love of dancing, cooking, and his love for his ‘dear land.’
A procession by GCA board members opened the requiem that was followed by a heartfelt eulogy and bible reading by sons Gary Chin, Richard Chin, respectively
Reverend Msgr. Paul W. Jarvis, delivered the gospel during the service that was attended by Mrs. Shirley Chin and other family members and mourners who celebrated with Guyanese patriotic songs and tributes that recalled Chin’s endearing name ‘cook-shop fly, and his favorite line “Ya think it easy.”