The Bronx-based Vincentian charity group, St. Matthias Charities, Inc., two Saturdays ago bestowed special honor on popular Brooklyn-based, Jamaican gospel artiste, Croswell Daley.
Daley received the distinguished award during the group’s annual fundraising prayer breakfast at the Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center in Brooklyn. He was the sole honoree.
“Well deserved!” said Pastor Robert McBarnett, the Vincentian-born founder and president of St. Matthias Charities, Inc., about Daley in a Caribbean Life interview.
“He’s been with us for the very first time — from 2013 — and he’s always been there for us,” he added. “From the time he came to our event, he was really in the ministry.
“And this is the way of giving back to folks,” McBarnett continued. “This is our way to say ‘thank you’ — to show our appreciation on behalf of the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”
Daley and popular Vincentian gospel artiste LaFleur Durran— who frequently collaborate at gospel concerts and other events — brought the house down with heart-wrenching gospel songs during the prayer breakfast.
Durrant gave enthusiastic patrons an appetizer with “Look to the Father,” “In the Sweet,” “I know the Lord Will Make a Way” and “In the Cross.”
She later returned, after the sumptuous breakfast, with “I am Your Child,” “Lord, You are King,” “I Sing Hallelujah” and “I would not be Denied.”
Daley transfixed patrons with “Without Love,” “At the Altar,” “The Source of my Life,” “Take Your Flight,” and “Forward March.”
“I give thanks for the man (Jesus), who likes to give more than he receives,” said Daley after receiving a plaque.
“A lot of times, we give flowers when we’re in our graves,” he added, before singing a “Thank You” song “to tell you what love is like.”
Daley, who was born in May Pen in the Jamaican parish of Clarendon, said he started singing at the tender age of 5.
But, he said, his musical journey actually began at 11, when he formed his first reggae group, The Fire Kings.
At 16, Daley said he migrated to the Jamaican capital, Kingston, where he recorded his first single at Randy’s Recording Studio.
There, Daley said he met a singer, identified only as Stanley, in forming Stanley and the Turbines, which gained national recognition.
Daley said Stanley and the Turbines produced, among other popular songs, “Leave My Kissy Loo” and “Jamaica Island Ah Boom.”
After winning several awards, including from the Tasty Festival Competition in 1986, Daley said the band soon afterwards disbanded.
In 1996, Daley said he “felt the call of God” on his life and “surrendered” to Him.
He said he has since produced 10-award winning albums, adding that he continues to use the voice God has given him “to bless the hearts of many” in Brooklyn and throughout the New York metropolitan area.