When the Brooklyn-based St. Vincent and the Grenadines Diaspora Committee of New York, Inc. held its Heritage Awards and Gala Ceremony on Nov. 2, the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ex-Teachers’ Association of New York was among two who received the Humanitarian Award.
The other recipient was the Brooklyn-based youth leader, Kyra-Lee Harry, a rising junior at New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering.
“We’re forever grateful for your recognition,” said Jackson Farrell, president of the Brooklyn-based St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ex-Teachers’ Association of New York, in receiving the award from the Diaspora Committee at the Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center in Brooklyn.
“This year, starting Dec. 1, we celebrate 37 years,” added Farrell. “We pride ourselves in putting our country first.”
The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ex-Teachers’ Association of New York is the brainchild of its founders — Dennis Bernard, Dr. Herman Ambris, Emily Evans, Vernalyn Blencowe and Yvonne Francis-Gibson (both deceased), Alf Phillips, Edward Conliffe, Dr. Robert Hickson and Farrell.
From its inception in 1982, the group said its “unwavering goal has been to work assiduously to construct an organization that serves the educational and social needs of the Vincentian community.
“This has not been easy by any means,” it said in its biography. “We have weathered many a storm and surmounted innumerable obstacles.
“But under the illustrious leadership and vision of our first president, Mr. Dennis Bernard, his successors Dr. Jerrol Thompson, Dr. Herman Ambris, and Mr. Jackson Farrell, our current president, and the loyalty and commitment of our membership, we are proud to state that we have not only maintained this thrust but expanded it to include the wider Caribbean Diaspora.”
In keeping with its motto, “Together For Growth, to Learn, to Teach, and to Help,” the ex-teachers’ group said it has compiled an “impressive list of accomplishments.”
Among them was a Teach-In educational program at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College, which was a collaborative effort with the late Dr. George Irish, a professor at the said college, and the hosting of an annual educational forum in the US.
In addition, the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ex-Teachers’ Association of New York said it has participated in “global outreach” to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, namely the installation of a public address system in the Gomea Methodist School; sponsorship of children at the School for Special Needs; donations of educational supplies to students and schools in St. Vincent and the Grenadines; scholarships to well-deserved students; financial help to those studying in the US; as well as contributed monetary and non-perishable gifts to countries and religious institutions affected by natural disasters.
Like all voluntary organizations, the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ex-Teachers’ Association of New York said it has suffered membership fluctuations attributable to retirement and/or repatriation, relocation and death.
“We are encouraging fellow Vincentians who currently teach in the USA or have taught in SVG (St. Vincent and the Grenadines) to help us continue this very important work,” the group urged.
Persons desirous of becoming members may obtain application forms by emailing svgex