The Brooklyn-based Council of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Organizations, U.S.A. Inc. (COSAGO), the umbrella Vincentian group in the United States, on Sunday bestowed its Independence Honors on community worker Ancilla Friday and soccer coach and sports writer Patrick Horne.
Friday and Horne received the honor at a gala Independence Luncheon, at Grand Prospect Hall in Brooklyn, commemorating the country’s 38th anniversary of political independence, for their “committed efforts and community services over the years,” said Laverne McDowald-Thompson, president of COSAGO.
“Thank you, and may the blessings of the Almighty be always with you, as you recognize your invaluable contributions,” she said.
The honorees also received citations from US Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. Horne also received an award from Hairoun Sports Club.
Friday, vice president and former president of the Brooklyn-based group, Club St. Vincent, Inc., said the award was “bigger than me.”
“My grandmother taught me to do the right thing, to be loyal to God,” she said. “If you’re doing something to help someone, then your living will not be in vain.”
Horne, an occasional sports writer for Caribbean Life, said that “since ‘giving, offering service to enhance lives,’ is always the theme of this annual affair, there is much to be said about this act of offering service to others.
“For me, it started with my parents — Elise and Everard Horne, both were public servants — my mother was a nurse and my father a policeman,” he said.
Under the direction of her father, Friday said she became a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal (Anglican) Church in the Village of Flatbush, Brooklyn, soon after migrating to New York.
She is the current president of the Episcopal Church Women (ECW), an executive member of the Brooklyn ECW Archdeaconry Board, Church School teacher, member of the hospitality committee, head of the Girl Scouts, and founding member and chairperson of the St. Paul’s Church, Flatbush Windward Islands Committee.
Friday has been a member of Club St. Vincent, Inc., for over 25 years. She said that, under her leadership, when she was president, the group began collecting and sending gifts annually to the Nine Mornings Committee in St. Vincent and the Grenadines during the Christmas season.
She is “the driving force” behind the organization’s annual walkathon, at Marine Park in Brooklyn, to raise funds for the Vincentian athletes competing in the prestigious Penn Relays at the University of Pennsylvania.
As a member of COSAGO, Friday said she represents the Vincentian community at Brooklyn Borough Hall as a member of the Caribbean American Heritage Committee, which sponsors the Caribbean American Heritage Day celebration in June each year.
She is also an executive member of the Flatlands Civic Association and member of the Friends United Block Association (FUBU) — both Brooklyn.
In 1999, Friday received the “Dynamic Woman Award” from New York State Assemblyman Nick Perry. In 2012, she received the “Women Celebrating Women” award as a community leader from former New York City Council Member, Jamaican-born Dr. Una S. T. Clarke.
Friday has a bachelor’s degree in Community Health and a master’s degree in Health Administration, and has worked in the health care industry for 30 years.
She said she now works with programs for children and seniors, and “still finds time to volunteer” with the Coalition of Concerned Medical Professionals (CCMP), as an advocate for persons with little or no health insurance.
Friday has been married for 35 years to “the love of her life,” Crispin Friday. They have two daughters, Krisann and Christine.
Horne, a former professional footballer [soccer player] in the United States — the first from St. Vincent and the Grenadines — is currently a high school English teacher and college soccer coach. He is a United States Soccer Federation licensed coach.
For 14 years, he wrote a Sunday sports column in Newsday, a mainstream American publication in Long Island, New York, and contributed to a number of Caribbean print publications, such as Caribbean Life.
In the 1990s, he owned and produced the now defunct Caribbean American Athlete, which reported primarily on sports played by Caribbean nationals in the US Diaspora.
But his sports reporting was not limited to the print medium; he was a sportscaster for WLIB Radio in New York on its Caribbean programming, and produced his own sports hour, Time Out, on WNWK Radio in New York in the early 1990s.
As a sports administrator, Horne was a member of the popular Central Brooklyn Soccer League (CBSL) and also played a significant role in the formation of Alafia, the first Vincentian soccer club in New York.
In the early 1990s, Horne started the Skills Soccer Club; and, 10 years later, he initiated the Vincy Cup tournament in Brooklyn.
As a four-year student-athlete, Horne was inducted into his college’s Sports Hall of Fame at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville (SIUE).
He said he helped SIUE reach the 1975 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division 1 National Final game before graduating with a bachelor’s degree in mass communication, with concentration in journalism. Later, he earned a Master’s in Education from Alfred University in Alfred, New York.
Horne said he is still mentoring young adults as the coach of the women’s soccer team at Brooklyn College, a program he started in 2012. Since that time, the women’s team has won two City University of New York (CUNY) titles.
New York Consul General Howie Prince congratulated the honorees for their “exemplary community and humanitarian service.”
“Thanks for bringing a beacon of hope to so many people,” said Prince, who also abbreviated the prime minister’s Independence Anniversary message. The full message was printed in the souvenir journal.
The ceremony was also graced by the presence of the Ambassador to the United States, Lou-Ann Gilchrist, who delivered her maiden Independence Anniversary message at the New York Luncheon.