Members of the Vincentian clergy in New York last Sunday offered differing prayers at an Ecumenical Service of Thanksgiving marking the nation’s 35th anniversary of political independence.
The Revs. Dorage A. Stephens; Cecil Durrant; Dr. Roxie Irish; Nelson Samuel, Jr., who served as liturgist; and Dr. Lincoln Crease offered prayers for the U.S., the government and people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the youth, peace and thanksgiving, respectively, at St. Paul’s Episcopal (Anglican) Church In-the-Village of Flatbush, Brooklyn.
“We pray, Lord, that you touch the minds of our young people in St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” prayed Dr. Irish, who took the unusual step in asking the children in the congregation to stand before her.
“Father, we pray for the homes from where they come,” added Irish, who also serves as president of the Brooklyn-based United Vincie Cultural Group of Brooklyn.
“We pray, Lord, that you’ll remember the poor – as preached in the sermon,” Stephens prayed.
Durrant, pastor of Bethany Deliverance Church of God in Brooklyn, noted that “it’s you, Lord, who said we must pray for those in authority.
“Lord, God, I bring the Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, his family – I bring them before you,” he said. “If there’s any affliction, you’re still in the healing business.
“I also bring the Opposition Leader, Arnhim Eustace,” Rev. Durrant added. “Lord, God, let not be any name blame in St. Vincent and the Grenadines but that they’ll (Government and Opposition) work together for the benefit of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”
Laverne McDowald-Thompson, president of the umbrella Vincentian group in the U.S., Council of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Organizations, U.S.A., Inc. (COSAGO), urged that thanks be given to all nationals, including those in the Diaspora.
“Let us work together for strong representation,” she said. “Let’s work together because we care about St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”
New York Counsel General Selmon Walters said it is gratifying “when we can fly the flag (of St. Vincent and the Grenadines) high and be proud to be a Vincy.”
Some members of the Brooklyn-based Cavaliers Sports Club, in dress uniform, attended the Independence Anniversary Church Service for the very first time.
The Church Service Committee was headed by Crispin Friday, elder brother of the Most. Rev. Leopold Friday, bishop of the Windward Islands. It also comprised Crispin Friday’s wife, Ancilla. Both are members of St. Paul’s Episcopal (Anglican) Church In-the-Village of Flatbush.
Other members of the committee are: The Revs. Carver Israel, Hoskins Prescott and Dillon Burgin; Deanna Grant; Petulah Commissiong; and Cyril N. “Scorcher” Thomas, ex-Deputy New York Counsel General.
Anniversary celebrations in New York continue this Friday with a Cultural Evening at the Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center in Brooklyn, organized jointly by COSAGO and the Consulate General.
The inaugural Independence Song Competition also takes place on Friday night at Café Omar at the corner of Clarendon Road and Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn.
The event is organized by Dynamite Calypso Tent, the lone Vincentian calypso tent in the United States, and sponsored by Standard Shippers on Clarendon Road.
Thirteen soca artistes will compete for the crown, according to Ainsley Primus, president of Dynamite Calypso Tent.
The artistes will compete in the following order: Striker, Fabulous T, Wise Guy, John Dougan, Jose Juan, Jakie, Bob MC, Brother Don, Groovey D, Exposer, Dennis Bowman, John Cumbay and Supadex.
They will be judged by Monty Constant, Samuel “Kala” Gordon and Cauldric Forbes.
The Independence celebrations climax on Sunday at the Tropical Paradise Ballroom on Utica Avenue, Brooklyn with a gala luncheon. Joanne Legair will be the lone honoree at the event, organized by COSAGO in conjunction with the Consulate General.