Vincy cultural group makes a difference

La Fleur Duncan of St. Vincent and the Grenadines with Straw Hat.
Photo by Nelson A. King.
Photo credit for 2, 3 4: Nelson A. King

A relatively young Vincentian cultural group in Brooklyn continues to make a difference in its homeland.

The United Vincie Cultural Group of Brooklyn (UVCG), which was formed nine years ago, recently hosted its 4th Annual Tea Party in raising funds to help the less fortunate back home.

Over 400 patrons – including a large number of Jamaicans from the group’s base, the Miracle Temple Ministries on Thomas Boyland Street in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn – attended the fun-filled event at St. Anthony Baptist Church, 425 Utica Ave., corner of Utica Ave. and Empire Blvd. in Brooklyn.

With Jamaican Wayne Murray serving as master of ceremonies, the entertainment began with a “Miss Etiquette” session by UVCG President Roxie Irish, a former national netball star, followed by a praise dance by the UVCG girls.

Irish told the audience, among other things, how one should eat, handle utensils and exit the table during meals.

A hat competition – Most Original, Most Creative, and Biggest – an impromptu song competition; a poem by Kimberle Thompson; and remarks by Francis Frank, recipient of funds at last year’s event, augmented the event.

Vincentian cultural group making a difference.
Photo courtesy: United Vincie Cultural Group of Brooklyn.

In addition, contestants for the Miss Continental U.S.A. Pageant made a guest appearance.

There were lots of food, fun and fellowship, as attendees sipped tea and enjoyed local delicacies.

“Everyone was well fed and happily entertained,” Irish, who was born in Vermont but grew up in Campden Park, told Caribbean Life.

Over the years, she said UVCG has been shipping barrels of medical supplies to St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

To date, 18 clinics at home have been beneficiaries of the supplies, Irish said.

In 2010, UVCG hosted its first medical mission to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, during which over 500 nationals received medical treatment. In October, the group plans to travel home on its second medical mission.

Daisy Frith of Jamaica with “Biggest Hat.”
Photo by Nelson A. King.

Irish said UVCG, in April, shipped home eight hospital beds, along with wheelchairs, walkers and canes.

The group, on Sept. 8, will host its Annual Cultural Concert at Meyer Levin Intermediate School 285 in Brooklyn.

“The audience will be entertained with skits, dances, folk songs and great, mouth-watering Vincie dishes,” Irish said.

“We are blessed to be a blessing,” she affirmed, stressing UVCG’s motto.

“Life is about people; and if we are not touching lives, then I don’t think we’re living a fulfilled life,” she added.

“I take my cue from the greatest person who walked this earth, Jesus Christ,” the devout Christian continued. “He was about people.”

Roxie Irish (L) presenting gift to Marilyn Cockburn for Most Creative Hat.
Photo by Nelson A. King.

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