Vincy cultural group re-elects long-standing president

Dr. Roxie Irish (far right) performs with the United Vincie Cultural Group of Brooklyn during National Heritage Month celebrations in early March at the Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center in Brooklyn.
Photo by Nelson A. King

One of the few Vincentian cultural groups in Brooklyn has re-elected its long-standing president, Dr. Roxie Irish, for yet another two-year term.

Dr. Irish – a youth minister at the Miracle Temple Ministries, an evangelical church dominated by Jamaicans and Vincentians in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn – was recently re-elected head of the United Vincie Cultural Group of Brooklyn (UVCGB), which she founded in 2003. She has been the group’s president from the inception.

“This is not a task that is taken lightly,” Dr. Irish told Caribbean Life in an exclusive interview. “The responsibility is a great challenge, and I am humbled by the fact that again I have been elected to continue to serve in this capacity.”

Despite many challenges and even some setbacks, Irish said she was “yet grateful to Almighty God for His call on my life.

“I thank the members whom I consider family for their trust in my leadership,” she added. “I am striving to lead with a spirit of excellence, which is a reflection of the Excellent God that we serve.”

Irish said she founded UVCGB in 2003 “because of the lack of adequate medical attention in the rural communities (in St. Vincent and the Grenadines), a plight my grandmother and many of her friends were faced with, which was of great concern to us.

“It is now 15 years since we have been serving; and, yes, I use the word ‘serve’ because that is what we do in an effort to be a blessing to others,” the Born-Again Christian added, echoing UVCGB’s motto: “We are Blessed to be a Blessing!”

She said members serve on a voluntary basis, stating that “even with their commitments to families, churches, jobs. etc., they are faithful to the mission in planning and preparing for group events and commitments.

“That is so very much appreciated,” Irish said. “So, I thank God for His many blessings on this organization.

“We have experienced God in such profound ways through His guidance, His favor, His provisions, and, most important, His constant presence,” Irish added. “Heartfelt thanks to our faithful helpers and supporters. No accomplishment is without your dedication. Our greater is still yet ahead.”

She said UVCGB also performs for good causes at many functions organized by other charitable groups in the US.

The group launched its first folk CD in 2017. All folk songs, except one, were composed by UVCGB members.

Irish said the goals of the UVCGB are primarily “to donate medical supplies and equipment to clinics and hospitals in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in order to enhance healthcare in the country,” and “to promote Vincy culture throughout North America and elsewhere, via folk songs, chorale speeches, skits, storytelling, plays, poems, dancing, etc.”

These events, Irish said, the group performs at, among others, concerts, prayer breakfasts and Christmas Serenades, “and, at the same time, help raise funds for donations.”

She said UVCGB goal is “to generally assist Vincentians everywhere, whom are in dire medical or financial need.”

Retired Registered Nurse Lilius Hamblin was voted Irish’s vice president; Maurisa Adams – secretary; Kimberle Thompson – treasurer; and Judith “Baffy” Cuffy-Murray – public relations officer.

For the rest of the year, the group will host, among others, the following fundraising activities: Prayer Breakfast, Grace Church of the First Born, Utica Ave., Brooklyn, on May 5; Tea Party, Trinity Apostolic Church, Pacific Street, Brooklyn, on June 2; Cultural Show, Meyer Levin IS 285, Beverly Road, Brooklyn, on Sept. 8; Shopping Trip, Nov. 17; and Night of Serenade, Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center, Brooklyn, Nov. 24.

UVCGB conducts its next medical mission in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in July 2019.

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