The Philadelphia-based St. Vincent and the Grenadines Organization of Pennsylvania (SVGOP), Inc., under the leadership of president Yvonne O’Garro, on Sunday joined other Vincentians groups in the US Diaspora in hosting activities commemorating the nation’s 38th year of political independence from Great Britain.
O’Garro said in a statement that the group on Sunday hosted a church service at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Yeadon, Pennsylvania.
“Rev. Jordan Casson, the pastor of St. Michael’s, was happy to continue the tradition of opening his doors for this occasion and welcoming others outside of his congregation,” she said.
“Vincentians and friends of Vincentians alike came together with hearts of thanksgiving and praise, not only for this auspicious occasion but also for their journey as a people since their liberation and independence from Great Britain,” she added.
O’Garro said SVGOP is “one of the few active Caribbean organizations that is not only thriving in the community, but they are shaping the future by focusing on their youth.
“That is why it is, therefore, no surprise that the SVGOP Youth Inc Dance group and the Southwest Seventh Day Adventist youth choir performed so brilliantly that both groups received a standing ovation [at the church service],” she said. “The talented soloist Monica Holder sang from her heart, and there was no question that most of the congregation was touched by the words of the song.
O’Garro said Fr. Carver Israel, “a proud son of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, was the keynote speaker.”
She said Fr. Israel is no stranger to the SVGOP, Inc since he served as pastor of the Church of the Holy Apostle & the Mediator Episcopal in west Philadelphia, “where many of the organizations events were held,” adding that Israel and his family “have been an important part of this organization for over 10 years.
“He challenged his fellow Vincentians to never forget where they came from; and he reminded them just how much God has blessed them in the past, and emphasized that they have a promising future because God will continue to bless them just as much,” O’Garro said.
She said other distinguished guests included Lou-Ann Gilchrist, St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ambassador to the United States, and Vincentian-born judge Emille Cox.
SVGOP, Inc. culminates independence anniversary events in Philadelphia with “a grand Independence Dinner Dance” at Penns Landing Caters on the Philadelphia waterfront on Nov. 4. At that event, Judge Cox and Jamaican Lloyd Cummings, of WURD 900 AM, will be honored, O’Garro said.