A unified community

2013 ushers in a march of unity in the Diaspora.

The joint installation of the officers of the Council of Barbadian Organisations in New York, and Friends of Barbados DLP on Sunday January 6 at the St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church on Avenue, in Brooklyn, was no accident.

It was a deliberate expression of a resolve from the leadership of CBONY and FOB to lay the foundation for the development a unified community.

In the Diaspora, organisations currently appeal to the same wider community for funds and support. Additionally, they compete for the same venues, DJ’s, caterers and other resources when planning their events.

For some, it therefore made organisational sense for the umbrella body and one of its members to pool time and resources.

After a full service and sermon for the Feast of the Epiphany, the officers of each organisation were installed by the Consul General at New York, Lennox Price, and witnessed by Associate Justice of New York State Appellate Division, Barbadian Sylvia Hinds-Radix. Ambassador Joseph Goddard was in attendance but he did not officiate in the installation.

Eight Officers of CBONY, including president, attorney Randolph and Jenifer Freeman, the secretary and six officers, including Pauline Clarke — president and David Edwards — secretary, together with three board members were installed.

In his sermon, minister Eddie Alleyne, Rector and Dean of St Luke’s Deanery, challenged his congregation, including many Barbadians who are regular worshipers at the church, not to just set New Year goals but to follow some of the guiding principles of success that had been clearly established in stories throughout the Bible.

Alleyne, choose the search for a wife for Isaac as his reference point as he gave some specific examples. At times he spoke directly to the leadership of both organisations. He challenged presidents Brathwaite (CBONY) and Clarke (FOB) to explore five specific things that lead to success:

* Establish worthy goals.

* Examine our conditions.

* Encourage confidence.

* Enforce your character.

Be slow to speak and but quick to listen, he said. The Gospel lesson was read by Reuben Best, Chaplin of the Friends of Barbados (DLP), while Helen Walker, the ublic relations officer of CBONY read the prayer of the people.

In his brief remarks thanking the church for hosting the installation, Brathwaite also said, in part:

“Our organisation will not only survive but prosper because of the many individuals who are here today, committed to the ideals and vision of our ancestors. We all have a duty to ensure that our culture, traditions and beliefs are preserved, practised and respected.

“Let it be known, let it be told, there is a resurgence of vision, energy and determination in the Barbadian community to ensure that organisations will prosper and individuals from all islands and nationalities are welcome to join.”

The Council of Barbadian Organisations was established in 1983 and seeks to maximise the diversity of its membership in the interest of its members and the wider Barbadian community. It organises the Barbados Independence Dance and contributes to many civic needs. At one time it had a membership of 18 affiliate organisations. Chief Justice of Barbados, Sir Marston Gibson, was a former president.

Several members of other organisations attended the service. Also in attendance was former councilwoman, Dr. Una Clarke, who supported civic activities in the Barbadian community over the years. A reception was held after the service. weuandi@aol.com

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