Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Vincies Honored

The Brooklyn-based, umbrella Vincentian group, Council of St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Organizations, U.S.A., Inc. (COSAGO) and the New York Consul General Sunday wrapped independence celebrations in the Big Apple by honoring four outstanding Vincentians.

The honorees — who received the special awards at the gala independence luncheon at Tropical Paradise Ballroom, on Utica Avenue in Brooklyn — are members of COSAGO or member organizations and the Consulate General.

They comprise New York Consul General Cosmus Cozier; Cozier’s executive assistant, Erlene King; COSAGO treasurer, chairman of the Caribbean-American Renal Failure Relief Fund, and president of the Brooklyn-based Bequia United Progressive Organization, O’brien Simmons; and former national soccer captain, president of Hairoun Sports Club, and coach of Team St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ U.S.A., Stanley “Luxie” Morris.

The honorees also received citations from Brooklyn Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, representative for the 11th Congressional District in Brooklyn, the largest district of Caribbean immigrants in the US, and Vincentian Councilman Dr. Kendall Stewart, who represents the 45th Council District in Brooklyn.

“On this momentous occasion, I congratulate the distinguished awardees,” said Laverne McDowald, COSAGO president, who is also president of the Brooklyn-based Chateaubelair Development Organization.

“You have all contributed greatly to the Vincentian and other communities throughout the Diaspora,” she added.

“On behalf of the officers and members of the Council, I salute you. I pray that God will continue to richly bless all of you and your families,” McDowald continued.

Clarke, who also presented Stewart’s citation, since he had to leave early for another engagement, applauded the efforts of the honorees, adding that the celebration “embodies many Vincentian Americans.

“Celebrations are critical to our community,” she said. “Let me thank you for a job well done.”

Williams-King said it was an award she did “not expect.”

“I’m being Erlene. This is me. This is what I’ve known all my life,” she said.

“My family has always been there for me,” she added. “They had to share with so many people. I must say it’s been hard for me to say, ‘no,’”

Morris said his soccer exploits was never about him but the nation.

The award was Cozier’s fourth honor in recent weeks. He was also honored by the United Vincie Cultural Group of Brooklyn, Caribbean American Renal Failure Relief Fund and the Vincentian American Independent National Charities, Inc.

The New York Consul General plans to finally retire before year’s end. He was originally scheduled to retire by the end of September, but the Ralph Gonsalves administration extended his contract for a few more months, stating that it cannot find an appropriate and immediate replacement.