Special Features
October 26, 2007

NY Consul: Make contribution to homeland

by Nelson A. King in New York 26.OCT.07

As nationals in New York celebrate the 28th anniversary of political independence, Consul General Cosmus Cozier has urged his compatriots here to continue contributing meaningfully to the homeland.{{more}}

“We have entered a different era, the era when baby boomers are coming of age,” Cozier told an Ecumenical Service of Thanksgiving Sunday at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, as part of a host of activities commemorating the anniversary.

“And we must commend Dr. the Hon. Ralph E. Gonsalves for his vision and commitment to the development of our fair land,” he added.

“We, in the Diaspora, can make our contribution, and we must continue to do so whether in academia, finance or community development,” he continued.

Cozier expressed gratitude to nationals for “helping the economy to grow and for the difference you continue to make in the lives of Vincentians at home.”

He said the independence theme, “Celebrating 28 years as a nation: Building a modern civilization,” is, certainly, in keeping with the infrastructural development, the aesthetic changes in Kingstown and, of course, completing the final phase of a modern post-colonial constitution.”

He said in these days of global political turmoil, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, since independence in 1979, continues to be a stable democratic society.

“A stable government is one of the main ingredients for promoting foreign investment, and this augurs well for the future,” the New York Consul General said.

“It behooves us therefore, to have effective visions for the future,” he added.

“But we must honour the past, and an anniversary is always a time for reflection,” he continued, alluding to former leaders – Ebenezer T. Joshua, R. Milton Cato, and Sir James F. Mitchell, “who have contributed to the development of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”

Selwyn Cumberbatch, newly-elected president of the Brooklyn-based umbrella group, Council of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, U.S.A. (COSAGO), agreed with Cozier, stating, “it is appropriate, at this time, to reflect on those, who in the past acted as trailblazers – men and women who, politically and otherwise, made great sacrifices for the advancement of our nation.”

The official celebrations in New York, organized by the Consulate General in collaboration with COSAGO, culminate this Sunday with a gala luncheon at Crystal Manor in Brooklyn.

Newly-appointed United Nations Ambassador Camillo Gonsalves, son of Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, will deliver the keynote address at that event.

The independence celebrations kicked off last Saturday with a cultural showcase at Meyer Levin High School in Brooklyn.

Former Calypso Monarch De Man Age, Bomani, Lively and Oscar James and the Ravers, among others, were featured.

The Cultural Committee also honoured Deputy Consul General Cyril “Scorcher” Thomas and entertainment promoter Brentford Ulric Jones, Jr., popularly referred to as “Soca Jones.”

“It’s a pleasant surprise to be honoured for something you love doing,” Thomas told Searchlight afterwards.

“I always think anything done spontaneously should not be taken for granted,” he added. “You should show appreciation.

Jones said he promotes Vincentian music not for rewards but for love of country.

“I do it from my heart because there’s a need for it,” he said.

“It’s good to know you’re recognized,” he added. “But my motive is for the people. I have a very serious love for the Vincentian people.”

Joanne Legair, chairperson of the Cultural Committee, said the cultural package was a huge success.

“The show was geared towards reviving the rich culture of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and to bring awareness to the youths, who are either born or grew up here in the United States,” she said.

“I was overly impressed by the number Vincentians and non-Vincentians alike, who turned out in large numbers to support Vincentian heritage and culture,” she added, stating that nationals traveled from as far as California and Florida to attend and participate in the event.