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Vincentians celebrate in Reading


by Dudrey Browne (Vice Chair SVGA Reading)Fri, Oct 28. 2011

On Saturday, October 8, 2011, the St Vincent and the Grenadines Association (SVGA) in Reading, United Kingdom, hosted their ever popular annual dance at the MAPP Centre to celebrate the 32nd Anniversary of Independence of St Vincent and the Grenadines.{{more}}

Surprise guest of the evening was Dr Douglas Slater, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Consumer Affairs. He was accompanied by Cenio E Lewis, High Commissioner for St Vincent and the Grenadines, and his wife Ita Lewis.

The evening began with the usual interaction and ‘old talk’. A sense of Vincentian commonality was established, creating an atmosphere of ‘home away from home’ in the company of other nationals, many of whom were meeting again since the last celebration dance.

At 8:00 pm, the event was brought to order by Dudrey Browne, the Vice Chair of the Association, and MC for the evening. Browne extended a very warm welcome from the people of Reading to surprise guest Dr Slater, as well as Cenio E Lewis, and other distinguished guests and friends.

On behalf of the Chair, Gloria Jack, Browne acknowledged that it was an honor and a privilege for the Association to be hosting the event. He extended thanks to all the Association members for their hard work throughout the years and for keeping the Association in such prominence, where it is highly praised for its significant contribution to many worthy causes, including that of assistance towards projects in St Vincent and the Grenadines. This was deemed to be one of the main reasons for the marvelous turn-out and support on the night. Thanks and appreciation was also extended to members of the other local Associations for their continued support.

Following Browne’s opening remarks, the National Anthem of St Vincent and the Grenadines was sung delightfully and with an oozing sense of pride and emotion on the occasion of St Vincent and the Grenadines’ independence anniversary.

The Minister delivered opening remarks, expressing that it was an honor and a pleasure for him to be celebrating the Independence of St Vincent and the Grenadines in the company of Vincentians in Reading. He commented on the fact that there were many in the audience whom he recognised from his school days. This, he said, gave a very pleasurable feeling.

The Minister remarked on the challenges faced by the country, making reference to the banana industry and other ongoing projects. He expressed his confidence in the country’s ability to work its way through uncertain times. He further conveyed the appreciation of St Vincent and the Grenadines government for the continued efforts of Vincentian Nationals, in their support towards the more needy children in SVG. The Minister concluded his brief remarks by extending best wishes of good health, wealth and happiness to those who were in his presence.

Lewis also addressed the audience and acknowledged the cross section of support from the various Associations. He commended the Reading Association for their excellent work and re-affirmed the Mission’s support to their efforts.

As is customary, a bottle of Vincy Strong rum was raffled. This year’s lucky winner was Althea Wickham who wasted no time in claiming her first prize.

As the evening climaxed, the audience, full of expectations, was not disappointed as they revved up to “whine down the dance hall with a special selection of reggae and soca rhythm from the famous “Centy”.

Jack, leading the celebrations, was keen to make sure all champagne glasses were full as she toasted the importance of the event.

The feedback received indicated that the evening was one of the best for the Reading ‘crowd’ and those who attended the event. Jack attributed sincere thanks to all members, guests, family and friends for a wonderful and successful evening.

The Reading Association extends to all Vincentians at home and abroad a very Happy 32nd Anniversary of Independence!