Barbados Independence Church Service, New York

                                                                      The Caribbean Is One Nation.
Barbados Independence Church Service, Brooklyn,  New York

                                                              by Michael Headley
St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Brooklyn,NY.
As temperatures hovered in the fifties, on December 01, 2013, many Barbadians made their trek to St Paul’s Episcopal Church, located at 157 St. Paul’s Place, Brooklyn, New York   11226.  The church is only a stone’s throw away from the popular Bobby’s department store but Bajans bypassed it, today, because they were focused on going to the Service of Thanksgiving, to celebrate Barbados' 47th year of independence.   And they were dressed in their finery, and national colours for the occasion.   
The program was held under the patronage of the Barbados’ Consul General, the Honourable Lennox O. Price.  The melodic, musical rendition of Beautiful Barbados , by Smokey & friends, got us into  a patriotic mood.  And as we reminisced, some were even ready to hop on a plane and return to the land where the trade winds blow and one can find peace and rest.    
We easily identified  with the Reverend Dr. Marcus G. Lashley’s sermon, not that he called it that.  He used the example of a beach character, whom he had named Sand man, to show how one can still be tenacious, when fighting  odds.  Occasionally, he had observed  Sand man using a container to remove accumulated sand from between the groynes, on Accra beach, then piled it on the side, only to have the waves come in and wash the sand away again.  However, Sand man still persevered with this almost impossible task. The congregation really came alive when they were also reminded that they were 'Ossie Moore's' grandchildren and that it was imperative to be their brother’s keeper, which is one of the tenants of Christianity.  They were also encouraged to be producers and not just consumers, especially in these challenging economic times.   Dr. Lashley applauded successful Bajans, from all walks of life, who had made their contributions and stated that he was impressed by the budding  entrepreneurs,who against all odds, were  still trying to establish themselves. 
Dr. O'neall Parris, Chairman of the Barbados Cancer Association,  USA (BACA) Inc., was this years recipient of the Humanitarian Award.  Unfortunately, I did not get to sample the goodies, from the reception that followed, but I heard good reports about the tastiness of the fish cakes and sweet bread.  The caterers never fail to show off their culinary skills to please our appetites.  The organist and choir did a commendable job too.
However, I like some others, was somewhat surprised that no mention was made of the recent achievement of Robyn Rihanna Fenty (RiRi) who was the recipient of the American Music Awards first ever icon award, for influencing Pop culture.  Talk about a proud Bajan!  And only recently, in the press, Sir Hillary Beckles had suggested that Barbados should build a music industry around Riri, similar to what Jamaica did with Bod Marley.   Maybe it was an oversight or this was not the appropriate venue for this acknowledgement. 
All in all it was a good evening for Bajans, and honorary Bajans to come together, in fellowship, and celebrate Barbados' 47th year of independence.  Kudos to Team Barbados New York for a job well done. 

Michael Headley is a social commentator. 

Note: This article was submitted around the time Barbados celebrated its 47th year of independence.
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