Bajans in New York Celebrate Heroes Day

The Caribbean Is One Nation.


                                               By Michael Headley
St. Gabriel's Episcopal Church

In less than twenty-four hours, the weather had changed from hot to cool, but it did not deter some enthusiastic Bajans, and honorary Bajans,   from attending the 2017 National Heroes Day celebration at St. Gabriel's Episcopal church  on Sunday, April 30th, in Brooklyn, New York.  The church is located at 331 Hawthorne Street, Brooklyn, NY 11225 and the Rector is The Very Reverend Eddie Alleyne. It was nostalgic to hear folk music playing as a prelude to the program.  The service was held under the patronage of the Consulate General of Barbados at New York.   Dr. The Honorable Donna E. Hunte-Cox, Consulate General, gave the opening greeting and highlighted some of the distinct characteristics of heroism, such as courage, bravery, selflessness, charm and fairness, that had been exhibited by the honored heroes.




Charmaine Yate’s solo and the instrumental tribute by Saxophonist, Mr. Davian Alleyne were melodious.  The National Heroes Day Lecture was delivered by Lieutenant colonel, Reverend Dr. Andrew Harewood, Senior Pastor of EphesusSeventh Day Adventist Church-NY.  It was very creative and apropos for Dr. Harewood to use an empty chair, as a prop, to symbolize the youth, who appear to be a lost generation, to whom he was speaking.  The theme, taken from 1 Samuel 30: 1-10,  with emphasis on David's question to God, 'Shall we pursue ...' followed by  the resounding approval from God, wasnevertheless a challenge to not give up on the youth or Barbados as a whole.  Dr. Harewood emphasized that some introspection, at all levels of society, devoid of political pandering, was needed to refocus on what had worked before, that had made Barbados an enviable island.   He added that Bajans are one people, one country with one destiny. ' whose names have been written on History's page with expectations great'. 




However, although many liked ithis time spent on listing former United States President Obamas’ achievements, was not necessary in a celebration of Barbados'  national heroes.  And the thought of bringing the Obamas to Barbados may be a tourism booster but we hope that Barbados has more luck, than the residents of Chicago, the state he represented. 





The heroes' memories will be kept alive with celebrations like this.  Team Barbados must be complimented for a job well doneby ensuring that everyone enjoyed the evening, including the reception that followed.  I hope that next year it will be a standing room only event and by then, a further tribute would’ve been  paid to Sir Garfield Sobers, by making his childhood home and Avenue a beacon, by erecting a plaque and adding his name to the Walcott's Avenue sign post respectively. 


MICHAEL HEADLEY

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK
Michael Headley is a social commentator.
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