This past Sunday, members of the Harrison College and Queens College (HC – QC) Alumni Association USA, and their families and friends, got together at Squadron Hall – event center of the Paerdegat Squadron Yacht, on Paregat Avenue North, Canaries, Brooklyn – for a five-hour Autumn fundraiser and reunion. The program included dancing, dinner and mingling, a silent auction and raffle, among other things. For example, one patron who arrived early went outside, walked along the pier, and watched a setting sun before rejoining her friends inside the hall.
Presumably referring to the yachts, the water in the basin, etc., she remarked:
“Isn’t it beautiful here, one could have an event out here.”
Mike Ashby, vice chair of the interim Renewal Committee who spent the night cheerfully manning the open bar that included donations from the Barbados Tourism Management, was pleased with the outcome.
“I think we are getting there. Don’t you think people are having a good time? Clearly, the attendance is up from last year, but if you know me, I will wait on the numbers.”
Junior Moore interim chair agreed: “It was enjoyable to see people enjoy themselves. Indeed, I was very pleased that Alvin Adore from Toronto and Barrel Bascombe from Florida – good friends of Ron Riley (member) and I – and who coincidently are not Barbadians – were able to attend the event, and they certainly appeared to have had a good time.”
In short remarks, Rev Laurel Scott, Pastor of the Newman Memorial Methodist church and founding co-chair of the 1990s restart of the Association, presented the update from the interim chair, Junior Moore, on past and planned core projects under consideration.
“From last year’s fundraiser, thanks to generous contributions, and your attendance, we raised US$5,000. We are therefore poised to initiate assistance to the schools. Over the year, we have contributed to a fire victim; members have made donations to the Dominica Hurricane Relief Fund; and supported the children’s Christmas party in the vicinity of Newman Memorial Methodist church.
“We are actively developing a mentoring program to serve both prospective students and alumni of the schools, including those who first arrive in the USA, as well as young adults in our US communities. We connected with the Principals of both schools and members of both Alumnus Associations. So moving forward, we have lists of priority areas which we are reviewing for potential support.” Rev Scott said.
Jo An Heinie from Florida won the first prize of the raffle which was $2,500. Other winners were: Lorraine Wilson, the second prize, and Tracy Manswell, the third prize.
Member donations and contributions came from Tricia and Ron Riley who donated the decorations and also decorated the Squadron Hall, and David Cutting, Honorary Consul of Barbados in Atlanta, who donated a case of African wine for the silent auction.
Vicky Cutting of Cutting Corner catered the sumptuous Bajan-styled dinner, while the popular Batch Productions provided the latest and back in time calypso, R&B, reggae and soca music.
Among those in attendance were: Ambassador Elizabeth Thompson, Barbados’ Permanent Representative to the United Nations, and guests Mr and Mrs Carl Applewhite; John Blackman, Counsel at New York and supporting representatives of the Combermere Alumni, the Barbados Nurses, and the Barbados Cancer Society in New York.
The current effort to revive the association, now two years old, was initiated in September 2016.
Walter Edey is an author and retired math and science educator who belies that Structural Thinking is the wave of the future.