Mayor DeBlasio proclaims Nov. 17 Dr. Roy Hastick Day

Guests and elected officials cut the ribbon to open CACCAI headquarters in Caton Flats, from left, a guest, Dr. Una S.T. Clarke, Assembly Member Nick Perry, Jonell Doris, commissioner, NYC Department of Small Business Services, Mathieu Eugene, Mayor Bill deBlasio in the back, Tamara Hastick-Evy, Camille Hastick, Rolanda Hastick, Ranee Hastick and Eda Hastick sitting.
Photo by Tangerine Clarke

Outgoing Mayor of the City of New York, Bill DeBlasio, proclaimed Wednesday, Nov. 17, Dr. Roy Hastick Day, and presented a Proclamation to Camille Hastick, daughter of the late iconic founder, and president of the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce & Industry, (CACCAI), during a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the headquarters, located in Caton Flats, in Brooklyn.

Thanking his colleagues in government, the private sector, clergy, community leaders, and politicians, including Dr. Una S. T. Clarke, and Assembly Member Nick Perry for helping to realize CACCI’s dream, the politician said this has been long time coming, and a great initiative that will bring economic empowerment, and economic rights for everyone in the community.

“It’s a shared value. We want to see rights, not just civil rights, or freedom rights, but economic empowerment, economic rights for everyone. This center is about producing for people and creating jobs and generational wealth,” said DeBlasio.

Stating that the city’s initiative to give baby bonds to every kindergartener in New York city by starting a college savings account for each of them, DeBlasio noted, he wants to break the pattern of the past injustice that has pervaded. “We are not talking about equality until we talk about creating generational wealth in this community,” he demanded.

He said the baby bonds program is on one level, “but this extraordinary center is very much a part of it, on another level- creating jobs, and helping businesses thrive. CACCAI, has been for years a trailblazer of possibilities, building opportunities in powerful ways, and now, have a permanent home of this stature.”

“Caton Flats Market is going to be amazing for this community on many levels, but for CACCAI, it’s a fulfillment of a vision,” said the mayor.

“This is a crowning achievement moment. Mrs. Hastick, you should be proud, you have kept that flame throughout. I want to thank you, and the Hastick family,” he said, before applauding them.

“This is also about the city coming back,” he said, and quipped, that he was pained by the naysayers who said, “our best days were behind us. They have been proven wrong. We are getting better every day, but we must get more inclusive, to make sure the wealth is shared better, there has to be justice, and this is what this place represents.”

“Roy Hastick is with us here today. He would have loved this moment. I have never known a man who has been so persistent. He had a vision and he stuck to it, he kept building and he brought people along, and people believed, the beauty of his vision, and his energy, his heart came through.”

“I miss him. I always felt hope in his presence, and the generosity of his spirit. We are going to remember him now as this beautiful center comes to life,” said the politician.

Mayor Bill deBlasio at the podium, after presenting a Proclamation to Camille Hastick. Photo by Tangerine Clarke

Emcee, Jonnel Doris, commissioner of the NYC department of small business services, said, “This is a historic and exciting day, a legacy building day,” and thanked many for making the opening of the new headquarters for the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry, special. The 14-story residential tower with 254 units of affordable housing was built by minority led developers.

“Dr. Roy Hastick dedicated his life to CACCAI. Just months ago, just outside this building we celebrated the street co-naming for Dr. Roy Hastick. It was a great occasion,” said Doris.

“Dr. Hastick was a rare individual, and a powerful force in the Caribbean and business community, a tireless advocate for entrepreneurs, and a mentor to many of us.”

The headquarters will provide, services for business development and networking opportunities for small business, free on-sight confidential small business counseling and technical services, certification and financial literacy programs, while assisting to increase Caribbean-based exports from the US, and vice versa.

Ambassador-elect, Assemblyman Nick Perry, said “we are happy today, but we regret we didn’t have the chance to celebrate Dr. Hastick in what he dreamed of. All his life’s work, all the efforts he made to secure a permanent site for CACCI.”

“Sister Hastick, you have been blessed, to survive and to see his achievement, his handy work, all his brainpower, everything he put into it, he was so dedicated. We celebrate him as often as necessary.

“He worked hard, set his goal and achieved most of it, and we are here to carry on the work to make sure the Caribbean community, our business people, have a place to develop and to grow, and spread the gospel, that your entrepreneurial dreams can come true, and get the resources CACCI provide,” said Perry.

Dr. Una Clarke, founder of the Flatbush Caton Market, that also has a home in the Caton Flats, said she is excited and considered the day’s coming home. “Roy and I were buddies who figured out, what impact we as new immigrants could make on America,” said Clarke.

“It is between Roy and I taking turns, that we’re here today. I can’t sing enough of his praises. The legacy lives on through the lives of his wife and children. There are always new beginnings. Thank you for the sleepless nights, and the board of directors who helped CACCI to grow. We are continuing.”

Dr. Una S.T. Clarke and Jonell Doris against the backdrop of a picture of Mayor Bill DeBlasio, late Dr. Roy Hastick and his wife Dr. Eda Hastick. Photo of Tangerine Clarke

Councilmember Mathieu Eugene, in whose District 40 CACCAI is located, recalled the headquarters was slated to be built at the corner of Bedford and Church avenues and despite setbacks, Dr. Hastick continued to work hard, to realize his dream.

“One thing that was very emotional, very touching to me, was when Roy said, ‘I don’t think that I would be there to see the project completed, would you help to see it through.’ Now he is looking down on all of us. I want to thank all the partners who continued to work hard so that we have a place where we can come together and watch our businesses grow, learn from each other and empower each,” said Eugene.

Camille Hastick, in accepting the Proclamation, that speaks to her father’s amazing story of coming to America from Grenada, and becoming a legend, said Dr. Hastick collaborated with many people in the 20 years of a dream and a vision, that has come to fruition, “he would be ecstatic.”

“Dad had an ability to allocate the most city funds in this community, and throughout NY state to build this structure. We are here today because of so many people who have done so much for his community. We have children who can walk by Flatbush and Caton and see this vision and dream for themselves.”

“Dad was a humanitarian. He loved mankind. He used to promote “one Caribbean. He would never say I am from Grenada.”

“He made people feel special,” she said, and quoted Maya Angelo, who said, “at the end of the day, people would not remember what you said or did, but how you made them feel,” said Camille, tearing up with emotion as she spoke, and remembered her dad’s strong mind and persistence.

She then said, “I want to declare that this office space will be used to bring people peace, it is not a place of division. It’s going to be a space where agreements are going to be made for business, and business services to help humankind, don’t matter ethnicity, or your color, everyone will have a seat at the table,” she urged.

Wife, Dr. Eda Hastick thanked the gathering for taking the time to attend the celebration, and reminisced about the great life she and Dr. Hastick shared.

The celebration that was also attended by daughters, Renee Hastick, Rolanda Hastick, and Tamara Hastick-Ivy, was honored with a gospel rendition by Anisa Fowler, and blessed by Bishop Riley.

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