Brooklyn Mechanics serve warm Thanksgiving meals to community

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Andrae Nurse (center), of Barbadian roots, receives Thanksgiving Dinner from Daniel Roden, the Grenadian-born Rt. Worshipful District Grand Master of District Grand Lodge No.1, (left) and Napoleon Bouyer of Ben-Hur District in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
Photo by Nelson A. King

While many were enjoying their Thanksgiving Dinner with family and friends in the comfort and warmth of their homes, Brooklyn Mechanics were again this Thanksgiving in the elements, ensuring that those less fortunate get a special, warm meal on the public holiday.

The Brooklyn District Grand Lodge No. 1 – under the jurisdiction of The Grand Council of the Independent United Order of Mechanics (IUOM) Friendly Society, Western Hemisphere, North Central and South America, Island of the Seas, and the Entire Western Hemisphere, Inc. – on Thanksgiving Day served “Ready to Go” Dinners to the homeless, less fortunate and other members of the community.

The lodge has been doing so for the past 33 years, according to Daniel Roden, the Grenadian-born Rt. Worshipful District Grand Master of District Grand Lodge No. 1.

Roden told Caribbean Life that his district distributed dinners to about 580 people on Thanksgiving Day outside IUOM’s headquarters near Classon Street in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn.

Brooklyn District Grand Lodge No. 1 under the jurisdiction of The Grand Council of the Independent United Order of Mechanics (IUOM) Friendly Society, Western Hemisphere, North Central and South America, Island of the Seas, and the Entire Western Hemisphere, Inc. Ð on Thanksgiving Day served “Ready-to-Go” Dinners to the homeless, less fortunate and other members of the community outside IUOM’s headquarters in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. Photo by Nelson A. King

“It makes you feel that we are serving the purpose of helping humanity, something our forefathers will be proud of us doing,” he said, stating that the menu comprised, among others, Caribbean, American and Italian dishes, including baked turkey, ham, chicken, lo mien, rice, stuffing, candied yams and salad.

“We found out, by doing this, the less fortunate is not the only ones who benefits from our program,” he said. “There are people who do not have a family structure on that special day of Thanksgiving, and just need to have a meal and spend time with company. And we are able to provide for them.”

Because of the pandemic, Roden said his district “had to scale back, and serve dinners in a grab-and-go format.

“But, hopefully, next year, 2022, we can get back to our original status of not just providing dinners and the atmosphere but also proving clothing wants again,” he said, noting that clients usually “show great appreciation” for the meals and service.

“As fraternity/Order, we believe, practice, and promote philanthropy, charity and benevolence,” added Roden, underscoring that “dedicated members” of the Thanksgiving Committee comprised Hon. Galroi Mikriis, chair; Sis. Catherine Williams, co-chair; Sis. Shirley Camino, secretary; and “the entire Brooklyn District Grand Jurisdiction.”

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