Club St. Vincent, Inc., a leading Vincentian cultural and educational group in Brooklyn hosted on Aug. 26 what has been described as a very successful, premier exposition at the Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center (FOCH) in Brooklyn.
“Supporters dubbed this exposition as the best,” Verna Arthur, coordinator of the event and the club’s public relations officer, told Caribbean Life. “I would say it was the best expo (exposition) we have had since the venue changed to FOCH.
“With extensive preparations, we were able to pull together the various components very nicely, to present that wonderful package you received on Saturday,” added Club St. Vincent’s former president. “There are times when our work appears to others as seamless, but that is far from the truth.”
Arthur said the exposition featured “an exquisite variety of products” directly from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, as well as products from vendors in New York, a food court and a variety concert, among other things.
Prime Minister Dr. Ralph E. Gonsalves also made a surprise, maiden visit to the exposition.
“The New York-based based vendors and fashion designers must be commended for a great showing,” Arthur said. “The food court was buzzing. Everyone was having a fabulous time.
“The surprised recognition of Amb. Cyril “Scorcher” Thomas knocked him off his feet,” she added. “He was totally surprised. The honoree, Principal of PS346, Abe Stark Elementary school, Jabari Edwards, certainly captivated the audience with his acceptance speech. Congratulations to both.
“To put the icing on the cake, the Hon. Prime Minister Dr. Ralph E. Gonsalves attended our exposition,” Arthur continued. “That was awesome and an honor, and a first of any prime minister from our homeland.”
Gonsalves visited the stalls, purchased products, “hung out in the food court, and certainly enjoyed a vegetarian snack and local drink at the vegetarian food stall,” Arthur said.
The list of vendors and items exhibited were: Afro chips SVG (plantain chips); Ambrosia (samosa with conch); Angels Kitchen (spices and cocoa); Aurora’s (pepper sauce and jams); Black Orchid SVG (body products); Camara Tea (teas); Caricrea (jewelry); Fashion is Payne (T-shirts); Ferrari’s Fabulous Foods (dry seasonings for chicken, steak, seafood and pork); Jazzy’s All Natural (body products); Kelly’s (seasonings); Marslyn (sea moss body products); Merle’s Arts and Craft (Place mats and handbags); and Miss Cassandra’s (old fashion products, including confectionaries).
Others were: Naomi’s Sorrel Wine (sorrel wine); Oh So Homemade Products (creamy garlic paste and garlic sauce); Pringa’s Natural Flavour (jelly and ginger sauce); Rocks N Roses (purses and jewelry); Sokanaval (T-shirts and hoodies); The Kraft House SVG (crochet and fabric dolls); Val Kelly’s Investments (coconut oils); Villamor (callaloo soup with conch and Madungo bakes); Vinc (sun-dried herbs); and Vin Sea Seamoss (raw seamoss).
Other vendor and exhibits were: Miss Cassandra’s Wine; April’s Kitchen (cinnamon, cocoa ball, trumpet bush, aniseed, clove, blackfish oil, coconut oil, mauby, nutmeg, nutmeg and cocoa tea); Jahfeast Delight (soap products and deodorant); Val Kelly’s Investment; Cynthia Hewitt Art; and Marriaqua Secondary School/St. Joseph’s Convent Marriaqua (MSS/SJCM) Alumni Association of North America.
The exposition also featured, among others, talk by Inspector Jose Colon, of the Fire Department of New York (FDNY); drumming by Endless Vibrationz; steel pan music by Alyssa Seales; monologue, “Don’t Trust My Placard”, by Francesca Sam, a Club St. Vincent, Inc. member, and director and producer of Chatoyer Productions; and soca and calypso music by Scorcher and Dennis Bowman.
Scorcher had the audience jumping to “I Am a Darkie” and “Lollipop”, among his wide repertoire.
Bowman – an executive member of Dynamite Calypso Tent, the lone Vincentian calypso tent in North America, and perennial contender in the National Calypso Competition in Vincy Mas, the national carnival – brought the house down with “Get Up and Do Something”; “Build the Airport”; “Yo think Butt Easy” (new selection); “Sexy Bodies”; “Whistle”; and Africa Caribbean Rhythm”.
In her welcome address, Sandra Millington, Club St. Vincent, Inc.’s president, thanked patrons for their patronage.
“I feel confident that this supportive trend will continue for as long as the organization conducts programs to enhance and enrich the lives of the citizens of our community, here and in St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” she said, congratulating the honorees and dedicating a moment of silence in honor of the group’s late treasurer, Auton “Frankie” George, who died recently.
“He was a founding member of our organization and remained a reliable and dedicated member to the end,” Millington added. “He will always me missed. May his soul rest in peace!”
She also recognized the presence of George’s widow, Edna, a retired registered nurse, and their daughter, Zulema.
“A fabulous time was had by all,” Arthur said. “See you at our 2024 Cultural Expo.”