Vincentians in the New York Tri-State area and globally have been beaming with overwhelming joy and pride with the historic raising last Thursday of the national flag of St. Vincent and the Grenadines at Bowling Green in the Wall Street Financial District in lower Manhattan and the lighting of the Empire State Building, also in lower Manhattan, in the Vincentian national colors.
Earlier, on Monday, the national flag of St. Vincent and the Grenadines was raised, for the first time, in Newark, NJ.
“On Thursday, something happened in New York City that went across the globe, when we raised our flag at the historic site at Bowling Green and the Empire State Building (was lit up in the national colors),” said St. Vincent and the Grenadines Consul General to the United States Rondy McIntosh, the architect of the flag-raising and lighting-up ceremonies, in addressing Sunday evening a Gala Independence Anniversary Dinner and Awards Ball at Russo’s on the Bay in Howard Beach, Queens.
The Ball was organized by the Brooklyn-based Vincentian umbrella group, Council of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Organizations, U.S.A., Inc. (COSAGO).,
McIntosh, who only assumed office less than three months ago, said that groups and/or individuals usually have to apply, to light up the Empire State Building in their desired colors, at least three months in advance, but it was not even a month since the Consulate General submitted its application.
“The good Lord was smiling on us,” he said. “I’m seeing a renewed spirit, a new vibe.
“Reach out to us,” he urged patrons at the Gala. “My job is a political appointment, but I’m not here to do a political job (huge applause).”
Earlier, McIntosh said the historic flag-raising and lighting-up ceremonies “ushered in a new dawn for our Small Island Developing State and symbolically solidified our resilience, our fortitude, as a people and as a nation.”
After donning a bandana with the national colors of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, New York City Mayor Eric Adams told the Bowling Green ceremony, with many nationals sporting the national colors: “We respect you! We see you! And you are contributors to this amazing city we call New York!”
McIntosh said the event also afforded the Consulate General to showcase Vincentian products, such as Vincyfresh pepper sauce, marinades and pepper jelly, peanuts, tamarind ball and chocolates, along with wooden and banana crafts by local craftsmen Randy Clarke and Nzimbu.
Some of the local crafts were presented to Mayor Adams, New York City Commissioners Mermelstein (International Affairs), Castro (Immigrant Affairs), and Moy (New York State Office of General Services), McIntosh said.
He said St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ artistic skill was also “exported as one of Calvert Jones’ tropical realism masterpieces,” which was unveiled at the flag-raising ceremony and “gifted to Mayor Adams.”