SPOONY pays special tribute to mothers

Members of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Progressive Organization of New York (SPOONY).
Photo by Nelson A. King

Nearly three weeks after Mother’s Day was celebrated on May 12, the Brooklyn-based St. Vincent and the Grenadines Progressive Organization of New York (SPOONY), an arm of the main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Saturday evening paid a special tribute to mothers during a gala ceremony in the Golden Hall at St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church on Hawthorne Street in Brooklyn.

SPOONY President Stephen "Scombo" John makes opening remarks.
SPOONY President Stephen “Scombo” John makes opening remarks.Photo by Nelson A. King

SPOONY’s “Tribute to Mothers”, chaired by General Secretary Kenneth Williams, featured gospel renditions by Sis. Clem Bailey, wife of the Rev. Ronald Bailey, the Vincentian-born pastor of Abundant Life Christian Church on Church Avenue in Brooklyn; and remarks by SPOONY President Stephen “Scombo” John, Consul General Rondy “Luta” McIntosh, and Vincentian author Dr. Nicholette “Koko” Spring, whose recently-published books, “Growing Up In Vincy” and “A Collection of Poems – Vincy Lifestyle,” were promoted at a book-signing ceremony at the event.

Karen Hinds, a Vincentian-born motivational speaker, founder of RENEW and CEO of Workplace Success Group, delivered the keynote address.

“Time to step boldly into your greatness,” urged Hinds, whose Workplace Success Group brings over 25 years of experience advising C-Suite executives and teams on strategy, leadership development, and fostering inclusive cultures.

“As mothers, you might have gone through some difficult patches, but it’s time to let it go,” she stressed, urging mothers not to let others’ opinions govern their lives.

Motivational Speaker Karen Hinds delivers keynote address.
Motivational Speaker Karen Hinds delivers keynote address.Photo by Nelson A. King

“Every mother has an immense potential to create positive change, and embracing this can lead to extraordinary personal and community growth,” continued Hinds, who is also an accomplished author of five books, covering topics such as workplace best practices, developing powerful networks, and global career guidance.

She has worked with organizations such as the United Nations, Turner Construction, Avangrid Corporation and the Girl Scouts of Connecticut.

Expanding on her renowned global women’s leadership conferences, which began in the Caribbean in 2012, Hinds has unveiled RENEW—an immersive experience for empowering professional women to prioritize mental, emotional, physical and spiritual wellness “to fuel their leadership, resilience and impact.”

Hinds said she is committed to empowering women globally, through philanthropy, immersive leadership development experiences and creating mentorship communities.

In 2024, she was honored by The United Way of Greater Waterbury, Connecticut, for her volunteer work and impact on the community.

Hinds told Caribbean Life after Saturday’s tribute that she was honored to deliver the keynote address.

“As a Vincentian born and raised, it was a privilege to contribute to such a meaningful cause,” she said. “I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to support SPOONYUSA in their efforts to raise funds for my home island, and I am inspired by the strength and resilience of the mothers who attended.”

Dr. Nicholette "Koko" Spring, right, signs book for Venda Smith-Cyrus.
Dr. Nicholette “Koko” Spring, right, signs book for Venda Smith-Cyrus. Photo by Nelson A. King

Dr. Spring recited from two of her poems, “St. Vincent and the Grenadines” and “Vincy Foreigners.”

On “St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” she read: “…We don’t have a rich economy/But there are lots to for you to see/We welcome one and we welcome all/To our sweet SVG, no matter how small”.

In reading from “Vincy Foreigners,” dedicated to all Vincentians in the Diaspora, Dr. Spring said: “Vincy Foreigners send down barrel/Every year is a big, big quarrel/Western Union and Moneygram/Create long lines around de island/Sending for everything dey see/On dey big screen tv/From de same family members/Dey call Vincy Foreigners.”

She told Caribbean Life that the “Tribute to Mothers” was “an exciting, fun event”.

“It was well organized and excellently executed,” Dr. Spring said. “The musical entertainment took us back in time, and everyone had a great time.”

As for the book signing, she said it was “great”, disclosing that lots of people purchased copies of “Growing Up In Vincy” and “A collection of Poems – Vincy Lifestyle.”

“Someone said to me, ‘Oh, this is the book everyone is talking about’”, said Dr. Spring, referring to “Growing Up In Vincy”. “The rendition of the two poems got a rousing applause from the audience. It was a fantastic experience.”

Dyrah St. Agathe pays tribute to her mom, Sharon Robinson.
Dyrah St. Agathe pays tribute to her mom, Sharon Robinson. Photo by Nelson A. King

During the ceremony, Brooklyn resident Dyrah St. Agathe, 23, whose father hails from St. Lucia, paid a surprise tribute to her Vincentian-born mother, Sharon Robinson, 60.

“My mom is a wonderful mom”, St. Agathe, an “only-child,” told Caribbean Life afterwards. “She gives so much to everybody. She’s an extraordinary woman.”

Consul General McIntosh said that, while “Mother’s Day, officially on the calendar, has passed, every day is Mother’s Day.”

He also said: “A man can never be a mother. There are some innate qualities in a woman that we men can never possess.”

Sis. Clem Bailey sings "Hear My Prayer, Lord.”
Sis. Clem Bailey sings “Hear My Prayer, Lord.”

In her opening renditions, Sis. Bailey belched out “Hear My Prayer, Lord”; “For the Joy of the Lord”; and “Free Indeed.”

Despite the passage of Mother’s Day, John said SPOONY still wanted to recognize all mothers.

He, however, welcomed “all mothers and all men, who are acting as mothers.”