Vincy Day Picnic in Florida brings back ‘nostalgic feeling’: CG McIntosh

CG Rondy "Luta" McIntosh with picnic-goers in Orlando, Florida.
CG Rondy “Luta” McIntosh with picnic-goers in Orlando, Florida.
Photo by Shelly-Anne Samuel, president of SVG Association of Florida

St. Vincent and the Grenadines Consul General to the United States Rondy “Luta” McIntosh says the recent Vincy Day Picnic in Central Florida brought back “nostalgic feeling.”

Scores of Vincentians and other well-wishers came together for a day of camaraderie, fun, food and frolic, Vincy picnic style,” the New York-based McIntosh told Caribbean Life about the picnic that was organized by the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Central Florida Organization (SVGCFO) and held, on Saturday, May 13, at the Bill Frederick Park in Orlando.

“The feeling at the event was that of a family reunion, where long time neighbors, past students, villagers, former work colleagues, school mates and other forms of broken or distant relationships grabbed the opportunity to rekindle that long lost togetherness,” added McIntosh. “The picnic gave me that nostalgic feeling, the feeling we experienced as youths growing up in close knitted communities, where we would go to the neighbor’s house for food, and they would always welcome us with open arms.

CG Rondy "Luta" McIntosh addresses picinic.
CG Rondy “Luta” McIntosh addresses picnic. Photo by Shelly-Anne Samuel, president of SVG Association of Florida

“It was a manifestation of that type of energy and neighborly love, as people were moving around, mingling, reconnecting, exchanging pleasantries and partaking in the food brought to the picnic by those present,” continued the consul general, stating that he met many familiar and new faces, “who seemed eager” to meet him in person “to express their pride and satisfaction with the work done thus far” since his assumption of the position last August.

McIntosh said he was given the opportunity to address the gathering and outlined some of his plan, while urging Vincentians to return home at least once a year.

He also urged nationals, among other things, to “invest in our country; take advantage of the opportunities in the tourism sector; join a Vincy organization; get your Vincy passport, even if you are an American citizen; instill the values and disciplines that were instilled in us into our youths.”

McIntosh noted that one of the top Vincy Diaspora DJs, EZ Sounds, based in New York, was “flown in for the event”, along with the New York-based 2022 Vincy Mas Road March winner, Man Kemmy.

“Both entertainers kept the audience well entertained until the rest of the evening was marred with rain,” McIntosh said.

From left, Jon, Raquel and Ivor DeShong.
From left, Jon, Raquel and Ivor DeShong.Photo by Raquel DaSilva, SVG Central Florida Organization (SVGFO)

Despite the rain, those in attendance seemed to have had a great time,” he added, stating that “the sentiments from most are that they cannot wait for the 2024 Vincy Picnic.”

In addressing the 6th Annual Vincy Family Day Picnic in Central Florida, Mark Lindsay, SVGCFO’s president and chief executive officer, said the group was “particularly delighted to have as our guest of honor today our US Council General Mr. Rondy McIntosh and his family.

“CG McIntosh, ‘Luta’, has been a friend of our organization for several years and has represented the SVGCFO as Goodwill Ambassador in SVG, as well as donating his time and talent to perform at our 2015 Annual Dinner and Dance,” said Lindsay about McIntosh, who is also a soca artiste.

“Now in our 10th year of operation, the SVGCFO continues to fulfill its mission of ‘increasing public awareness of Caribbean culture through arts, music and education, and providing charity to the needy directly and in cooperation with fellow charitable organizations, such as the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, food banks and similar programs,’” he added.

Shevon, left, and Raquel.
Shevon, left, and Raquel. Photo by Raquel DaSilva, SVG Central Florida Organization (SVGFO)

Over the past 12 months, through its relationship with Marion House (SVG), Lindsay said SVGCFO shipped several large boxes of food and clothing supplies to SVG, with an estimated value of US$4,000. 00. Marion House offers general counselling sessions and “tangible support” for survivors of domestic violence.

Under the banner of the Judge Alban Niles Scholarship Fund, Lindsay said SVGCFO also donated US$1,850 in scholarship funds to two students in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and has supported fellow organizations in Central Florida to the tune of US$600.

In January, Lindsay said SVGCFO updated its bylaws “to reflect the changing environment and circumstances of the SVGCFO,” and is currently working on updating the SVGCFO.Org website, “which we expect to relaunch within the next six months.”

“None of these accomplishments would have been possible without the hard work and commitment of our members and Board of Directors, our sponsors, members of our community and the Caribbean Diaspora at large,” Lindsay said. “So, thank you for your generosity and support, and thank you all for being here today. May we all have a joyous and blessed day today.”