Caribbean Diaspora Urged to Assist Rebuilding Process in Haiti


The Caribbean community overseas is being urged to contribute to the rebuilding process in Haiti.
CARICOM’s special representative on Haiti, the Most Hon. P.J. Patterson, has said that the Caribbean Diaspora has a great role to play in ensuring that the redevelopment of Haiti moves forward smoothly and speedily.
“There are skills and resources, which reside within the Diaspora, which are not readily available in Haiti and which are needed now to assist with the rebuilding process,” Mr. Patterson stated.

President of the West Indies Social Club of Hartford, Connecticut, Richard Gordon (left), presents the Lifetime Achievement award to veteran Jamaican reggae artiste Hopeton Lewis at the club’s 60th anniversary awards banquet held on Saturday (May 1) at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, downtown Hartford.

He was addressing the 60th anniversary and awards banquet of the West Indies Social Club of Hartford, Connecticut held on Saturday (May 1) Hartford Crowne Plaza Hotel.
Congratulating the club on six decades of achievement, the former Prime Minister said that the group has been a tremendous force of social cohesion.
He commended their use of traditional Caribbean past times such as cricket, dominoes, music and dance to break down the social, language, race and class barriers and avoid the conflicts, which plague major cities everywhere.
He implored the members to preserve and seek to enhance the unique Caribbean cultural identity “as part of a precious heritage that must be passed on to succeeding generations”.

President of the West Indies Social Club of Hartford, Connecticut, Richard Gordon, presents an award to Jamaican-born Janice Marie Hart, for outstanding contribution in promoting Jamaica’s cultural heritage throughout the Hartford community. Occasion was the club’s 60th anniversary awards banquet held on Saturday (May 1), at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, downtown Hartford.

“Instill in the next generation, knowledge of the roots from which they spring.this will provide them with the strength to build on the proud foundations, which have been so well laid by the leaders of the West Indian Social Club of Hartford, which have enabled its growth and survival during the past 60 years,” Mr. Patterson stated.
Outgoing Ambassador to the United States, Anthony Johnson, while congratulating the organisation for attaining 60 years of keeping the Caribbean community in Hartford together, also urged the members to pass on the strong sense of community and powerful expression of Caribbean culture.
“New generations are taking over from the founding fathers and mothers and they must be aware of the values and attitudes, which have sustained us over the years,” he stated.

Former Prime Minister and CARICOM Representative on Haiti, Hon. P. J. Patterson (right) receives the keys to the city of Hartford from the city’s Mayor, Eddie Perez at the 60th anniversary awards banquet of the West Indies Social Club of Hartford, Connecticut, held on Saturday (May 1) at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, downtown Hartford.

In his remarks, President of the West Indies Social Club, Mr. Richard Gordon, informed that over the past 60 years, the group has contributed more than US$400,000 in scholarships, which have benefited students of Caribbean heritage in Hartford, as well as in other islands throughout the region.
Mayor of Hartford, Eddie Perez, in the meantime, congratulated the club for making the city its home. “Hartford is home to one of the largest West Indian population in the United States, so it is clear that culture and heritage are essential slices of life, which have helped to enrich the cultural diversity of the city,” he noted.
Seventeen persons, including 14 of Jamaican heritage, were honoured at the function for their accomplishments in various areas. Among the Jamaican honourees were United States Congresswoman Yvette Clarke and veteran reggae artiste Hopeton Lewis, who received the lifetime achievement award.
The West Indian Social Club, the largest organisations of its kind in the United States, was founded in 1950 by migrant workers, who were recruited from the Caribbean to work in the tobacco fields and factories of New England, due to the manpower shortage resulting from World War II.
Far from their homes in the Caribbean, the men met frequently to continue their traditions of paying domino and cricket. It was during these friendly gatherings that the idea to form a social and cultural organisation evolved. The organisation has more than 200 members.

JIS Social