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SVG ex-diplomat, receives Special Recognition Award

By Nelson A. King

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Get our stories in your inbox, free. Like Caribbean Life on Facebook. Former St. Vincent and the Grenadines Deputy New York Consul General and calypsonian Cyril Scorcher Thomas Saturday night received the Special Recognition Award from the Brooklyn-based St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ex-Police Association, U.S.A., Inc. at a gala banquet at Glen Terrace in Brooklyn.

Scorcher who a few months ago was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Brooklyn-based Friends of Sion Hill was among three other honorees at the event that also marked the ex-police group s 37th Annual Fundraising Ball.

When they told me that the police had issued a citation for me, I said to myself, after all these years, I thought the Statute of Limitation had passed, said Scorcher, to laughter, after receiving the award.

SVG Ex-diplomat, Receives Special Recognition Award

Scorcher thanked, among others, the Almighty; his mother, Emily Thomas; his late step mother, Mary Neverson Morris; Neverson Morris sister Venus Alexander; Marcel and Cornell Browne; and the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ex-Police Association, U.S.A., Inc. for their significant role in the development of the person who stands before you today.

I am living proof that, if even it takes decades, they always get their man, he said. I often take time to remind myself that, in the best of men, there s a little evil; and, in the worst of men, there s a little good. Keep on watching over us, my good men. The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ex-Police Association, U.S.A., Inc. said the Special Recognition Award is bestowed on a non-member who has demonstrated a passion for community service and/or to the development of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and, in particular, members of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force and/or ex-police associations, and has dedicated time, energy, financial and other personal and professional resources towards this passion. Brooklyn s Celestial Funeral Home whose manager and chief executive officer is Wilmoth Seaton, a former school teacher at home received the Corporate Citizens Award. Jamaican Edward Hinds received the award on behalf of Seaton, who was visiting Toronto, Canada.

Founding fathers ex-prison officer, Hayward Thomas, and retired registered nurse David Alban Williams, received the Diamond Award. Arden Thomas, the president of The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ex-Police Association, U.S.A., Inc., also chose ex-police officer Pamella Ferrari-Easter, of Canouan in the St. Vincent Grenadine islands, to receive the President Surprise Award.

For the past 12 months, Pam has been working tirelessly to put this organization forward, resulting in increased membership and camaraderie, Tannis said. He also recognized the Barbados-based Caribbean Tourism Organization s New York staffer Annette Stowe, of Bequia, presenting her a bouquet of flowers, for her continued support of the group, and for designing and producing the group s annual journal.

New York Consul General Howie Prince and president of the Vincentian umbrella group in the US, the Brooklyn-based Council of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Organizations, U.SA., Inc. (COSAGO), Laverne McDowald-Thompson, also addressed the ceremony. About the honorees

Scorcher, who was born and raised in Sion Hill, overlooking capital city, Kingstown, before he migrated to the United States, said he always had a passion for sports, playing it with varying degrees of success,

He said he played Division One Basketball, was a National Volleyball player and was the first person from Sion Hill to be selected to play football (soccer) for St. Vincent and the Grenadines National Team, as a junior player and then as a senior player. Scorcher was also a Student Teacher, a custom officer and a magistrate clerk before he migrated to the US, where he was drafted into the Army soon after arrival.

After spending two years in the US Army, 10 of which was in Vietnam, Scorcher said he worked at the US Postal Service by day and attended Brooklyn College at nights, graduating with a Bachelor s degree in Political Science, a Masters of Arts degree in Urban Administration, and an Advance Degree in Educational Administration and Supervision. Over the years, Thomas said he taught public schools in New York City, retiring in 2001. He then served as Deputy Consul General of St. Vincent and the Grenadines from 2001 to 2011. From an early age, Scorcher said he showed a great love for music, writing and singing numerous hits over the years.

His first recording was in 1976, with a track entitled Wilma wok Obeah on Me, followed by notables as Party Fever, Wake up the Party, Phantom DJ, Sweetness is My Weakness, Fork up All the Beaches, I am a Darkie, Come St. Vincent, Pipe Layer and The Legend of Soca. Besides the US, Scorcher has performed, among other places, in England, Canada, Columbia, Trinidad and Tobago, and Grenada. The Flatbush, Brooklyn-based Celestial Funeral services, Inc., which was established in 2002, and is family-owned and operated, has the distinction of having the first Vincentian-born Licensed Funeral Director, Wilmouth Passie Seaton, as its chief executive officer and manager.

Our motto We serve our families with empathy and compassion – epitomizes the quality of service [that is rendered] to the families we serve, said Seaton in a statement. We meet the family where its most convenient for them, either at their home or the funeral home. All funerals are customized to meet the need of the family and depicts the life style of their loved one.

Celestial Funeral Services, its management and staff are cognizant of the disparities that exist in many communities, especially for those of color, he added. For many years, we have lent our voice and resources to build, promote and create alternatives for the strengthening of the Diaspora and the betterment of the community.

We continue to sponsor churches and various organizations in their outreach efforts to harmonize and sensitize the Diaspora and beyond, Seaton continued. While taking care of your lost loved one is our business, giving back to the community is our pride.

Haywood C. Thomas, who was born in Choppins Village, on Sept. 12, 1926, moved with his parents, at 3, to Mt. Bentick, Georgetown, the island s second largest town. His parents had sought employment in the sugarcane, arrowroot and cotton industries on the Mr. Bentick estate. Thomas said he ever obtained an early education, disclosing that, at 10, his parents sent him to live with a wealthy family in Kingstown and that, on his return home two years later, he was then sent to live with another family in Rose Hall in North Leeward, where he attended school briefly for the very first time. In 1939, when World War II started, Thomas said he went to work on the family estate, emerging from being a child laborer and eventually working in a bakery owned by the Catos. He said he subsequently started his own business by opening a bakery and shop in the Ratho Mill area in East St. George.

From 1964 to 1981, Thomas served as a prison officer at Her Majesty s Prison in Kingstown, during which he was elected president of prison section of the Civil Service Association. He also served as assistant secretary in the same section. On migration to the US in 1981, Thomas said he worked as a baker and later as a security officer, serving as a Shop Stewart and fighting for his union comrades until retirement in 2009. In 1996, Thomas joined the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ex-Police Association, holding the position of chaplain up to 2016.

After graduating from the Emmanuel High School in Kingstown, Williams said he first worked as a public school teacher, then joined the Royal St. Vincent Police Force, rising to corporal. On migration, he attended college in New York and became a registered nurse, working with Catholic Medical Charities and Kingsborough Psychiatric Hospital in Brooklyn until retirement. Williams said he maintained contact with his former police colleagues and served as a president of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ex-Police Association, U.S.A., Inc.

I tried my best to serve who I served, said Williams in his acceptance speech, sitting in a wheel chair, flanked by his wife, Helen, other family members, Prince, Tannis and Joselle Thomas, who presented him with the award. I am trying to live the best of my life.

Posted 12:00 am, May 24, 2017

2017 Community News Group

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What’s on TV Wednesday: A ‘Dirty Dancing’ Remake and ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’

PhotoWhat's On TV Wednesday: A 'Dirty Dancing' Remake And 'The Handmaid's Tale' Colt Prattes and Abigail Breslin in Dirty Dancing. Credit Guy D’Alema/ABC

Frances Houseman and Johnny Castle have the time of their lives again in a remake of Dirty Dancing. And Luke resurfaces in The Handmaid s Tale.

What s on TV

DIRTY DANCING (2017) 8 p.m. on ABC. Abigail Breslin and Colt Prattes take on the roles made famous by Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze in this remake of the 1987 blockbuster about Frances Houseman (but everyone calls her Baby), an untraditional beauty who falls for the bad boy Johnny Castle during her family s Catskills vacation in the summer of 1963. The story is essentially the same the unwanted pregnancy and illegal abortion remain in this three-hour production, which adds singing to the mix. But it also aims for a more modern relevancy with a sexless marriage and looming empty nest for Baby s parents (Debra Messing and Bruce Greenwood) and an attempted date rape for her older sister (Sarah Hyland), followed by an interracial flirtation.

LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT 9 p.m. on NBC. A hate crime is committed against a Muslim family and a daughter is killed. But when a witness is deported, Barba is forced to drop the charges against a suspect and protests turn violent, leading a desperate Benson to make an arrest.

EMPIRE 9 p.m. on Fox. The season wraps with an appearance by Demi Moore, and the promise of more of her to come.

Continue reading the main story[1]

What s Streaming

Photo What's On TV Wednesday: A 'Dirty Dancing' Remake And 'The Handmaid's Tale' Juliette Binoche Credit Laurent Thurin Nal/Sundance Selects

CERTIFIED COPY (2011) on Sundance Now[2]. Juliette Binoche won best actress at Cannes for Elle, a gallery owner and single mother in a Tuscan village who attends a lecture by a highhanded British author (William Shimell) on authenticity in art. Then she invites him on a tour of the countryside, during which he is mistaken for her husband and they keep up the pretense. The Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami s delicious brain tickler, Stephen Holden wrote in The New York Times[3], is an endless hall of mirrors whose reflections multiply as its story of a middle-aged couple driving through Tuscany carries them into a metaphysical labyrinth. Ms. Binoche s Elle, he added, brings it to intense, pulsing life.

Pair it with MUSEUM HOURS (2013), also on Sundance Now[4], in which Johann (Bobby Sommer), a security guard at the Kunsthistorisches Museum[5] in Vienna, and Anne (Mary Margaret O Hara), a Canadian who has come to Austria to sit at the bedside of a cousin in a coma, find refuge among Dutch and Flemish works. Though their relationship is seemingly not sexual Johann is gay it is deeply romantic. Jem Cohen s quietly amazing, sneakily sublime tale of cross-cultural friendship, A. O. Scott wrote in The Times[6], is rigorously and intensely lifelike, which is to say that it s also a strange and moving work of art.

Photo What's On TV Wednesday: A 'Dirty Dancing' Remake And 'The Handmaid's Tale' O-T Fagbenle, center, in The Handmaid s Tale. Credit George Kraychyk/Hulu

THE HANDMAID S TALE on Hulu. Offred (Elisabeth Moss) remembers life before Gilead and her family s daring attempt to escape as she and her husband, Luke (O-T Fagbenle), each learn that the other is alive.

Continue reading the main story[7]


  1. ^ Continue reading the main story (
  2. ^ Sundance Now (
  3. ^ wrote in The New York Times (
  4. ^ Sundance Now (
  5. ^ Kunsthistorisches Museum (
  6. ^ wrote in The Times (
  7. ^ Continue reading the main story (

Edmonton teen headed for sailing adventure for Canada 150

Nineteen-year-old Abdul Fettah Al Masoud arrived in Edmonton with his family last February. They are Syrian refugees from Aleppo who spent several years in Lebanon after fleeing their civil war-torn country in 2013. The teenager is now preparing to embark on another journey. He was chosen to represent Canada as a youth ambassador on “Canada C3,” a 150-day sailing expedition from Toronto to Victoria that follows the Northwest Passage. Three hundred Canadians including youth, scientists, artists, historians and elders will visit communities along the route, conduct research and collaborate on artistic projects. The opportunity, run by the Students on Ice Foundation and funded in part by the federal government, drew nearly 5,000 applications, including 1,300 from young people. Of the 33 youth selected, Al Masoud is the only representative from Edmonton and one of three newcomers to Canada.

“We could tell immediately from Abdul’s video application that he embodies the spirit and energy of the Canada C3 project,” said Lisa (Diz) Glithero, the education team lead for the expedition.

She said the review committee was struck by his genuine nature and curiosity to learn more about Canada. The trip is supposed to engage with four Canada 150 themes: diversity and inclusion, reconciliation, youth and the environment. Michelle and Ryan Young, two members of a large community group in North Glenora helping to resettle the family, saw an advertisement in a newspaper about the trip and encouraged him to apply. His leg of the trip the 11th of 15 will travel from Kugluktuk, Nunavut, to Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T., in early September. The itinerary includes joining community members in Kugluktuk on their annual pilgrimage to Kugluk Falls and visits to the Smoking Hills and Fiji Island.

Al Masoud said he’s excited about the trip but a bit nervous particularly about talking in front of a camera. When asked about his goals for the adventure, he said he wanted to learn more about the country.

“And I want to be a leader for young people,” he added. After finishing off the 2016 school year at Ross Sheppard High School, he spent the summer studying at Jasper Place High School, where his English skills developed more rapidly. Now he’s a student at Centre High Campus with aspirations of working in the construction industry or becoming a mechanic or security guard. He’s interested in studying at NorQuest College, where his parents are learning English, and he works two days a week. He spends his free time playing soccer and basketball.

Though he misses home, and a sister still in Lebanon, he said he loves Canadians and feels welcome in Edmonton.

“Abdul is completely endearing,” said Michelle Young.

“He is excited to be a Canadian, he’s grateful to be a Canadian and he comes with an openness that people could learn from.”

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