The Emerald Isle Creative Vibes of New York, hosted their appreciation dinner and dance on Sunday September 29th
A hearty congratulations must be extended to the organisation for hosting an event that was organised to the highest of standards with the most premium execution. The organisation must also be congratulated for keeping the fervour of nationalism alive in the Diaspora by giving recognition to deserving individuals who have made significant contributions to their communities, helping to improve countless lives.
The appreciation dinner and dance took place at the plush Maestro's Caterers Venue in Bronx, New York, getting underway at 2:00pm with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres being served. After cocktails, the introduction of the invited guests and awardees saw the Honourable Premier of Montserrat, Reuben T Meade, being introduced to a packed hall as the Guest of Honour. The Awardees of the night were also presented to everyone is attendance. A member of the Emerald Isle Creative Vibes team escorted them, along with the Premier, to their respective seats.
The awardees on the night were Carlton Funkyman' Allen, Juan Recaldo' Harley and Albert Al Cholo' Mitchell.
The evenings proceedings were bonded together by the charismatic Master of Ceremonies, Gus White. Gus was a ball of laughter as he mixed his introduction of the evenings events with a flair for humour, giving a few timely laughs along the way, bringing everyone in attendance at ease for what turned out to be a most fulfilling night.
The introduction of the Honourable Premier of Montserrat, Reuben T Meade, was an eager moment, as many attendees were no doubt keen to hear what news from Montserrat the Premier brought.
Premier Meade presented what I would describe as a very well structured and visionary discourse, outlining in sequence what the plans currently are for redeveloping the island. He stated very clearly what was being active and also what was due to come on stream. In addition, he gave a rousing call to action for Montserratians to begin the mindset of showing unconditional support of their fellow countrymen and women in business and other private well-to-do endeavours. This, he highlighted can only be to the benefit of Montserrat in the long run.
The Premier proceeded to outline a plan with reference to geothermal energy. Geothermal, many agree would be the starlight in Montserrat's continued quest for that engine of economic growth to be restarted. Geothermal, the Premier stated, would open endless possibilities for new businesses to set up and operate on Montserrat due to the lower energy costs that would be available. Montserratians will also own Geothermal, he indicated. A rousing applause was delivered upon hearing the plans for geothermal energy.
The Premier touched on other matters of development such as the re-establishment of a fibre optic link on Montserrat. Fibre Optics would afford for faster e-communication and additionally it would mean that many e-businesses could set up and function from within Montserrat with reliable access to the international market.
The Premier of Montserrat, as the Guest of Honour, congratulated the Emerald Isle Creative Vibes for their sterling contribution, and also made reference to the force of the Diaspora as a body to impact the future development prospects of Montserrat. In that, he highlighted that the Government of Montserrat currently owns 70% of the Bank of Montserrat, of which they would love to dilute their holdings. He encouraged those in attendance to purchase shares in the local Bank of Montserrat so that Montserratians both at home and abroad can truly own the bank.
What was most outstanding about the Emerald Isle Creative Vibes Appreciation Dinner and Dance was the fact that they sought not just to recognise what we would term as known local personalities, but they presented awards to two individuals who I would refer to as Caribbean sons who extended their heart of kindness in supporting progressive programmes and individuals who take the charge forward to foster the spirit of giving back in us all. Premier Meade thus presented commendation plaques to the three awardees on the night.
The first awardee was Carlton Funkyman Allen. According to information received on the awardees by MNI Alive, Carlton Allen, also known as Funkyman, immigrated to the United States in 1979. In 1981, he teamed up with Randy Greenaway to inaugurate the Mantis Funkyman Awards, an awards system that recognizes individuals from all walks of life who make a meaningful contribution to their communities. The awards are now known exclusively as the Funkyman Awards.
The Funkyman Awards continue to be one of the premier events for the annual Festival. Carlton considers his effort a labour of love'his contribution to his fellow Montserratians.
The others who were awarded included Kittitian Juan Recaldo Harley. Juan has contributed greatly to the Emerald Isle Creative Vibes organisation. The Club's first function was held in his home and he has hosted many more over the years. He also traveled with the group to Montserrat to deliver donations to charitable organizations and needy persons.
MNI Alive understands that Juan was once a key member of the Sons and Daughters of St. Christopher Society in New York, holding different positions such as President and Chairman. He played a significant role in the establishment of the St. Christopher Cricket Club in New York. At such he was honoured for his contribution and kindness not just to his own countrymen but Caribbean nationals in general
The final awardee was Albert Mitchell, also known as Al Cholo, who came to the United States in 1970. Cholo started his own business in 1977 and began selling bread from the back of his car. He later progressed to opening a store that he named Al Cholo and Sons Bakery. It has been 36 years since he has been in business and is especially grateful for the support he has received from nationals of Montserrat, Antigua, St. Kitts, Dominica and other countries in the Caribbean. His heart is fully in the upliftment of the Caribbean community and at such he has generously given back over the years in many ways.
The Breakaway Brass Band provided the evening's entertainment. Their performance of many popular songs kept the crowd dancing to the end. Taking from the success of this event, many patrons most certainly will be looking forward towards the 2014 dinner and dance hosted by the Emerald Isle Creative Vibes.
For over 200 pictures of the Appreciation Dinner and Dance, click on the following link: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.597274930314160.1073741830.210454938996163&type=3&uploaded=190