ALL SMILES: Members of the executive of the Friends of The Caribbean get together for a group photo during the summer ball. From left (front row) Fitz Lawson, Wain McIntosh – Chairman, Pauline Garriques-Vice Chair, Eddie Burrell, Claudette Murrell, Cordalee Harrison, Yvonne Russell and Tony Russell. (Back row) Tamanya Thompson, Martin Blackburn and Derrick Atkinson.
THE MILTON Keynes-based charity, Friends of the Caribbean (FOTC), hosted its annual summer ball at the Jury’s Inn Hotel, Milton Keynes recently and had a packed ballroom with over 300 guests turning out in support of the occasion.
The ball was in honour of Guyana’s 50 years of Independence.
The keynote speaker at the dinner was the Charity’s Patron, Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkins who is also Chaplin to The Queen and the House of Commons. In her address, Revd Hudson-Wilkins focused on unsung heroes who have contributed tremendously to the upliftment of the community, but have gone through their life unrecognised for this contribution.
She said: “We need to think again how we support people in our communities. Whenever I see the Queen’s Honours list published, there are hardly any of our people in there and that’s because we don’t really know how to appreciate and celebrate each other. We need to start feeling apart of each other’s success. We can’t be saying that black lives matter if we don’t show that it matters.”
BIRTHDAY GIRLS: These three ladies who celebrated their birthday on the night are honoured with flowers (from left) Sonia Bell, Grace McNabb and Beverley Myton
Revd Hudson-Wilkins also praised FOTC for the work it is doing in the community and made special mention of the executive committee members led by its chairman Wain McIntosh.
In his report on the activities of the charity over the last 12 months, McIntosh said the FOTC had focused on the supplementary education pilot which allowed 10 children to receive tutoring in preparation for GSCE mathematics and science exams. Enrolments are now open for the autumn term and he encouraged members to recommend children for enrolment. He also noted that Milton Keynes major national health agencies joined with the charity to host a successful health forum in May.
Other addresses on the night came from Guyana’s Counsellor Officer Ms Peggy McLennan who brought greetings from the Guyana High Commission on the anniversary of the country’s 50th Independence.
Guests were then treated to a four course meal and participated in the fund-raising raffle prize draws. Entertainment then came courtesy of Nostalgia Steel Band and a live set by the Legend Bob Marley Tribute Band which played over 25 Marley classics to the delight of the audience.
In the last eight years Friends of the Caribbean has supported Diabetes UK, Willen Hospice, a Milton Keynes care home, Haiti Earthquake Appeal, Prostate Cancer UK, and Alpha Home for Boys in Jamaica, to name but a few.