A new Executive has been elected to manage the affairs of the SVG Indian Heritage Foundation.
At the Annual General Meeting of the Foundation held on Sunday, March 15 at the Murray Heights Hotel, Junior Bacchus was elected president.
The other members of his executive are Dave Baptiste, vice-president; Luann Hadaway, secretary; Anna Insanali, assistant secretary; Cheryl Rodriguez, treasurer; Laurel Thomas, public relations officer; Denzil Bacchus, cultural officer; and Arnold Bullock, events co-ordinator.
The Guest Speaker at the event was Cordel Matthews, archivist at the National Public Library. Matthews made an appeal to those in attendance and their friends to donate to the Library any Indian artefacts and photos in their possession.
Kanhai Kangal, president of the National Commission for Indian Culture in Trinidad and Tobago, who has been supportive of the Foundation since its inception, was present at Sunday’s meeting. He brought greetings from his organization in Trinidad and Tobago and pledged his continued support in providing dancers and other resource personnel to the Foundation.
The SVG Indian Heritage Foundation was launched in the year 2006 and incorporated in 2007 as a non-profit organization under the Companies Act of 1994 Section 5 and 329.
The objectives of the Foundation are to bring together persons of Indian descent to trace their roots, learn their history, revive some of the Indian culture, and make a contribution to national development in various ways.
Among the activities which the new executive is planning are: the digitizing of the Indian register and preservation of its pages. The lone register contains the names and details of indentured servants who arrived from India in the years 1861-1880 on the ships Travancore in 1861, Countess of Rippon in 1866, the Dover Castle in 1871 and the Lightning in 1880. The register is held at the National Public Library in Kingstown; the establishment of a Youth Commission to promote the talents of young people and empower them to become leaders, while understanding their heritage and culture; the creation of a Social Enhancement Fund to assist needy persons; identification of an international liaison officer, who will be in a position to make contact with persons residing abroad, inviting them to become involved in the Foundation, and secure contributions towards the projects to be undertaken during the coming year.
Indian Arrival Day – June 1 and Indian Heritage Day – October 7 were recognized by the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines and plans will be made to celebrate these and other events in collaboration with the High Commissioner’s office, based in Suriname. The Foundation is hoping that persons will utilize the scholarships and other services and benefits that are made available from the High Commissioner’s Office annually.
The gathering observed a minutes silence for all the brothers and sisters who departed this life since its last meeting. Among them were: Randolph Russell. Glenda Joyette and Eustace Maloney.