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SEEN UP NORTH: Consul general hailed in NY

Tony Best

SEEN UP NORTH: Consul general hailed in NY

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There was a time when the spirit of volunteerism was almost exclusively linked to people of considerable wealth or to those with hereditary ties to families of affluence.
Not so anymore.
Today, volunteers run the socio-economic spectrum. That’s why human resources executives and university admission officials give almost equal time to classroom performance or job experience as they do to volunteerism when they are evaluating prospective students for medical, law or theology schools or recruiting executives to populate corporate executive suites.
What often helps them to make up their minds about people’s suitability is their involvement in community institutions.
So, when Adrian Mapp, the Barbadian who is the newly elected mayor of Plainfield, New Jersey, learned that Lennox Price was being replaced as Barbados’ consul general in New York, he decided to drive for almost an hour from his home in New Jersey to New York City to hail him.
He wanted to let Price and the more than 200 Bajans who flocked to Antun’s catering centre in Queens on a recent Friday evening know that his 20 years volunteering in the Barbadian community hadn’t gone unnoticed as he completed one chapter in his life and got ready to write another.
“I have known Price for 40 years, from his days in St George as a youth when we played cricket and as a member of the 4-H movement to today,” said the mayor before presenting Price with a proclamation that recognised his work in and out of the CG’s office.
“All along he was involved in some form of volunteer activity. That should tell you something about the person we are honouring. He has been a force in helping the young.”
For instance, for more than a dozen years Price served as a volunteer tutor of a Saturday morning educational programme for public school students in City schools. The tutoring project was organised by the Barbados Ex-Police Association in Brooklyn.
Interestingly, Price’s place in the programme was taken by New York State Appeals Court Justice Sylvia Hinds-Radix, a Barbadian and her Grenadian husband, Dr Joseph Radix, a dentist. They give up their Saturdays to help the kids.
Price was also in on the formation of the Barbados Cancer Association of America, which plans to establish a palliative care centre in Barbados.
About a dozen speakers took to the microphone at the function organised by the Council of Barbados Organisations headed by Randy Brathwaite and the Friends of Barbados DLP Association, the Democratic Labour Party’s arm in the US that’s led by Pauline Clarke. The speakers focused attention on Price’s community volunteer work and on his duties as CG.
Jessica Odle-Baril, a former consul-general during the Owen Arthur administration, said her successor had represented the Bajan community well and he did so without reference to the political directorate in and out Barbados.
Joseph Goddard, Barbados’ United Nations Ambassador, described Price as a true professional colleague who was easy to work with and who was interested in the community he was appointed to serve.
Other speakers were Orville Hall, Shirley Lashley, Dr O’Neall Parris, and Sandra Greenidge. The Rev. Eddie Alleyne of St Gabriel’s Episcopal Church in Brooklyn did the invocation.
When time came for Price to speak, he described his “remit” as consul general as one which required looking out for the interest of the entire Barbadian community, not simply one segment of it.
“My roots are in community life,” he said as he spoke about volunteerism and getting the job done.
“I had a good run,” he said of his tenure that ended on June 30 when he was succeeded by Dr Donna Hunte-Cox, a former CEO of the National Cultural Foundation.
The three-hour function was the second of its kind held to honour Price. The first was at the consulate-general where he was praised by Caribbean consular representatives, including officials from Jamaica, Grenada and St Vincent.
Thomas Gallo, regional director of the US State Department’s Office of Foreign Missions in New York, told the guests that the departing consul general represented his country with aplomb.