The Executive of the BCABC
The executive consists of the president and eight members of the board, which are assigned their posts after their first meeting.The terms are for two years and the following persons hold the given posts.
President: Eric Drayton
Cultural Rep: Barbara Humphrey
Program Director: Beverley Drayton
Secretary: Joyce Trotman
Member at Large: Hyacinth Shreeves
Past president: Grafton Rouse.
History of The Barbados Cultural Association of BC
The Barbados Cultural Association of BC (the BCABC) was formed when like-minded expatriates of Barbados addressed the absence of a formal forum for the exchange of cultural ideas among themselves, and with others who share an interest in the cultural affairs of Barbadians.
For several months before she became president, Marilyn Moseley was party to discussions where people felt that there should be such an association, and as a result she decided to take the lead in making the association a reality. After consulting with her husband Paul who is solidly behind her in all her undertakings, she devised a plan of action.
Marilyn spoke to other Barbadians whom she knew was interested in forming an association, and through a close friend Grace Henry, was introduced to other Barbadians of note in the community, for example, Fred Wilson who was later to become Vice- President, Cal Wickham who had been narrowly defeated in his bid for election as a MLA (Liberal) in his Abbotsford riding, and Eric Greenidge a businessman. Further discussions took place, and at the Caribbean Days Festival at Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver during the summer of 1994, Marilyn and Paul while manning their own food booth, collected names of other people interested in forming an association. Many people gave their names on that day, and a week later in August at the Caribbean picnic at New Brighton Park in Vancouver. On those two weekends over 150 people signed up to get the association started.
In August, an ad hoc committee which consisted of Marilyn, Paul, Grace, Fred, Cal, Eric, Nigel Alleyne and Carl Carter met at Marilyn’s Langley house for the first time to design further strategy for forming the association. Several issues which include a constitution, membership, an executive, and organizational activities, to name a few, were discussed . One of the decisions made was to approach Barbadians who had organizational experience and solicit their input. Among those contacted were Grafton Rouse who had just completed a hectic seven year stint as President of the Caribe Sports and Social Club, and “Uncle” Dave Henry, who brought experience as a junior warden in the True Resolution Lodge No.16, F and AM, Prince Hall Affiliation. Meetings were held weekly as the committee wanted to go public in November to coincide with the anniversary of Barbados’ independence.
In October 1994 the group met at the Delta home of Eric and Carol Greenidge. Eric is also well known for his contribution to cricket in the lower mainland having played many years for Caribe and other clubs. During a well hosted evening , a constitution was developed and an interim executive was formed. The interim executive consisted of: Marilyn Moseley, President; Fred Wilson, Vice-President; Doris Belgrave, Secretary; Grace Henry, Treasurer; Paul Moseley, Recorder; Caroline Belgrave, Youth Representative; Cal Wickham and Grafton Rouse, Members-at-Large. This interim executive would remained in office and run the affairs of the association until elections were held in November 1995.
The BCABC and went public with a reception on November 14th, 1994 at the Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House, 535 E. Broadway in Vancouver. Among the more than sixty people who attended were the Barbados Honorary Consul to BC Annette Goodridge, and Honorary Vice-Consul Harold Saunders. The occasion was chaired by Henderson Trotman, and several people addressed the gathering and wished the association well. Many people took out membership that night and two committees were formed – the program committee and the cultural committee whose work contribute significantly to the mainstay of the BCABC.
Meanwhile, the association had made contact with two key organizations, the Barbados Tourism Authority in Toronto and the Canadian Tourism Authority in Vancouver. These have proven to be valuable resources as the association maintains links with them.
The next public function for the fledgling association was a pot-luck dinner on November 26th. at the Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House to celebrate Barbados’ independence. Though small by today’s standards, over 75 people attended. It was a very pleasant (no pun intended) evening during which Paul Moseley’s hidden talent as an MC was discovered. Many donated items were auctioned off or given as door prizes thus increasing audience participation. Several Sir Garfield Sobers ties which were given to the association on consignment from the Barbados Tourism Authority proved to be very popular mementos for the male participants who were familiar with Gary Sobers and his cricketing exploits. There were several samplings of food with a predominantly “bajan” flavour which enabled Non-Barbadians to develop a taste for something other than the fast foods easily found in the local ethnic restaurants. Some of these bajan foods for example, pudding- and-souse, coconut bread and mauby, take hours to prepare and minutes to disappear as they are not your everyday type of meal. The event was such a success that the association was requested to make this one of their annual events.
With the opening of the new Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House at 800 E. Broadway, the association decided to make this its home base for monthly meetings and other functions. The association is indebted to Mr. George Jolly, a board member of the Neighbourhood House, for his assistance in securing this venue.
The association’s first year was a successful one. Many people expressed satisfaction with the number and quality of events put on by the association during its first year of operation. The challenge was to make each event an exciting one with as much audience participation as possible; to make everyone feel that their time was well spent.
At the Easter pot-luck dinner well over 100 people attended. Entertainment included drummers, a fashion show, prizes for the oldest person in the room, the person carrying Barbadian money and those answering questions correctly on the Caribbean. There were auctions for adults as well as for kids who were quite willing to spend their parents money while learning the trade. The food was once more well received and garnered many good comments.
On Easter Sunday another fine Barbadian tradition was kept up – kite flying. Again, prizes were given for various categories of kites and the length of time they spent aloft.
The summer dance in June at Cumberland Hall in Surrey was a real success and one of the better attended dances that year as over 250 people partied to the music of Carl’s Sound Vibes.
The BCABC’s booth at the Caribbean Day’s Festival won a prize for the best decorated booth – the first of two years in succession. The Barbados flag flew high atop a replica of a chattel house while hosts wore aprons made in the same colours of the flag – gold and blue.
The boat cruise aboard the MV Abitibi in August was also well attended. The many people who attended were made to feel like tourists and were greeted and bid farewell by the executive who gave each person a ‘tourist’ bag with surprises inside.
There were other smaller events happening that year, but the main attraction to cap the year off was the Independence Dinner and Dance on November 25th. 1995 at the Pacific National Exhibition restaurant. There were several door prizes, however the main prize which everyone hoped to win was the return trip to Barbados compliments of Canadian Holidays with two weeks accommodation at the Golden Sands Hotel. The BCABC would like to thank Mr. Michael Perrin of Hagen’s Travel for his assistance in arranging the prize.
An executive was elected in November 1995 to serve for a two year term. Most of the interim executive were elected to office, however Grace did not stand for election as she was recently elected to a position which would keep her keep her very busy – Worthy Matron of Kuvanna Chapter No. 10, Order of the Eastern Star, the female arm of the Masonic Lodge. Cal Wickham decided not to stand for election as his work schedule affected his availability for meetings.
The association continues to grow in strength and numbers. Membership consists of Barbadians and people from countries such as Canada, England, Germany, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, and Surinam.
The Barbados Cultural Association of BC extends warm greetings to all and invites membership from anyone whose cultural interests match those of the association.
Prepared by Grafton Rouse, Treasurer, BCABC
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