Victorians awarded posthumously in NY


Victorians awarded posthumously in NY

December 23, 2013 | By KNews |

 By Lin-Jay Harry-Voglezon (USPRESSCORPS)

 In recognition of the 174th birth anniversary of Victoria Village, East Coast Demerara, Friends of Victoria Village Diaspora Inc., a New York registered non-profit corporation, in association with New York State Senator John L. Sampson and Council Member Dr. Mathieu Eugene, honoured fouroutstanding Victorians, two posthumously. They are Dr. Karen Cummings, BSc. MBBS, MPH and Mr. Shelton Huntley as living recipients and Mr. Alfred Cambridge Poole and Ms. Millicent “Cousin Baby” Prince, the deceased. The dinner awards ceremony took place at the auditorium of St Stephen’s Church, 2806, Newkirk Avenue, Brooklyn, on December 1, last.


Sporting the plaques are L-R: Afred Cambridge Poole-Barry and Alexis Poole, (first grandson and first son respectively of posthumous awardee Alfred Poole), Ms. Kean Francis -Mitchell on behalf of her sister Dr. Karen Williams, Mr. Sheldon Huntley, and Margaret Gaskill, niece of “CousinBaby” Prince. 

 The “Outstanding Victorians Award” is part of an ongoing process to restore the virtues of the village and advance its development, said Ms. Claire Goring, President of the non-profit corporation.So far the organization has introduced a scholarship fund for “gifted students” of which the 2013 awardees are Akeeta Kingston, Lotoya Martin, Oshua Vanbuckley and Anika Mc Pherson. In collaboration with the Ministry of Education, plans are afoot to provide each kindergarten child with breakfast and a multivitamin. At the same time it is partnering with the Wilberforce Church in creating a community library. The organization has also been using the community centre for training people into self-employment, in areas such as sewing. But its progress has been handicapped by the state of disrepair of the centre.

Victoria was once a slave plantation called Northbrook. It was bought on November 7, 1839 by 83 freed slaves with the savings from their overtime work during the 1834-1838 apprenticeship period. After the ending of slavery in 1834, they were obligated to work seven and a half hours per day. Victoria is the first post-emancipation village on the Guyana coast. That village which started off as a disciplined, autonomous, self-reliant, and progressive model of democratic governance, and the origin of many renowned teachers, doctors, lawyers, and other professionals, is to date a village of children out of school, hanging out and or selling from trays. Mr. Poole, born on May 3, 1898, was never university educated, but did correspondence courses with overseas institutions such as Woolsey Hall and Bennett College. He mastered the skills of carpentry and heavy construction and became the pre-eminent engineer in Guyana.  Numerous major bridges, aqueducts, wharves, sluices, pumps, etc. were constructed or erected by him.

In many ways, no nonsense “Cousin Baby” Prince, who departed this life on April 12, 2013, at 90 years, was a village mother. But she is most recognized for “her generosity in feeding, clothing, and housing those in need” and being among the first line of women farmers in Guyana. She was not only shrewd at marketing and exporting  her casareep and cassava bread, that she made the late President Forbes Burnham her customer, but was especially good at climbing coconut and other trees, peeling coconuts, swimming, paddling and pulling boats, and handling animals. Her nieces and nephews do remember her throwing them into the trenches that they may learn to swim.

Dr. Cummings, a medical doctor at Georgetown Hospital, “Courtesy Doctor” with Davis Memorial Hospital, member of the Central Board of Health, an ordained elder of the Victoria Seventh-Day Adventist Church, former president of the Victoria Conference Leadership Committee and INDABA, is recognized for her many years of community work in the village.

Mr. Sheldon Huntley, professional photographer, former insurance agent, journalist at the Guyana Broadcasting Company and Assistant Marketing Manager at Courts, is recognized for his leadership in the village. He was instrumental in shaping the Victoria Football Club (Victoria Kings), and promoting acting, poetry, and dancing in the village.



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