By Nelson A. King
As he begins his first full year, St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Consul General to the United States, Rondy “Luta” McIntosh has listed a number of things he will like to accomplish in 2023.
McIntosh, on Aug. 1, replaced Howie Prince, who had served as Consul General for over five years.
“Change is inevitable, and my ambition is to be that change the Diaspora community yearns for,” McIntosh said on Monday while setting his goals for the New Year.
At the top of his agenda is establishing satellite offices in other states, with heavy Vincentian presence.
The first office will be set up in Brooklyn, New York in the first quarter of 2023, Mcintosh disclosed.
He said the Consulate plans to partner with the National Insurance Services (NIS) to launch its contributory programme to Vincentians living in the United States and other Diaspora countries.
McIntosh also committed to work with the Carnival Development Corporation (CDC) and the USA VINCY Day Committee to launch VINCY Mas 2024 at the annual VINCY Picnic in Long Island, New York.
In addition, McIntosh said his office will work with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Consular Corp to “plan and execute celebrations for the 50th Anniversary of CARICOM,” and will also work with the Corp to “execute the first Caribbean Parade on 6th Avenue in Manhattan.”
Vincentians across the USA can look forward to the Consul General assisting with reviving Vincentian groups and organizations across the United States, and improve and increase services offered by the Consulate General, such as issuing temporary driver’s licenses.
For St. Vincent and the Grenadines independence celebrations in the US, McIntosh said he plans to incorporate “talents” from the homeland.
He said the Consulate General plans to, among other things, conduct seminars “to enlighten Vincentians about immigration issues and their rights,” and other topics of concern to our Diaspora community.
When he assumed office in early August, McIntosh told a reception in his honor, at the Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center in Brooklyn, that he wanted to have very “open and frank” discussions with nationals in the Diaspora.
“We are one people and one common homeland, and we should be looking out for each other more …. I want to go out from the Consulate General and meet my people. I want to be who I am, with a little control. I want to walk with you. I am here to work with you. Call on me. I’m out-going”, McIntosh, told the reception.
That reception also served as farewell to Prince.
Accomplishments to date
In a synopsis of major accomplishments during his five months to date in office, McIntosh said the Consulate General partnered with the New Jersey Committee for the Inaugural Vincentian Flag-Raising event in Newark; and with Major Eric Adams and other New York officials for the Inaugural Vincentian Flag-Raising event in New York City,
St. Vincent and Grenadines became the first English-speaking Caribbean country to have the Empire State Building in Manhattan lit “in the colors of our national flag in celebration of our 43rd Anniversary of Independence,” the Consul General said.
There was also, in the period, donations of: furniture to the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines; books to the National Public Library, Kingstown; 300 flags to children at the Calliaqua Anglican School for their independence celebration; fire equipment to the Fire Department at the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force.
McIntosh highlighted that the Consulate General was relocated to “a more accommodating office space in the same building,” in midtown Manhattan, “at a minimal cost of US$1,100.00 for IT (Information Technology) work.”
He said “I would like to sincerely thank the Vincentian Diaspora in the United States of America for their acceptance and generous support over the first five months of my tenure as Consul General.”
Source : The Vincentian