By Nelson King
New Consul General of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to the United States Rondy ‘Luta’ McIntosh on Mar. 25 fulfilled his New Year’s resolution by hosting the first Passport Satellite Office in Brooklyn.
“The aim of the Satellite Office was primarily to bring the services of the Consulate to the people, as we recognized that people are working the same hours that the Consulate is open and experience difficulty getting to the Consulate during the normal work week,” McIntosh told THE VINCENTIAN on Monday. “So, we decided to meet our people half of the way by operating at a time and place when they can easily access our services.”
The event, deemed a success, was held at the Friends of Crown Heights, 671 Prospect Pl., Brooklyn.
“We saw a number of Vincentians showing up to renew their documents, (and) sought advice from expert immigration lawyers, medical professionals, COVID-19 team and a financial literacy coach,” he said, stating that presentations were made by Lyrdine Thimot, MetroPlusHealth; Janet Wyllie, Women, Infant & Children (WIC); Elisabeth Stevens, Coalition of Concerned Medical Professionals (CCMP); Arden Tannis, financial coach; and Lloyd Joe and Brian Figeroux, Esq. on immigration.
McIntosh assured, “This will be an ongoing venture; so, stay tuned to our Social Media page for updates. We are here to serve, and we will break down barriers to serve our people.”
Looking ahead, Counsel General Mc Intosh shared that a plan is afoot to partner with the local National Insurance Services (NIS) to launch its contributory programme to Vincentians living in the United States and other Diaspora countries.
He also committed his office to work with the Carnival Development Corporate and the USA VINCY Day Committee to launch VINCY Mas 2024 at the annual, massive VINCY Picnic in Long Is.
In addition, McIntosh said his office will work with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Consular Corps to “plan and execute celebrations for the 50th Anniversary of CARICOM”, and will also work with the corps to “execute the first Caribbean Parade on 6th Avenue in Manhattan.”
For St. Vincent and the Grenadines independence celebrations in the US, McIntosh said he plans to incorporate “talents” from the homeland.
The Vincentian Consul General said he plans to assist in 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.
He said the Consulate General plans to, among other things, conduct seminars “to enlighten Vincentians about immigration issues and their rights”, access funding and scholarships for Blacks in the US, and lecture on “other topics of concern to our Diaspora community.”
He said he will work with Vincentians “to make our Diaspora community the best ever, and bring tangible benefits to our homeland, sweet SVG (St. Vincent and the Grenadines),” adding that the unity was for “the greater good.”