XGDF of NY President Lennox Pyle led a large delegation of members to attend observance of the 9th anniversary of the West Indian Ex-Service Men and Women’s Assoc, which was hosted by the Pastor, Rev. Canon Sylvester Taylor, and Congregation of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in the community of East New York on Sunday 10th September 2017.
Among our members in attendance were Cheryl Tappin (IPP), Cheryl Fraser, Naomi Greaves, Grace LaRoche, Rev. Calvin Clark, Mohamed Yusuff, David Anderson, Hartley Liverpool, Arthur King, Maxwell Hinds, Philip Fraser, David Grimmond, and Neil Tyrell.
Our participation was facilitated by The Rev. Dr. Randolph Bourne, formerly of the Barbados Regt., who is well known to XGDF members for his family’s attendance at our functions.
Our delegation enjoyed an elaborate religious ceremony complete with Last Post, Reveille, and the Laying of a Wreath at the Alter. We were also witness to the Procession of the Flags of the various Caribbean territories which once made up the West Indies Federation and hence the West India Regiment of 1958 -1962, where all of the current members of the West Indian Ex-service Association served before being dispersed to their respective national Defence Forces upon the dissolution of the regiment in 1962.
Although Guyana did not join the Federation or formally send recruits to the regiment ( we along with Belize maintained observer status throughout its life), our flag was included in the procession along with that of the Bahamas, Belize and the United States of America. We were further recognized by fond remembrance of the late GDF Warrant Officer Henry Blackett who began his military career with the West India Regt., and was a contemporary of some of the current members of Ex-Service Men and Women’s Association.