By Nelson A. King
A Jamaica, Queens-based Jamaican national who worships at Miracle Temple Ministries in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn was crowned on Saturday the 2018 “Miss United Vincie Cultural Group of Brooklyn.”
Morna Francis Harris was declared the winner of the “Best Dressed” contest, of the United Vincie Cultural Group of Brooklyn (UVCGB), which virtually won her the coveted title.
“It was an incredible feeling being the winner, especially in that large crowd,” Francis Harris told Caribbean Life, in an exclusive interview, after the event, held, for the first time, at the Trinity Apostolic Church of God on Pacific Street in Brooklyn. The church’s pastor is Vincentian Dr. Cornelius Olive.
“It was my first time going to the event,” added Francis Harris, who was invited by her church sister and compatriot, Pamela Tucker, the second runner-up.
“I am just grateful and thankful for the blessing God has given to me,” continued Francis Harris, who migrated from Jamaica 10 years ago, plays netball for Crusader Sport Club in Queens, juggles more than one job “to survive” and to take care of her kids, and currently works with “people with disability.”
“It was a surprise, but I am feeling grateful,” she said about the new title.
Francis Harris replaces last year’s winner, Augusta Green, who delighted patrons with her final walk.
Tucker said she was “feeling very happy” that she was the runner-up.
Vincentian Winston De Freitas was declared the “Best Dressed” man.
The “Best Dressed” contest was among key activities at UVCGB’s 10th annual Tea Party, which also featured Tie and Impromptu Song contests.
New Yorker Olivia Gilmore, a Hollis, Queens resident and member of Bethel Gospel Tabernacle, won the Impromptu Song Competition, and Barbadian Joshua Green and Brooklyn native Dale Cook tied in the Tie Contest.
Savannah Green, 10, of Jamaica, Queens, and Dana Solomon, 11, of Crown Heights, Brooklyn won prizes for resolving riddles, pioneered by St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ New York Consul General Howie Prince.
Some of Prince’s riddles included: “Water stand up, water lay down”; “what is weightless but needs two people to hold it”; and what’s the difference between a fly and a mosquito?”
The answer to the first is cane; the second is friendship; and the third is “a mosquito can fly, but a fly can’t mosquito.” The third evoked much laughter and bewilderment among patrons.
Pastor Kenneth O’Garro, the Vincentian-born pastor of Mission of God Ministries International, Inc., in Brownsville, provided entertainment, using the harmonica, called “mouth organ” by Vincentians.
Jonathan Yearwood – of Rahway, NJ, of Vincentian roots, who recently learned to play the bass guitar – provided vocals for the UVCGB band, led by his uncle Gordon “Don” Sutherland, while playing bass.
Yearwood also alternated in duets with Erlene Williams-King, a former aide at the St. Vincent and the Grenadines New York Consulate General, and Dr. Roxie Irish, UVCGB president and Youth Minister at the Miracle Temple Ministries.
Irish, a former St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ national netball star, said proceeds from the event will assist in UVCGB’s mission of providing medical supplies to hospitals and clinics in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
She told patrons that the group has been conducting the mission for the past 15 years.
“And we will continue with the grace of God,” Irish said. “And every love that we start is well worth it.”
She disclosed that UVCGB’s next mission takes place in July next year, adding: “What we’ll like to do is to charter Caribbean Airlines to go home.”
Irish urged patrons to seriously consider being part of that mission.