“Distinguished’’ Grenadians honoured in Toronto

The content originally appeared on: The Barnacle News
Lincoln DePradine

By Lincoln DePradine

Canada-based Grenadian diplomat, Gerry Hopkin, is keeping up a promise to meet with as many Grenadians in Canada as he possibly can, and to offer more than just the traditional consular services as the consul general in Toronto for Grenada.

According to Hopkin, who assumed his position as Consul General in Canada late last year, Grenadians that send money to family living on their Caribbean homeland are “nation builders’’, and he thanked them for their remittances.

However, he now wants them to consider becoming investors and industry partners in Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.

“If you support your family and you send money that they spend to keep the wheels of the economy turning, you are contributing to national development. So, I want to recognize all of you in the Diaspora. Thank you for all that you have been doing and I’m asking you also to do a little bit more,’’ Hopkin said at an event of the Grenadian-Canadian community in Toronto.

Community members had gathered for “Showcase Grenada’’, one of the activities commemorating the 50th anniversary of Grenada’s independence.

“I’m happy to be here with all of you celebrating together,’’ Hopkin told “Showcase Grenada’’ attendees.

He had just returned to Toronto from Montreal, where a Grenada independence anniversary gala was held the day before.

“The gala went very well. I brought love from Ontario and I’m bringing back love from Montreal to all of you,’’ Hopkin said. “We’re trying to be as inclusive as possible. We have provinces – besides Ontario – where there are Grenadians; so, we have to try and share the time.’’

Then, on February 27, Hopkin participated in a Black History Month event of the Toronto Police Service (TPS). The police honoured two Grenadians, Dr Jean Augustine and Terry James.

A retired sergeant, James served in the TPS for 30 and has been praised for mentoring others and for the 1994 launch of Black History Month observance at the Toronto Police Service.

The TPS has established a “Trailblazer Award’’, which is named after James.

Augustine was the first Black woman to serve in the federal parliament of Canada. She received unanimous parliamentary support in 1995, declaring February as Black History Month in Canada.

Trailblazing Awards were presented to Augustine and James at the February 27 TPS event, which was addressed by Deputy Chief of the Toronto Police Service, Lauren Pogue.

“Each year,’’ said Pogue, “we will present this award to distinguished Black Canadians, which Terry certainly is. Of course, we can’t have a conversation about distinguished Black Canadians, without mentioning the Honourable Dr Jean Augustine’’.

Consul General Hopkin extended congratulations, on behalf of Grenada’s Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell and Foreign Minister Joseph Andall, to James and Augustine.

“We’re honouring leaders, advocates, community organizers, dedicated individuals,’’ Hopkin said.

“I would like to say thanks to the hardworking and high-achieving Hon. Dr Jean Augustine and retired detective Terry James,’’ he added. “I stand here with elevated pride as a Caribbean man, as a Grenadian; thanks to their achievements and their trailblazing work. May we continue to celebrate and to emulate the dedication, the leadership, the hard work and the achievements of these two outstanding female trailblazers.’’

In photo (l-r) are Terry James, Gerry Hopkin & Dr Jean Augustine