Welcome to the Dawn of a New Era:
Caribbean Canadian Relief Education Medical Assistance Committee (CCREMA)
The Dawn of a New Era – in Toronto, and hopefully globally. A holistic Caribbean reality rather than just islands of the Caribbean. While we all hold on with pride to our island identity, let this not hold us back from also basking in our Caribbean identity.
Think about it! Everywhere, organizations are coming together to form global movements, and nations are coming together to form trading partners for their common good. While we also have our Caribbean trade organization, CARICOM, what about bringing our peoples together in a common identity as we undertake outstanding measures to see our people excel in Canada and in the islands.
We have what it takes throughout our various island communities, but as islanders, we do not know each other. We do not know of the riches that belong to us as Caribbean people. Our gifts are to be shared, and in the sharing becomes even more bounteous for all. By coming together, talking about our common problems, successes, challenges, dreams, and aspirations, we can achieve great things for ourselves and for our younger generations.
As we pass through this world, each generation succeeding each other, what are we leaving for the second, third and fourth generations behind us? If we do not build our foundations now, on what will our future generations stand? While we have been fortunate to stand on the shoulders of men and women of integrity, of unselfishness, and of pride, who were building, in some cases, not for themselves, but for us, are we strengthening our shoulders to support the coming generations, or are we basking in what we see as our successes – Our big homes, our expensive cars, and if we were fortunate, our other material possessions. All of this is good and enjoyable.
But is this all there is? Is this all we are or are about? Is this all we are capable of? Of course not!
Have we stopped to think that while some of us are moving ahead, there are others who are not as fortunate, who have not accomplished as much academically, and who do not know the way to start moving forward again? Have we stopped to think why many of our young people are stagnating, and have we considered that they may have lost their way and need some direction to go ‘north’?
While many of us revel in the memories of a happy extended family life in our respective island homes in the Caribbean, our children and grandchildren have very little appreciation of what that was like, and can be. Some maybe are not even interested or motivated to find out. All they know is their life here in Canada.
Let us help them build it, building on the strength that we have, that we brought with us. Let us create a Caribbean reality in Canada, while not forgetting what we had and still have. Let us share with excitement so that our younger generations would understand what it means and catch some of the fire of this excitement.
After all, they have to start building for their own future generations now. Let us show them how. Let us help them to start building. Without our help, the edifice on which we stand will continue to crumble.
Let us not fool ourselves. Some of us may be excelling and doing exceedingly well. But remember, the speed of an armada is determined by the speed of the slowest ship. The ship that is speeding ahead of all others in the long run is no faster than the last ship behind. Therefore, let us help that last ship to pick up speed.
Let us unite, where all our island organizations, still holding on to our island identities, enter consciously and intentionally into a larger identity , one richer for the diversity, richer for the history, and yet even richer for the common ancestry that we share.
Yet, we retain our island identities!
Let us work to build a Caribbean reality in Toronto that can become the envy of other groups.
Let them respect us, not only as individuals, but as a community that is marching forward with great dreams, a community that is committed not to talk, but to ACTION.
Let us hear from you. Let us know how you want to help. We welcome everyone, for we are all one people, a Caribbean people, a family where everyone can help in his or her own way. We need mentors! We need thinkers! We need helpers! We also need those who may not be of this ancestry, but whose children, spouses, or friends share in this heritage. If you just want to be adopted into our larger Caribbean Canadian identity, we will also welcome you.
If you would like to us to cover any specific topics in upcoming columns, don’t hesitate to contact us.
WE NEED YOU!