The Consulate General of Antigua and Barbuda in New York hosted its annual Independence Gala this past Saturday at the beautiful Glen Island Harbour Country Club of New Rochelle. The gala was not only a celebration in honor of Antigua and Barbuda’s 36th Anniversary of Independence but also served as fundraising event for Barbuda relief. In honor of this year’s celebration attendees were invited to wear the colors of the flag and many guests answered the call and adorned themselves in red, black, blue, white and gold.
Featured guests at this year’s gala included Honorable Prime Minister Gaston Browne, Mrs. Maria Browne and Antiguan born celebrity stylist, author and social media maven June Ambrose. Special guest performance by Sir McLean “King Short Shirt” Emanuel, backed by Carolyn Punter & Friends, closed the glamorous black tie event. The music icon went through a medley of his greatest hits as the crowd cheerfully sang every chorus.
Head of Office His Excellency Dr. Walton Webson presented Prime Minister Browne with a check in the amount of $435,000USD which is a total of monies raised by the New York Office to date. Donations for Barbuda have come from persons in the diaspora, local partners and the international community in support of recovery efforts.
“We are honored to play our part in the rebuilding of Barbuda. We recognize the mammoth task that lies ahead and have rallied all our resources to raise the funds needed. There is no better time to play our part as citizens than at Independence, especially with our sister island Barbuda in need,” said H.E. Dr Walton A. Webson in his welcome address to the over 200 guests.
As part of his message Prime Minister Browne offered thanks for the generous support given to the country since Hurricane Irma saying “we must work together for the development of a stronger and more resilient Barbuda.”
Hosted by Former Miss Antigua and Barbuda Shermain Jeremy the gala also had in attendance Ambassador Conrod Hunte, Consul General Gilbert Boustany from Miami, Ambassador Sam Condor of St. Kitts & Nevis, President of American University Neal Simon, Antiguan designer Chen Burkett and a cross section of nationals and friends resident across the tristate area.
The Consulate General extends thanks to the patrons and sponsors including Arton Capital, AUA, The Kimberly Hotel, MBL Consulting, and Integral Group LLC who made the gala possible. For updates on this event and much more follow the New York Office of Antigua and Barbuda on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.