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Community Feature: Emerald United Club

Established – 1994

Countries Active/ Registered: United Kingdom

Current Members: 30 ( Pre – Pandemic)

Current President : Vaughn Spencer Barzey

 

Vaughn Spencer Barzey – Club President

Learn about the club president

How long have you been a member and a president of the club 

I’ve been a member of Emerald United Club since 1997 and was elected President in 2005, I stood down as President but then was re-elected in 2012 and have been President ever since  

What made you decide to become so active in the club 

The concept of the club, (to be a great place for Montserratians to meet socially) attracted me and that still holds true today  

What is your profession outside the club 

I am a Technology Engineer by profession, (not to be confused with computing or IT as it often is, technology has been around from the discovery of fire and the invention of the wheel).

I have worked for for several employers the most notable of which are The Hospital for Children, Great Ormond Street as the Acting Director of Estates and Capital Planning, and at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) as the Engineering Liaison Manager 

How do you manage to dedicate time  

Dedicating time to my various interest means that I have to do a lot of juggling 

What are some of the challenges you face  

My biggest challenge is getting people to commit to to help the club grow  

About the Organisation

What is the purpose and  vision of the Emerald United Club 

Is to be a great social venue for Montserratians 

How many members does the club currently hold 

There are about thirty Members, we would dearly love to welcome more  

Name the past 3 Presidents 

Stanford Furgus, Sybil Furgus, Walter Taylor 

Who is the longest standing member of the club 

Doreen Boatswain and Francis Isles both founder members 

How often does the Club have meetings 

We aim to meet once every two months however, lately that aspiration has slipped considerably. 

If one wished to be a member what is the process 

There are several ways in which one can become a member of the Club, by contacting  the club president or any member, attending a meeting and express your wish to join, by recommendation of a member. 

Membership is not limited to Montserratians only.

There is an Annual Subscription  of £20.00

Please share some of the club’s notable accomplishments 

Notable accomplishments with regard to achieving the club’s ambition to bring Montserratians together socially are: going on several Caribbean cruises, but by  far which is now the greatest congregation of Montserratians anywhere for a single event. 

Heritage Day is now one of the most prominent days within the Montserrat  UK community, please explain how this started  

The Heritage day started as a very simple idea, the club used to have an annual BBQ for its members, then it was expanded to include members and friends.

We noticed that an increasing number of friends were attending even surpassing the number of members and it eventually morphed and grew into the Heritage Day and it is continue to grow thankfully.

What is the aim of Heritage Day  

The aim of Heritage Day is simply to expand on the Club’s ethos that is to bring Montserratians together socially. But as with everything, one has to change and improve continually in order to remain relevant. so it will continue to change 

What are some of the key highlights of the Heritage Day  

By far the major highlight of Heritage Day is the Masquerades followed closely by goat water.

Another highlight is the fact that over 1000 Montserratians come together peacefully

What would you like to improve about it 

I would like to have a greater number and variety of Montserratians showcasing their skill and talent. 

What is the date of this years Heritage day 

Montserrat Heritage Day 23rd July 2022

Covid19 has taken its toll

Having taken an enforced two-year break, the Emerald United Club’s Montserrat Heritage Day is back so save the date. 23rd July 2022

The pandemic has taken its toll on our club as it has everywhere, in the last two years quite a few members and former have passed and some have become infirm and unable to attend but our thoughts are with them nevertheless.

All Change

Although we had to change almost every aspect of our Heritage Day because of the particular circumstances, we are trying to keep it as much as possible as it was before including some free entertainment for the children as well as a few exciting additions,

The New Venue

Our usual home the Irish Centre is no longer available to us, it unfortunately has been taken into liquidation, so for this year The Montserrat Heritage Day will be at the Chestnut Community Centre in St Ann’s Road N15 5RZ. The venue is much smaller the Irish Centre and requires careful management to accommodate the expected numbers, but with some patience and understanding from the public we will make it work.

The Planning

We are now in the process of planning in order to safely accommodate as many activities, stalls and people as possible but as you would appreciate, as much as we would like Montserratians and all of our visitors to have fun it must be that we have fun safely. We will complete planning in the next few weeks when we will be able to allocate stalls for the various activities.

Size Constraints of the venue

Due to  the constraints imposed by the size and layout of the building we will have to reduce the number of activities and stalls and possibly performances to ensure that is safe for all those attending. ,

Time Constraints of the Venue

We will have to close by 10:pm and the venue has made it very clear that we must not overrun. Although this is not how we usually run it we must recognise that nothing is the same as it was.

See you on the 23rd July 2022

If someone wanted to cater, get a stall, or get involved how can they do so. 

They may contact any member or contact me directly via email barzeyv@gmail.com 

You can also contact the names on the flyer below.

How would you like to see it evolve over the next 5 years 

I would like many more, younger people joining and active taking part in the club’s activities as well as having satellite branches throughout the UK so that is not so London centric. 

What would you say to encourage others to join the club  

Come join and perpetuate the Montserrat spirit in the UK and help us grow  

How active is the club in the community 

Apart from the Heritage Day what we are able to do is fairly limited, the club is more socially focused. 

Has the club contributed to any special causes in Montserrat over the past few years 

We had a very special project to support health care in Montserrat, where we were able to secure dialysis machines to be delivered to the Montserrat Health Service,  

Have you ever collaborated with other clubs 

No, but we would sincerely love to. We have approached others to work together but that has not come to fruition as yet

What can we expect from the club over the next 5 years 

We must embark on a recruitment drive in an effort to rejuvenate the club and to make it much more digitally savvy so that we can have members worldwide and not just for London 

What would you wish to be the legacy of the club 

To be the premier club for Montserratians where ever they may be

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