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SVP family day in Guaracara
story appeared in Catholic News, August 13, 2006
 
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“It was excitement and enjoyment throughout the day. I was so happy to renew friendships with fellow members whom I haven’t seen since last year’s rally. It was well organised and every age group was catered for.”

This comment reflected the sentiments of the over 1.000 persons who attended the National Rally/Sports and Family Day of the St Vincent de Paul Society which took place on Sunday, July 23 at Guaracara Park, Pointe-à-Pierre.

The rally and Family Day is one of the highlights on the calendar of events of the Society. It is an occasion when members, staff and residents of the 15 institutions, benefactors and the poor families whom the members serve, spend the day in a spirit of fellowship, fun and friendly competition as they participate in sports events and entertainment.

The day’s proceedings got underway with the celebration of Holy Mass. Fr Urban Hudlin OP, parish priest of St Peter’s, Point-à-Pierre was chief celebrant. Members of the parish organised the very uplifting liturgy.

Fr Hudlin referred to the Responsorial Psalm of the day, Psalm 23, to assure the congregation that the Lord is our shepherd and we shall not want. He emphasised that it is God’s work we are doing and we have to see Christ in the poor whom we serve.

After lunch there was a colourful and dynamic parade of some 20 teams drawn from the conferences and institutions across the country, who with style and pomp, marched past Bro Anthony Wong Doo, SVP National President; Malcolm Jones, CEO of Petrotrin and the enthusiastic crowd.

Adjudged the winner of the conferences at the march past, Corpus Christi Conference of Success Village
Adjudged the winner of the conferences at the march past, Corpus Christi Conference of Success Village
The judges of the march past hard at work on the score sheets, and on their left, Bro Anhtony Wong Doo and Malcolm Jones on the saluting dais
The judges of the march past hard at work on the score sheets, and on their left, Bro Anhtony Wong Doo and Malcolm Jones on the saluting dais
St Mary's Conference of Mucurapo, the largest conference contingent, prepares to march past the judges and the attendees.
St Mary's Conference of Mucurapo, the largest conference contingent, prepares to march past the judges and the attendees.

Judges Brenda Jones, Cheryl Seepersad and Eudora Webb-Huggins selected the Corpus Christi conference of Success Village as the winner amongst the conferences. The Audrey Mollineau Halfway House earned first place amongst the institutions.

St Mary’s Conference of Mucurapo won the trophy for having the largest conference contingent on parade, 112 members and comprising mainly youth. The Cyril Ross Nursery got the nod for having the largest institution contingent in the March Past.

Fun events after the March Past included Bouncy Castle, board competitions (All Fours, draughts, dominoes), ballroom dancing, football and singing contests.

Maynor Serries and Brenda Castillo of St John’s conference, St Augustine knocked out Odette Valentine and Angela Gonzales of Immaculate Heart of Mary conference, Maloney in the All Fours competition.

In the football competition, Petit Valley Junior conference clinched the trophy from Chaguanas Junior conference.

The novelty events like the egg and spoon, watermelon, wheelbarrow and three-legged races were keenly contested and generated a lot of excitement.

The trophy for overall best participation of conferences was awarded to the Chaguanas Junior conference. Best participation by institutions went to Cyril Ross Nursery.

At 4.30 p.m. the results of the tug-of-war competition (Cyril Ross Nursery outpulled St Joseph conference, Mon Repos) brought to a close a refreshing fun-filled SVP Family Day in Guaracara.

Many people commented on the high percentage of youths at the rally. This augurs well for the future of the Society of St Vincent de Paul in Trinidad and Tobago.

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