By Gerald V. Paul
Some 72 souls aged from infant to 12 years from needy families from across the GTA gathered at New Dawn Moravian Church last Saturday – thanks to the Pride of Toronto charity – in accordance with the motto “In essentials, unity; in nonessentials, liberty and in all things, love.”
Love was the theme according to Antigua-born Rev. Rowan Simmons who said the essentials are “God’s work of creation, redemption and sanctification and the response of the believer through faith, hope and love.”
To Simmons, it was a celebration of “peace, joy and Christmas is all about the children.”
On the wall was: “Jesus Christ – Son of God,
Born in a stable,
Born in Bethlehem of Judea,
Angels sang at His birth,
Mary and Joseph were His earthly parents.”
But to a child, after singing Joy to the world, the Lord hath come, it was about presents and the man in red and white, Santa Claus (Trinidad and Tobago-born Ken Mohamed).
Of course, alongside the wonderful meal provided, the singing and creative dancing, this Christmas party was made possible by the Independent United Order of Solomon, Pride of Toronto, Chapter 12, which has given out 144 university scholarships through individual and corporate sponsors.
The Toronto Sun’s Lorrie Goldstein, a faithful supporter of this charity and his own, along with his team, provide a $2,000 Kay Baxter Memorial Award named in honour of Jamaica’s late consul general to Toronto from 1987 to 1992.
Goldstein encouraged the children and youth to “remain in school and get their education.”
He was among the volunteers assisting with the meal and coordinating the gift-giving. He noted that 36 years ago, Lloyd and Madaine Seivright and a small group of about 15 volunteers from the Caribbean created a charity where all monies raised go back to the community.
“Its purpose was to give back to their adopted country – Canada – and help the nations they had come from. Today, more than 40 countries around the world have received tens of millions of dollars-worth of donated medical supplies through this small group of volunteers,” Goldstein said.