Looking Back 45 Years

September 18, 2016

Did you know that the CCAWR celebrated its 45th anniversary in March of this year? Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic delayed our celebrations at the planned Awards of Excellence in April. Not to worry – we’ll organize a lime soon.

Thanks to the archival efforts of the late Rev. Vincent Smith, and Stacy MacLennan of the Ken Seiling Region of Waterloo Museum, we are pleased to share with you pictures from our history; see if you recognize any places and faces from “way back when”.  🙂

Our Association is the offshoot of a 1974 summer project by Caribbean students at the University of Waterloo. They obtained a grant for establishing programs for Black and Caribbean culture for youth in the community. Leaders included Patricia Moore, Tracy Wilson & Oliver Sampson. Among the campers were Basil & Tony Young, children of Cedric Grant, Leonard Fletcher, Jello Wickham, Murch Callender, Wesley Johnson & Karl McKenzie. Tony later became Much Music’s renowned VJ “Master T“.

The Association was formed in March 1975. The founders were Hilda Fletcher, Chloe Callender and Jello Wickham Haynes. Also present at the founding meeting at Leonard & Hilda Fletchers’ home in Kitchener were Murch Callender, Phillip & Yvette Craan, Caulder & Maria Roach, Tony & Althea Cockburn, Karl & Norma McKenzie, Mr & Mrs Linot Thom & Delcina McKenzie. Other worthy community workers include Noel Barrett, Nathan Harris, Len Tuckett et al.

Accomplishments of the past 45 years include:

  • Awards to youth in the areas of music, academics & community services
  • Dancers’ performances at the Ethnicfest Canada  the Square
  • Lennox Lewis fundraising concert for his boxing debut at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Korea. Lennox later became the heavyweight boxing champion of the world
  • Caribbean Interfaith Service in honour of the contributions of Rev. D.J.Emmerson, Pastor Ralph Pollack, Evangelists Hyacinth Lord & Jane Ruddock.
  • Celebrations of Black History Month
  • Trakenfest, an Oktoberfest showcase of various ethnic groups
  • Tutorials for students at St Michael’s & St Aquinas Schools
  • Caribbean Investment Club
  • Caribbean Connexion
  • Afric & Caribbean Book Club
  • Caribbean Canadian Writers Guild
  • Cooperation with the Congress of Black Women and African Cultural Groups to comprise the Coalition for the Success of African Caribbean Canadian Youth which works with at-risk students and young adults; The K.W. Multicultural Festival, Maranatha Lutheran Church, other Waterloo Region community activities.
  • Broadway productions  Once on This Island; Amazing Grace; A Woman Called Truth; Aint  Misbehavin’; Bubbling Brown Sugar; Generations of Gospel;  Joe Sealy’s historic presentation of Africville; Jamaican operatic singer Paul Williamson and Classical pianist Rashaan Allwood; Plays such as I Need to Know my Father; Jamaica Farewell; Common-law; Pantomimes like Annie, Ole Tyme Country Wedding; The Heritage Singers; Bus trips to cultural historic sites and theatrical performances in Toronto

We’re looking forward to the next 45 years! Join us and help us create a better future for our community.

Walk Good,

Lannois Carroll-Woolery