DIASPORA | The Annual Trelawny Picnic Fair Returns to New York

DIASPORA | The Annual Trelawny Picnic Fair Returns to New York

Washington DC - June 5, 2022 - After an absence of two years as a result of the COVID pandemic, the Trelawny Picnic which Annually attracts thousands of Trelawny-ites from all across the United States, Canada, England and Jamaica, returned to the Rockland County State Park in Nyack New York on Sunday 29 May.

Despite the COVID constraints which over the past two years prevented the staging of this calendar event, the Trelawny picnic goers converged on the upstate New York recreation site which has been the original home of the festival-like activities for the past forty years.

The annual picnic is an event where families, friends and old acquaintances who hail from all corners of the parish of Trelawny in Jamaica, get together to have a grand reunion, beginning from as early as seven o’clock in the morning until eight o'clock in the evening.

 One of the founders of the Trelawny annual picnic, Richard Chambers (centre) along with (from left) Baldwin Huie, Dahlia Gordon, Oliver Huie and Paul Earle at the annual Trelawny picnic on Sunday May 29 at the Rockland County State Park in Nyack New York. (PHOTO Derrick Scott) One of the founders of the Trelawny annual picnic, Richard Chambers (centre) along with (from left) Baldwin Huie, Dahlia Gordon, Oliver Huie and Paul Earle at the annual Trelawny picnic on Sunday May 29 at the Rockland County State Park in Nyack New York. (PHOTO Derrick Scott)They take with them, tents, their ever present Reggae music, their fancy grills as well as their famous Trelawny Yams replete with Cod fish, ackee, and roasted breadfruit, all  replete with Jamaican delicacies which many have stored over the course of the year, to boast and share with their friends and fellow parishioners.

Of course, nothing is sold….all is shared! It's really an All Trelawny Family Affair and continues as it was first conceptualized over forty years ago when a few friends from falmouth: Horace Harrison, Wendel (Bull-Bull) Stewart, Linval Brown, Richard Chambers, Eli Nish, Mr and Mrs DK Mullings and Peter HoShing, got together in their backyard on the Memorial Weekend Sunday and decided to make it an annual event.

Former Member of Parliament for North Trelawny, the  late Wendell (Bull Bull) Stewart.Former Member of Parliament for North Trelawny, the late Wendell (Bull Bull) Stewart.Richard Chambers, one of the founders, said the picnic began in the seventies as a backyard bar-b-que in the Bronx  and over the years, they began to add people from outside the family who were from Falmouth.

“In a short while it became known as the Falmouth picnic. We then started to invite friends from Duncans, Clarks Town and other areas of the parish,” Mr Chambers said. 

“As the Picnic grew, it took on the name of the ‘Trelawny Day picnic’, and since then it has expanded to the extent that one year we had over six thousand persons all claiming to be from Trelawny at the venue in Upstate New York,” Chambers declared.

Mr Chambers who now resides in Texas said what is pleasing is that the event which had maintained its ‘family’ integrity is that we are now seeing first and second generation trelawny-ites attending the event.

“The fact that I take the most pride in is that in over forty years, we have never had an incident where we have had to invite law enforcement to be involved. This he said is a credit to the people of the parish.

Falmouth’s Mayor Colin Gager (center) shares a light moment with fellow Trelawny parishioners.  From left Kenneth Bailey Charles Ramdatt   Alinthi Allwood Gallagher Violet Johnson Tomlin Anderson  Harry Peter Johnson and Loyal Ellis Occasion was the annual Trelawny Picnic at the Rockland County State Park in Nyack, New York, on Sunday, May 29. (DERRICK SCOTT photo)Falmouth’s Mayor Colin Gager (center) shares a light moment with fellow Trelawny parishioners. From left Kenneth Bailey Charles Ramdatt Alinthi Allwood Gallagher Violet Johnson Tomlin Anderson Harry Peter Johnson and Loyal Ellis Occasion was the annual Trelawny Picnic at the Rockland County State Park in Nyack, New York, on Sunday, May 29. (DERRICK SCOTT photo)Falmouth’s Mayor and Chairman of the Trelawny Municipal Corporation Colin Gager, a regular attendee to the picnic, made certain his presence was recognized on Sunday, touring the grounds and greeting picnic goers.

“I am here again at the Trelawny Reunion and as you know that it has been on hold for the past 2 years because of Covid. Now Covid is over and of course we do get a chance to sell Trelawny and Falmouth on a whole and that is one of the reasons why I am here today,”  Mayor Gager said.

Trelawny’s Custos Rotulorum, the Hon Hugh GentlesTrelawny’s Custos Rotulorum, the Hon Hugh Gentles“On June 17, we will be having the ground breaking of the new Fire Station in Falmouth and on June 16 we will be having the handing over of the new repaired Market and Transportation Centre in Clark’s Town.

We have constructed a drop in centre, which will house the homeless on a nightly basis. This he said was the first of its kind outside of Kingston, where we feed the homeless,”  Gager concluded.

In a message to mark the occasion, Trelawny’s Custos Rotulorum, the Hon Hugh Gentles, said “As we celebrate with you, we also thank you for staying the course with us for 42 years through thick and thin. The contribution of the diaspora to Jamaica is special.

“You, as sons and daughters of Trelawny, have helped us to evolve as a parish; to grow in a sustainable way in line with global changes. 

"We are able to overcome social challenges effectively with your support and so we cherish our enduring relationship.

“On behalf of Trelawny I thank you for your philanthropic work and the good will and relationships you enjoy with stakeholders. You have made a big difference and we appreciate it,” Custos Gentles declared.

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