Annual Christmas- New Year Dinner banquet of the Pioneer Club of North America was held at the Cotillion Restaurant in Jericho, New York on the 15th of December 2016. Pioneer Club has primarily consisted of members who are the early settlers – those who arrived in 50’s, 60’s and early 70’s – from Kerala to the United States.
His Grace Zachariah Mar Nicohlovos, Metropolitan of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church was the Chief Guest and delivered an inspiring message of hope and exhorted the gathering not to forget the less fortunate in our midst. ‘Jesus himself was a refugee at a point in his life on earth and required help and assistance from others’, Thirumeni added.
President George Abraham welcomed the guests, and this was followed by Prof. Joseph Cheruvelil reminiscing some of the past history and recollecting interesting stories from the old days. Bishop Achoy Mathews spoke about the Pioneer Club and the need to help each other in the sunset of our lives.
Mr. Ven Paramaswaran, who came to the US in 1954, was honored with the Ponnada by His Grace Zachariah Mar Nocholovos. Mr. Parameswaran shared the stories about the time he arrived in the US by way of a cargo ship at Wilmington, N.C.
George Thaila, Director of the Social Service program under the aegis of Pioneer Club, spoke about the volunteer services provided by the members of the group for Keralites who are homebound and socially isolated. According to his report, the number of services provided by the volunteers last year exceeded over 800 and 130 families received services. Mr. Thaila is currently leading this effort with 23 volunteers and urged others to join the effort.
Rev. Peter Paulose in his remarks suggested that the club could take some initiative in compiling stories from the early immigrants to be passed on to the next generation. He has offered his assistance in this endeavor.
Mathew V.Zacharia, entertained the audience with his lively Christmas songs and shared a Christmas message.
Mr. V.M. Chacko, who played a major role in organizing the event, applauded the Pioneer members for their energy and enthusiasm in coming together in such a cold day and requested of more gatherings in the future.
Rev. M.S. Sammuel, Prince Markose, John Paul, Saroja Varghese, Saju Sam, Leela Maret, Thomas Kaippakaseril, Laly Kalpurackal, George Thomas, Jose Jacob, Jojo Thomas, Chacko Koiparambil, Jose Kadapuram of Kiarali T.V, Baby Uralil and Varkey Abraham of Pravasi Channel also spoke on the occasion and was followed by a sumptuous dinner.
Mr. Jacob George, Secretary of the Pioneer Club, was the emcee.
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