By George Abraham
The Pioneer Club of Keralites of North America has celebrated Onam with its usual gaiety and fervor and with a traditional Onam Sadya at a gathering on Sunday, 18 September 21, 2016, in Cotillion in Jericho, LI, New York.
Pioneer Club of Keralites was founded in 2002 to bring together the early Malayalee settlers to the United States who were primarily residing in the Tri-State area. It mostly consisted of members who have come to these shores from Kerala in the late 50’s, 60’s and early 70’s.
Professor Joseph Cheruvelil, the moderator of the Pioneer Club, gave the Onam message. He recounted the real hardships of those pioneers who have landed near the Plymouth Rock in the early 1600s and paid a hefty price for their adventures while paving the way for the rest of us who have followed them.
Rev. Achoy Mathews, Chairman of the Club, spoke about the comradery of those who are currently active in the club and expressed his gratitude to those who are continuing to carry on with the mission.
Mr. George Abraham, President, spoke about the significance of Onam and the nostalgia that still motivates us in a far away land. He added that the message of brotherhood, love, justice and resource sharing is still relevant, and it resonates with Malayalees regardless of where they live.
Mr. George Thaila, Director of the Social Services Division of the Pioneer Club, provided a report on the help and assistance the volunteer group has been offering to those who are homebound within our community. He spoke about over 600 instances in last year alone where our senior citizens were contacted or assisted on their various needs.
The meeting congratulated Mr. V.M. Chacko for his dynamic leadership in successfully conducting the first India Day parade in Queens and his assistance and help through the Community Boards to the people of Queens especially to the south Asian community.
Mr. Jacob George, the General Secretary, thanked the participants and urged everyone to get involved with the Social Services volunteer group to help those seniors in our community who are in need or in a dire predicament.
The meeting concluded with serving a sumptuous Onam Sadya, thanks to Cotillion, another memory lane to be remembered and cherished.