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Ex Cops to stage Black Pudding eating contest in New York

The Ex Guyana Police Force Association also has its own flag, pictured at right next to the American version at its headquarters in Brooklyn

By Orin Davidson

On Independence Day, the Hotdog Eating contest is a staple on  the entertainment menu for Americans.

For  Guyanese New Yorkers their version of an eating contest will hit Folk Festival  when the Ex Guyana Police Association introduces a  black pudding eating competition which is expected to highlight the gamut of events  for Labor Day weekend, on Sunday.

The Brooklyn-based association  is hoping to generate unprecedented attention with its world  first  black pudding eating contest at the Boys and Girls High  school complex  where Folk Festival will continue an extended  run, in the borough.

Six competitors from organizations connected to the military in Guyana and two others from the Caribbean will race to eat 102 inches of  the culinary delight, complete with spicy pepper sauce  in one minute. The first to eat the  most in the stipulated time will be crowned the  world’s first ever Black Pudding champion. 

 The top three  competitors of representatives comprising former members of the Guyana Police Force, Guyana Defence Force, Guyana National Service, Guyana Fire Service and  ex cops from Barbados and Belize, will be awarded special trophies.   Current president of the  Ex Guyana Police Association Leroy Charles explained that only water will be used to aid the competitors who will be closely monitored by four judges. “ They can’t spit out anything or take shortcuts,” he added.

The contest is part of the association’s contribution to Folk Festival, as it continues  plans to raise its profile and increase  charitable contributions to society.   The association’s  booth will also  have portraits of every  GPF Commissioner on display and special association T-Shirts will be sold.  Charles said they will be celebrating 50 years of existence  in 2017, which he rates as the oldest overseas based Guyanese association.

Comprising ex members of the Guyana Police Force, the organization  is proud of its Scholarship and Bursary Funds for current members of the force in Guyana which provides  wide ranging  assistance,  financial and otherwise.  This year it established an online library for use exclusively by members who can tap in to improve their policing skills among other benefits.  

In Brooklyn the group has a longstanding welfare fund which helps members in a variety of ways including  monetary assistance in cases of death, marriage and births of newborns.   It also stages a twice yearly Computer Program which  trains Brooklynites in basic computer knowledge.   

Interestingly, the association provides vital assistance to the  renowned New York Police Department (NYPD).  “Whenever they (NYPD)  need information in understanding  behavioral patterns of West Indian nationals in the course of their work, we have stepped forward to provide such information”, Charles stated.

More importantly though, the association intends to intensify its fund raising activities which started way back in 1967 through the instrumentality of the popular Guyana Police Force  Male Voice choir.

“ Some of our early members were those from the famous Male Voice Choir who formed a Brooklyn version  and staged shows for us to packed audiences,”  the president explained.

As the organization grew, a slew of similar fund raising events followed including bus rides, picnics and  dances which led to the creation of the welfare fund from the beginning of his existence and the bursary fund in 1994.  

These days the association stages a weekly “Friday Night Affair”  dance  where donations are collected once per month  at its Clarendon Street headquarters, a building it paid fully for after only 10 years.   Annual Christmas parties are also among regularly staged events to boost its coffers and every December Brooklyn children benefit from a special dinner where gifts are provided.

Guyana’s 50th Independence celebrations next year  are  eagerly awaited by the Diaspora and the Ex GPF association will be in the middle of things as the occasion will coincide with its biennially visits.  On top of  its agenda is a Black and White outfit dance while interaction with GPF command to strengthen is relationship, is a also priority.

According to Charles,“ It’s been a disappointment to us that not many officers who migrate to New York these days are seemingly not keen on joining the ex officers association”.  We aim to fix that among other things during our visit”, he promised.