West Indian Social Club

Invites You To


HARTFORD – The West Indian Social Club of Hartford will present their 66th Anniversary Ball and Awards Banquet “Sixty Six Years of Community Service and Facing the Future Together” on Saturday, April 23, 2016, 6:30 p.m. at the West Indian American Center-Ballroom, 3340 Main Street, Hartford, Connecticut.

The West Indian Social Club is the oldest running organization of its kind in the United States. The organization was founded in 1950 by migrant workers who were recruited from the Caribbean to work in the tobacco fields and factories of New England due to the manpower shortage resulting from World War II. Far from their homes in the Caribbean, the men met frequently to continue their traditions such as dominos and cricket. It was during these friendly gatherings that the idea to form a social and cultural organization evolved.

With the help of the late Attorney Leon Podorowsky, the West Indian Social Club was incorporated in October of 1950. Shortly after their incorporation, the West Indian Social Club established their home base at 353 Barbour Street in Hartford. John Richardson, served as the organization’s first President. Because membership of the club was restricted to males, women who wanted to join the organization formed the Ladies Auxiliary in 1954. Mrs. Connie Mills served as the Ladies Auxiliary’s first President.

In 1971, under the leadership of David Cooke, the organization secured 3340 Main Street in Hartford, a property which was used previously as a roller skating rink and a furniture store.

In 1980, the Ladies Auxiliary merged with the general membership of the organization. Rosemarie Tate, who would later serve as Secretary of the organization, became the first official female member of the organization. The merge of the Ladies Auxiliary and the general membership of the organization opened the opportunity for women leaders in the male dominated organization. Hartford Council woman, the Hon. Veronica Airey-Wilson was elected in 1989 as the organization’s first female president. She was followed by other female leaders which includes: Alred Dyce, Phd; Doreth Flowers, Doreen Forest, Marva Wilks and current president Attorney Nicone Gordon.

Today, the building is utilized by members and other organizations for rehearsals, meetings, forums, cultural events, social affairs and other programs, which are important to the unified life of the community. The building also serves as a base for entrepreneurs who use the facility to host parties and other for profit events.

The West Indian Social Club is also home to four independent organizations which includes the West Indian Foundation of Hartford, Inc (a 501c3 recognized organization established in 1978); the West Indian Independence Celebration Committee (the organizing committee for events leading up to the annual Carnival parade, established 1962); the Greater Hartford Lions Club of Hartford; Caribbean American Toastmaster of Greater Hartford (C.A.T.C.H.).

This year the club will recognize ten individuals for their contributions and accomplishments:

  • Shauna Brown, Assistant Principal of CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering, and the Greater Hartford Academy of Mathematics and Science.
  • Endia DeCordova, MBA is the dean of Institutional Advancement and Community Engagement for Manchester Community College (MCC).
  • Mark Brown, owner of Dunns River Jamaican Cuisine in Hartford.
  • Lenworth Ellis, M.D., Internalist St. Francis Hospital
  • Marie Lopez Kirkley-Bey, former Democratic member of the Connecticut House of Representatives, representing District 5 from 1993 to 2013. She served as Deputy Speaker of the House.
  • Joseph Washington, Bloomfield Town Council Member
  • Shadi Khan, Cricketer

Barbara Fenton and Euyald Clarke will also receive honors. The 2016 presidential award honoree will be announced on the night of the event.

Sydney Schulman, former Mayor of Bloomfield; Hon W. Selmon Walters, Consul General of St. Vincent & the Grenadines; Honorable Rosemarie Welsh, Consul General of Grenada and the Hon Luke Bronin, May of Hartford are all confirmed to attend. For tickets and more information please contact Doreen Forest (860) 978-6231.



April 23rd 2016 start at 6:30pm.

Location: West Indian Social Club

3340 Main St. Hartford, CT

Tickets:  $65/Person and $600/Table of 10

For More Information please contact Doreen Forrest at 860-978-6231: Frances Ocansey at 860-938-1196