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MPS-NY, Inc CrestOn September 25, 1914, a group of enterprising Montserratians, led by John L. Francis, formed an organization known as the Montserrat Progressive Society (MPS). Early on, the parent organization recognized the need to ensure its longevity and formed a group of future members.

The group, known as the Juvenile Society, was established in May 1923. Essay and poetry contests provided intellectual and artistic stimulation. The young members were also taught how to conduct meetings and other parliamentary procedures, a prerequisite for assuming responsibility in the parent organization.

In 1940, George James others formed the Education and Scholarship Committee to raise funds to provide scholarships to students in Montserrat. Twenty-four years later, the Committee was able to provide Montserrat Secondary School with its first school bus. The Committee further expanded its role to serve as the social bond of MPS, bringing speakers from Montserrat and other areas to discuss issues relevant to Montserratians.

 

A monthly newsletter and meeting keep members apprised of activities. During Hurricane Hugo, funds were raised and distributed to several organizations and persons on Montserrat and the Society sent 6 of 12 requested fire fighter uniforms to Montserrat. More recently, the Society provided information and assistance to Montserratians regarding welfare reform and immigration issues, temporary protective status for Montserratians affected by the volcano and participated Assemblyman Nick Perry’s meeting with Governor Pataki to discuss issues of mutual concern to the Caribbean community in New York.

 

Today, the Society remains a beneficial and resourceful organization. For 96 years, it has served Montserratians continuously wherever they may be. The immediate goals of the Society are to: raise funds for the Adopt-A-Family Project, a collaborative project with the Montserrat Foundation, Inc., and Caribbean Research Center, Medgar Evers College (CUNY) to ease the financial burden of Montserratians as a result of ongoing volcanic activity on the island, increase membership and member participation, continue to provide awards to eligible students and organizations, continue to interface with Oswego, the sister city to Montserrat, established through Partners-of-the-Americas and to be a visible and viable entity in the Caribbean-American community.

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