The festive season had started as could be seen by the beautiful “Christmasy” centerpieces on the white table cloths, and a lunch menu including honey glazed ham, stewed pigeon peas and pastelles. But I truly liked the seared fish with passion fruit beurre blanc. The "Okro Rice" was different and enjoyable. Chocolate Midnight Gateau and Warm Apple Crumble with Vanilla Bean Sauce were my dessert choices.
Interim Chairman of WAND, Mona Khan, who was also Chairman of the Organizing Committee for the lunch, happily greeted the large crowd of friends and supporters at the 14th Christmas luncheon. WAND is a small group of 11 women, founded in 1998 by Simone de la Bastide, and remains dedicated and committed to helping those who fall through the many cracks in our society.
Said Khan "It's good to know that, even in these busy times, people are prepared to find the time to support charity and help those who are less well off than themselves.
“And it's even better to know that, judging from the sound of talking and laughter all around me in the room, you are all enjoying yourselves and having a good time. Because that's exactly what we want you to do... because you deserve it."
The Interim Chairman individually introduced the Board of Directors, who in fact comprise the WAND membership – Anna Bonin, Allison Harford, April Bermudez, Gloria Nelson, Jan Ryan, Michal Andrews, Penny Elias, Penny Persaud, Simone de la Bastide and Wendy Voss – the WAND team who all worked very hard to bring the group's recent successes to fruition.
Khan was "proud to announce that one of WAND's premier projects and the one about which we have been speaking at this function for the past few years is complete." The building at Palo Seco finished in June of this year at a cost of $5.5 million, was formally opened by President George Maxwell Richards and has been handed over to Living Water Community so that its Rehab Center, New Life Ministries, would establish a treatment and rehabilitation centre for women who experience addiction problems.
This year WAND also opened in Coora, Siparia, two homes – a transition home for the residents of the rehab centre and a home for the aged. Both homes are fully functional and being run by Living Water Community. Said Khan, "We are extremely pleased to have forged this valuable relationship with Living Water Community."
Errol Fabien was Master of Ceremonies at the luncheon during which entertainment came from a combination of two fashion shows – one from Dhisha Moorjani of the House of Jaipur, showing a preview of her resort line which will be launched in 2013. The outgoing WAND chairman, Simone de la Bastide, a surprise model, was escorted on stage by Moorjani for the finale, wearing a beautiful caftan with digital print in greens and blues.
Peter Elias' fashions of lots of black and white striped pants and brightly coloured tops, were definitely for the younger people.
As usual, WAND provided lots of interesting door prizes, and the drawing of a diamond necklace raffle, at yet another successful function.