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By NAN STAFF WRITER

News Americas, FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Tues. Jan. 16, 2024: The Guyanese American community in New York and its wider Diaspora is in mourning over the sudden loss of Claire Ann Goring, a beloved cultural advocate, and community leader.

Goring, 72, passed away on January 15th, 2024, succumbing reportedly to a pulmonary embolism in Brooklyn, NY, on MLK Day, according to News Americas sources. She was born and raised in Victoria Village, Guyana, and attended Bishop’s High School in the capital, Georgetown.

Moving to the US, she became the Cultural Director of the Guyana Cultural Association of New York, where she played a pivotal role in organizing popular events like Kwe-Kwe Night and the Guyana Folk Festival/Family Fun Day during the Labor Day weekend in Brooklyn. Her creative talents extended to graphic design, magazine production, brochures, newspapers, and marketing campaigns. She even had her line of handmade greeting cards and invitations.

Recognized for her outstanding costume designs, Goring also received numerous accolades in Guyana and at the Labor Day Carnival in Brooklyn. She is the first woman to present a costume band under Solo Productions Mas in Guyana back in the 70s and 80s and also used her incredible skills and ability to present masterpiece decorations, dating back to Queen Elizabeth’s Royal visit to Guyana. Her dedication to the community earned her recognition from various organizations and institutions.

On Aug. 31, 2016, Goring was presented with the Guyana Cultural Association Lifetime Achievement Award, at the 13th Annual Awards ceremony at the Brooklyn Borough Hall. She was also presented at the time with a Citation from then Brooklyn Borough President, now NYC Mayor, Eric L. Adams.

“I am truly humbled, and honored to receive this award,” Goring said at the time.

She also served as the President of Friends of Victoria Village Diaspora, dedicated to the village’s redevelopment.

Paying tribute to Goring on WhatsApp, Rickford Burke, the Guyanese born head of the Caribbean Institute of Democracy, described Claire Goring as more than a cultural advocate. He remembered Goring as “a sister, mother, counselor, mentor, advisor, guide and most importantly, a confidant.”

“She has been a loyal, unyielding, nonnegotiable and unapologetic supporter of mine and all of the endeavors CGID and I have pursued,” Burke wrote. “I wouldn’t have asked for a better big sister and mother figure! Like so many others, she has been my conscience as I traveled this wretched path called life! Claire was a genuine Guyanese patriot and such a special and rare repository of Guyanese arts and culture, that she was an endangered species. She was the source to consult in the diaspora on our unique culture. … Her life epitomized love, joy, peace, understanding and consideration for others. She loved children and young people and made it her mission to impart her skills, expertise and knowledge to them through various fora like summer camps, classes and other educational endeavors. Her death has left a sprawling void in our diaspora, her family and extended family, and a deep well of sorrow in our hearts. Words cannot express the profound affliction I feel.”

Selwyn Collins, Guyanese-born writer, author and CEO/Founder & Content Creator at Brand YOUth Global Inc., called Goring “an encyclopedia of Guyanese cultural history and wisdom – a queen in every sense.”

Writing on Facebook, said “Goring’s name resonates with adoration, respect, and reverence, spoken by many who recognized her as more than a cultural icon.”

“She embodied a deep commitment to community and service, leaving an indelible mark as a phenomenal woman,” he wrote. “In her presence, one felt the essence of royalty, a woman with profound love for people from all walks of life and a profound passion for her culture. No task was too immense for her to tackle. … The world and the Guyanese community have lost a remarkable individual – a kind-hearted person whose accomplishments will stand as a cultural record of our rich heritage, preserving the important stories for generations to come.”

“Your talent, your vision, your execution of ideas you succeeded in bringing to life for us as a MAJOR CULTURAL ICON of and for Guyana will long live in infamy,” added Guyanese Allison Skeete. “Your shoes are big ones to fill; your footsteps deeply entrenched in the soul of the soil of the land of many waters. May we long herald you for the countless contributions you made in the purpose of your existence that you recognized early and lived to teach and share to the end.”

Dozens of tributes flooded her timeline including from Lorraine Croft-Farnell of the St. Roses Alumni Association USA Inc., who dubbed Goring “an icon in the Guyanese arts and culture community who wholeheartedly supported the work of our association and the Guyana High School Alumni Associations Council.”

Goring’s legacy as a cultural icon and her dedication to preserving Guyana’s heritage lives on in the hearts of those who knew and admired her.

FUNERAL

Goring will be laid to rest following a funeral service on Jan. 22nd from 3-8 p.m. at the Vanderveer Park Methodist Church, 3114 Glenwood road, Brooklyn, NY 11210.

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