As they have done since 2002, Portsmouth native, Ambassador Bismarck Myrick and his wife, Marie Pierre Myrick have again hosted an annual community Thanksgiving Day celebration in Portsmouth on November 26. Ambassador Myrick began the celebrations in 2002 after returning to Hampton Roads at the end of his distinguished diplomatic career, which included top level assignments to Washington, DC, Liberia, Lesotho and South Africa. He now shares his international relations expertise with students as Old Dominion University’s Ambassador in Residence.
The celebrations have become a tradition as Portsmouth community families and senior citizens enjoy a program highlighted by an abundant Thanksgiving Day meal, entertainment, fellowship and gifts. Approximately 300 guests attended.
For this year’s program, the Myricks gave leadership of preparations for activities to a team of young community professionals, headed by Dr. Jaclyn Walker. The program featured a presentation by nine-year-old youth businessman, Gary Gooding Jr., who is the owner/founder of Righteous Kids. Righteous Kids is a clothing line that features Gary’s original artwork, in an effort to promote awareness in the community about issues affecting the African-American community, from a child’s perspective.
The Neighborhood Facility Recreation Center (Old Armory) at 900 Elm Avenue was the venue for the program. A committee of dedicated, community-based citizens assists each year with planning, decorating the facility and accommodating the participants.
Ambassador Myrick stresses that his objective is consistent with his personal values. “I just want to share some of my blessings with others who may appreciate a pleasant Thanksgiving Day experience,” he said. In addition to his native city of Portsmouth, Virginia, he has hosted similar events since 1990 at locations where he has lived and worked around the world, such as South Africa, Liberia, the Kingdom of Lesotho and Atlanta, Georgia.