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Our History

In 1998 (USA) Memorial Weekend Sunday May 24 when Michael Neysmith decided to host a “Sit in”amongst Vinyl record collectors and their close friends in Philadelphia, the seed of our organization was planted. This initial event took on added meaning when it was decided to brand it as a commemorative event for Astley George Pessoa affectionately known as “Chunnie” himself a collector. The event was promoted with a simple flyer and word of mouth to mostly Collectors who shared a passion for the music. Memories of this pioneering event were shared through photographs depicting the camaraderie and great time had by all. Since then this seed has been nourished and made to flourish through the hard work of our membership and the supporters who continue attend our premier Memorial Weekend “Sit In”.

Between 1998 -2006 the Memorial weekend event blossomed into a 3-day affair rotating between the USA, Canada and Jamaica. Each year the event was funded through personal donations and some kind supporters even volunteered their homes to assist in hosting the event. This has contributed to the atmosphere being like a family get together. Indeed, it is a coming together of a musical family to celebrate Vinyl Record collecting and give due recognition to influential Collectors in our fraternity.

Following our Memorial weekend event in 2006 in Jamaica, the main organizers over the years to date Richard "Billy T" ElcockJunior Cyrus, Paul Hutton, Michael Neysmith and Winston Hart made the prudent decision to register the VRCA as a non-profit organization. This astute decision was due to the continued strong support and growth of its signature annual event. After careful consideration, it was determined that we would formalize the organization to provide focus for its goals and for transparency. Members from Canada and Jamaica were included in this new formal structure with Phillip “Marco” Davis and Michael “Louis” Owens respectively being the representatives. Richard Elcock was elected as the first President with Michael Neysmith- Vice President and Junior Cyrus – Treasurer / Secretary. This initial group of seven has since been bestowed as lifetime members of our organization.

With good structure and focus VRCA has since been able to annually stage a Memorial Weekend event worthy of the support we have been receiving. This includes a very informative magazine produced for each year’s event. This production has evolved from a mere pamphlet in 2006 to a much-anticipated magazine filled with lively anecdotes and mostly music related articles.

One of the mandates included in our Mission Statement is a social commitment to charitable causes primarily those related to education and music. Consequently, contributions have been made to Alpha Boys School and Boy’s Town Trade Training Center (Jamaica), The Marcus Garvey Scholarship – Jamaica Canadian Society and Sister Cities organization – Atlanta / Montego Bay.

Beginning in 2012 we have added an annual Christmas party in New York to the VRCA calendar, which has received growing support. Additionally, the newest chapter Connecticut, hosted their first event this year with visions of also making it an annual affair.

In 2006 there were five Chapters, Florida, New York, Philadelphia, Jamaica and Toronto.  Our success has since inspired new membership and two Chapters have been added namely, Atlanta and Connecticut.

The current officers are Michael Owens – President, MichaeNeysmith – Vice President, Eric Cyrus Jr. – Treasurer, Caryl Ward – Secretary and Charlotte Smikle – Assistant Secretary.

Coming from a small home get together in 1998, VRCA is humbled by its achievements to date and will continue striving to make the membership and supporters proud.