Posts from — August 2010
September 1, 1957 will be a day that will live in infamy for Jamaica. On this tragic day over 250 precious souls lost their lives in the Kendal train crash.
You may ask why do we want to remember such an awful event?
Remembering and memorials offer us a multitude of benefits.
We get to remember a life and what contribution they make to our living.
Memorials allow us to focus our grieving.
Reverent remembering impregnates us with hopeful meaning.
Memorials allow us to understand our loss and under gird our faith, and give us a future hope of reuniting someday.
Thus When we forget the past we lose an important anchor of our humanity, the actions, and heroes of the salient moment.
So It is my distinct privilege to welcome to our conversation Ms. Beverley East. She is Graphologist / Forensic Document Examiner / Corporate Trainer / Author of the most authoritative book on this tragic event, the Reapers of Soul.
For Ms. East, this is more than history, it’s very personal. She lost 14 members of her family in this tragedy. Her personal perseverance in capturing the history of this event in a readily accessible format is commendable.
Listen to her reflect on this the 53 rd. anniversary of this event.
Listen carefully to the reading of the known names of the departed.
Let your reflection lead you to a heart commitment, a commitment that will spur ideas on how best to formalize the memory of Kendal.
What are your ideas on how to honor the memory of this tragedy?
August 31, 2010 No Comments
The United States new envoy to Jamaica, Ambassador-Designate Pamela Bridgewater has pledged to use her tenure in Kingston to strengthen the historic ties of friendship and cooperation between the United States and Jamaica.
Ambassador-, Bridgewater said she is looking forward to working with the government and people of Jamaica in the fulfillment of her duties as Ambassador to that country. The US Ambassador-Designate made these remarks while in discussions with Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks during a courtesy call by Ms. Bridgewater at the Embassy of Jamaica on Tuesday, August 24, 2010.
The US Ambassador pointed out that some of her priorities will be the strengthening of the business sector, particularly in the area of manufacturing, working with US businesses to seek out investment opportunities, working with Jamaicans from all sectors to help the country develop, working with communities with a view to empowering young people, assisting the country in stemming crime as well improving tourist arrivals.
Ambassador Designate, Bridgewater acknowledged that there were many positives in Jamaica and saw possibilities of a win-win situation in the area of joint-venture opportunities.
The new US envoy said she welcomed the chance to serve as the new US Ambassador. “Jamaica and America share deep political, cultural and religious values and many common elements in our history. The people of the United States have always had a tremendous love for Jamaica and its rich cultural heritage and traditions”, she said. Ambassador Bridgewater pointed out that over 2 million Americans vacation in Jamaica yearly accounting for 65 percent of Jamaica’s tourism while 160 Peace Corps volunteers live and work across Jamaica today.
In her remarks, Ambassador Audrey Marks congratulated Ambassador Bridgewater on her appointment and expressed her pleasure on behalf of Jamaica to welcome her as Ambassador-Designate to her country. Ambassador Marks said, “Your appointment is coming at a critical time in Jamaica’s history during which the support of our closet neighbor and largest trading partner would be required in the area of socio-economic development and security support.”
Ambassador Marks highlighted the various investment opportunities which she said would be attractive for US investors. She also noted that the investment climate in Jamaica was very welcoming at this time and cited the example of Spanish and Chinese investments in major sectors. Ambassador Marks said she recognized that the U.S is pursuing the creation of jobs as a priority and as such, there are opportunities in Jamaica for partnerships to be developed that would have positive results for Jamaica and the U.S.
One such area she point out, is the re-development of downtown Kingston, which is a major project in which large U.S. contractors could become involved. Ambassador Bridgewater expressed her interest in this effort and recalled the amazing redevelopment that had taken place at the Washington Harbor by the execution of a vision which has totally transformed the waterfront.
The US Ambassador-Designate has served in the US State department for over 29 years in postings in Africa, Europe and the Western Hemisphere. She has also had assignments in Belgium, Jamaica, South Africa, Benin, the Bahamas and her last posting was as Ambassador to Ghana. Ambassador Bridgewater will take up her assignment in Jamaica shortly.
We are indebted to Derrick Scott of JIS/ Washington DC for content and photos
August 25, 2010 No Comments
Just over 800 Jamaicans and friends of Jamaica from the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan attended Saturday nights grand ball to mark Jamaica’s 48th year of Independence at the New York Hilton and Towers Hotel in Manhattan. The event which is a featured calendar event brought the curtains down on a two-week long series of activities and celebrations across the United States.
Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, the Hon Olivia Grange, patron of this year’s gala and who represented the government at the event, told the large gathering that she will be taking the recommendation of the National Planning Committee that has been established to plan events for Jamaica’s 50th Independence celebrations to the cabinet for their approval.
Minister Grange said the recommendation would also include a wide range of activities for the Diaspora in the USA, Canada, London and other parts of the world where large numbers of Jamaicans reside. The Culture Minister noted that a special committee within the 50th Anniversary Secretariat has been established to focus on working with the Diaspora to plan a grand home coming for Jamaicans from all over the world. Minister Grange extended an invitation to Jamaicans all over to start planning to be in Jamaica for this great once in a lifetime celebration of Jamaica’s half century.
The Minister said, “As we celebrate the 48th year of our Independence, I want to encourage all Jamaicans to reaffirm their confidence in our country and rekindle the old flame of resilience, courage and assertiveness for which we have been known over the years. We must recall the pride and triumph of our ancestors over the challenges of slavery and oppression as they sacrificed even their lives to ensure that we experience freedom that we now enjoy”
“We must recommit ourselves to the mission of national development and again pledge to play our part in the advancement of the welfare of the whole human race”, she added.
The Minister lauded the Jamaica Independence Celebration Foundation (JICF) for their dedication over the years to stage this very important event in the city of New York. “This Independence Anniversary Ball provides our Jamaican community with an opportunity to celebrate our nation’s achievements as well as for coming together to engage in the reflection as well as the revelry that must accompany significant moments in our history, such as our independence”, she said.
In delivering the keynote address, renowned Journalist and Talk Show Host, Hon. Dr. Barbara Gloudon, O.J., in addressing the audience said, “As we celebrate Jamaica’s 48th year of Independence, Jamaicans living in the Diaspora has a responsibility to educate the next generation by teaching them the various Jamaican stories, nursery rhymes and the enormous amount of great things about Jamaica. We need to pass on our great history to the next generation of young Jamaicans, else this great history will be lost and forgotten.
In her remarks, chairman of the Jamaica Independence Celebration Foundation (JICF), Ms. Paulette Willoughby, disclosed that the funds from this year’s ball will benefit the Jamaica Early Childhood Basic School Foundation and the American Foundation for the University of the West Indies. She disclosed that one needy student will receive a full scholarship to attend the University of the West Indies.
Four awards were presented by the JICF, organizers of the Ball. The 2010 Community Service Award was presented to Mr. George Emanuel Crooks for his 23 years of service in the field of arts and culture; the Corporate Award went to Air Jamaica, while the 2010 Youth Award went to Mathew Jamal Thomas who will attend the University of Maryland and specialize in Social Work. A special award went to Mr. Tyrone Morrison, an employee of the Consulate of Jamaica in New York.
In messages from the governor of New York, David Patterson and the Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, both lauded Jamaica for reaching 48 years of independence and spoke of the enormous contribution that Jamaicans continue to make to the state and city of New York.
Among those in attendance at the ball were Jamaica’s Consul General to New York, Hon. Geneive Brown-Metzger along with her husband Dr. Stephen Metzger; Jamaica’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Raymond Wolfe and Mrs. Sharon Wolfe US Congresswoman, Yvette Clarke; former NY City Council woman, Una Clarke,; St. Lucia’s Consul General to New York, Martha Smith and Deputy Borough President of Brooklyn, Yvonne Graham.
The Master of Ceremonies for the event was Host and Weatherman of NBC’s Today Show, Al Roker
The Jamaican renowned singer, Ernie Smith provided entertainment along with the Fabulous Five Band who took the audience down memory lane.
August 18, 2010 No Comments
Our economic landscape is trembling under the ominous presence of multiple Goliaths. Debt, unemployment, foreclosure, deflation destructive footprints are quite obvious. Their loud reverberations echo within the noisy nightmares we experience. Is there a David or Davids coming forth?
The resounding answer is yes! It is the social entrepreneur. Social what ? your face expresses.
Well, along with the overhang the economy is recovering from, there is a new economic reality dawning, driven with the unrelenting power of the internet. The social entrepreneur is not only interested in making money, but want to leverage the wealth gained to make a difference to society. Let me revert to some 20th. Century language to drive this point home.
Mercenaries are motivated by financial statements.
The missionary cultures are all about value statements.
Mercenaries have an incredible lust for making money.
Missionaries are into making meaning and money.
It was my privilege to meet a Jamaican who is the poster child of a social entrepreneur. He is Andrew Morrison.
Andrew Morrison is the founder of Small Business Camp – an entrepreneurial training and marketing services firm. Andrew Morrison is the founder of Small Business Camp – an entrepreneurial training and marketing services firm. In February of 2007, he trained 1,200 entrepreneurs in Nigeria, West Africa. The company delivers an intensive 2-day program that allows the participants to walk-in with just an idea and leave with a marketing plan, public relations strategy, money-making website, direct-mail campaign and 90 days of follow-up coaching.
Previously he built a multi-million dollar company by providing innovative direct marketing services to Fortune 500 companies. He was featured in the Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur Magazine, The Network Journal and Crain’s Magazine 40 Under 40 and Advertising Age. He also appeared as a “Young Millionaire” on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Andrew hosted the “Money Making Mondays” radio show heard on 98.7 KISS-FM and serves as an adjunct faculty member at New York University and the Fashion Institute of Technology.
Click to hear Andrew’s wisdom
You are to become a creator, not a competitor; you are going to get what you want, but in such a way that when you get it every other man will have more than he has now. “
Wallace D. Wattles
August 17, 2010 No Comments
Our new ambassador has been off to a great start in representing the interest of Jamaica. If you had one suggestion to share with her in furthering her efforts, what would it be?
August 13, 2010 No Comments
The Embassy of Jamaica in Washington, D.C., was abuzz with activity over three days as the island’s 48th anniversary of independence took center stage in the United States capital city. Festival songs filled the air amidst a backdrop of videos featuring grand gala events of previous years, which provided a real treat for which everyone was able to savor the country’s independence celebrations.
This unique event brought to the Embassy Jamaicans and friends of Jamaica from Washington, D.C., Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania, among other states, to see first-hand how the Embassy and its staff operate, as well to view a variety of displays and sample sumptuous Jamaican dishes—the national dish among them, of course.
Among the highlights of the Open House was a poetry session, an exhibition on Jamaica’s participation in the Organization of American States (OAS) over the decades; a spotlight on previous Ambassadors and Permanent Representatives to the hemispheric Organization; Jamaican-made products; and a 30-piece art exhibition mounted by renowned Jamaica-based artist Alphanso Blake.
Unable to mask the excitement he felt, Delroy Pinnock, who hails from the parish of Clarendon, praised the Embassy, calling the Open Day “a real eye-opener” for him, as he was amazed at the vast range of work being done at the Embassy for Jamaica and for Jamaicans living here. “I would never believe that in all my life I would have an opportunity to meet with my ambassador in her office, where she took the time out to have a discussion with me and my family about the latest developments in Jamaica.”
Andy Michels, an official from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), after the tour, commended the Ambassador, Her Excellency Marks, and her staff, calling the Open Day “an awesome event. The idea to stage this Open Day is a great one. It gives us an opportunity to see your operations and give the Jamaicans an opportunity to see how their Embassy is being run.”
The public was able to have a number of questions answered on a wide range of matters, including investment, tourism, passports, birth certificates and returning residency.
Bringing the curtains down on the celebrations, Dr. Carolyn Cooper, University of the West Indies (UWI) professor of literary and cultural studies, delivered a spirited Miss Lou Lecture, in which she not only had the audience in stitches, but interpreted the arrival of independence in Jamaica and the former British West Indies, using poetry, including dramatic renditions, of the late Jamaican cultural icon and Ambassador Louise “Miss Lou” Bennett-Coverly.
Dr. Cooper, herself a well-known cultural figure in the Caribbean, was ably supported in her dramatization by Washington-based Jamaica cultural figure Faith Nelson.
Expressing her delight after the three-day event, Ambassador Marks said the objectives of the Open House were met. She spoke about the positive feedback from the many who attended.
“I was very pleased to have had the opportunity to have one-on-one conversations with so many Jamaicans and friends of Jamaica,” the Ambassador declared. “They are really very passionate about Jamaica and share our dream for Jamaica to become peaceful and prosperous country.”
We are indebted to Mr. Derrick Scott of JIS Washington for this content
August 12, 2010 No Comments
In the shadow of the 48th. Independence , Hon. Audley Shaw, Minister of Finance and Public Service was in Washington DC for a key signing event. He was in DC to sign a consolidation loan that will provide some additional breathing room to support an economic growth game plan for Jamaica.
“Private sector investment, earning our way, earning foreign exchange, producing runaway wealth, creating jobs, and creating prosperity in Jamaica must ultimately be the substitute for borrowing,” Minister of Finance and the Public Service Hon. Audley Shaw has argued.
He made the remarks on Tuesday, August 3, while signing an agreement in Washington, D.C., for the Jamaican government to receive a US$200 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for its fiscal consolidation programme. President Luis Alberto Moreno signed for the hemispheric Bank, during a brief ceremony at the IDB’s headquarters.
Explaining the government’s emphasis on this fiscal consolidation programme, Minister Shaw said it “will contribute to:
The strengthening of fiscal discipline and accountability, Reduction of the public debt/GDP ratio, and
Stimulation of economic growth and development in the Jamaican economy.
He went on to stress that Jamaica will “have to get significant increments of new private sector investment into our economy,” in order to realize this substitution for borrowing.
The Finance and Public Service Minister, who was accompanied by Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States Her Excellency Audrey Marks, acknowledged the tremendous support of the IDB along with the other multilateral partners such as the International Monetary Fund. This agreement represents the second of three that are planned, and will, at the end of the calendar year “represent an unprecedented level of support for a country of our size as measured in terms of support per capital GDP and per capita income.
“We want you to know we fully recognize the commitment that you have made, the statement of confidence that the IDB has made in the approach and work of the government of Jamaica,” the Minister told the IDB President.
For his part, Mr. Moreno noted that with this approval today, the IDB is sending “a signal not only that the Bank is there but also that we really think that the success of this programme is the success of the Jamaican people.” He emphasised: “This is about the future of the Jamaican people and this is what we have been working towards.”
The IDB President added that Jamaica has been a good fiscal track, and he used the opportunity of the signing to urge international investors to look at Jamaica as a good place in which to invest.
The funds from this latest IDB package brings loan approvals this year to more than US$400 million, in line with expected total approvals of around US$600 million in 2010. The IDB previously approved more than US$200 million to Jamaica this year in programs to support, among other areas, reforms in education, protection of human capital and competitiveness.
Disbursement of this fiscal policy loan, the first in a series of as many as three operations, is based upon fiscal measures taken by the government since the end of 2009 and during the first semester of 2010 to restructure public debt, increase revenue and control spending to meet the targets set out in its reform agenda, also supported by a stand-by agreement with the International Monetary Fund.
The second and third operations would aim to support the government’s efforts to undertake deeper, structural fiscal policy reforms in order to reduce the country’s debt burden and financing needs in the medium-term.
Under the fiscal consolidation program, the government of Jamaica will receive support in its efforts to achieve stable, sustained growth in a context of sound macroeconomic policy, and a consolidated fiscal balance, focusing on increasing tax revenue, streamlining expenditure and reforming the public sector. It will include a comprehensive debt management strategy that addresses the debt overhang, a strengthened fiscal responsibility framework, and increased customs efficiency.
We are indebted to Derrick Scott for this story content.
Contact: Derrick A. Scott
Have your say! Is Jamaica on the road to fiscal discipline?
August 12, 2010 No Comments
Member of the Jamaican Diaspora in Washington DC. Ms Claire Robinson reads one of the lessons at a thanksgiving service to mark Jamaica’s 48th year of Independence and 176th year of Emancipation, on Sunday, August 1, at the Dumbarton Chapel, Howard University, Washington D.C.
Photo by Derrick Scott, JIS
August 4, 2010 No Comments
Security Attaché at the Embassy of Jamaica, Clifford Chambers marches to the alter with the Jamaican flag at a thanksgiving service to mark Jamaica’s 48th year of Independence and 176th year of Emancipation, on Sunday, August 1, at the Dumbarton Chapel, Howard University, Washington D.C.
Photo by Derrick Scott (JIS)
August 4, 2010 No Comments
Suffragan Bishop of Kingston, the Rt. Rev. Robert M. Thompson delivers the sermon at a thanksgiving service to mark Jamaica’s 48th year of Independence and 176th year of Emancipation, on Sunday, August 1, at the Dumbarton Chapel, Howard University, Washington D.C.
Photo by Derrick Scott (JIS)
August 4, 2010 No Comments