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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Visit to Trinidad

Excerpt from Jamaica Observer column - 1 February 2016
Short visit to Trinidad

Prof Trevor Jackson
It was a bitter-sweet visit to Trinidad last week, as we attended the funeral of the Professor Trevor Jackson, who retired five years ago as Head of the UWI Department of Geology.  It was heartening to see the strong support of family and friends who brought comfort to his widow, Jean and his children. 
A trip to the capital Port-of-Spain revealed the tremendous development that has taken place in the few short years since I last visited the country.  Digicel Foundation Trinidad CEO Penny Gomez and Chairman Garvin Medera described the excellent projects they have been leading over the past three years, particularly in the area of special needs.  Trinidad has been well attuned to this cause, with over thirty special needs organisations.
Trinidad and Jamaica have some challenges in common: crime, road deaths and the Zika virus. There are the various editorials and discussions around these issues, and as I observed our commonalities, I remember how disappointed my dear father was when Jamaica voted against a Caribbean Federation.  How much richer, better organised and more educated we would be if we had focused on regional development and less on political control of various fiefdoms.

May our leaders look beyond their backdoors to the promising horizon of regional unity and help CARICOM to fulfil its rich potential. 

Friday, February 5, 2016

48 Hours of Bob!

Digicel celebrates music legend's 71st birthday with 48-hour live stream

Kingston, Jamaica – Friday, 5th February 2016: Total communications and entertainment provider, Digicel, will this year celebrate music legend, Bob Marley's 71st birthday with a 48-hour live stream.

The stream, which will start 12:00am on Saturday, 6th February, will feature exclusive Bob Marley content inclusive of the 2015 Redemption Concert that was held in downtown, Kingston, plus highlights from this year's Bob Marley birthday celebrations at the Bob Marley Museum, the Marley documentary by Kevin McDonald, as well as interviews and music videos.

The highlight on the live stream will be this year's Redemption Live concert that will be held at Sabina Park on 7th February, starting at 7pm. Boasting a mix of veterans and reggae crooners, the impressive lineup will see the likes of Bugle, Coco Tea, I-Octane, Jesse Royale, Leroy Sibbles, Morgan Heritage, Nesbeth, Sizzla and Tanya Stephens, among others taking the stage come Sunday night.

Gramps Morgan, from the 2016 Reggae Grammy-nominated, Morgan Heritage said; "We are looking forward to Sunday as we haven't performed in Jamaica for a while, especially in Kingston. Our fans can expect to hear some of their favourite Morgan Heritage hits as well as new songs from our Grammy-nominated album. We want everyone to come out or tune in to the live stream as we know with Digicel, it will be a first class production."

Peter Lloyd, Director of Group Marketing for Digicel Caribbean and Central America said; "Much like Bob Marley's music, the Internet transcends geographical borders and we're very happy to celebrate the iconic reggae star's birthday with the world through our 48-hour live stream."

48-hours of Bob will be streamed on the Digicel Jamaica YouTube page- www.youtube.com/DigicelJamaica and available worldwide inclusive of Digicel's 32 markets.

Digicel and Tuff Gong International have been partners for several years; the partnership gives the telecommunications and entertainment company access to exclusive Bob Marley content and use of his image and music.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Memorial Service for the late Ambassador of Spain, H.E. Aníbal Julio Jiménez y Abascal

  February 1, 2016.  The Embassy of Spain has organised a Memorial Service of Thanksgiving for the late Ambassador of Spain, His Excellency Aníbal Jiménez Abascal, to be celebrated at the Stella Maris Catholic Church on Friday, February 5, 2016, beginning at 10:30 a.m.

Ambassador Jiménez Abascal, who passed away suddenly on December 11, 2015 while on vacation in Madrid., and whose remains were subsequently cremated, began his assignment in  Jamaica in August  2014.  At the time of his death, he was also Ambassador to Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Dominica and St. Kitts and Nevis.


He is survived by his wife, mother and sister.   

Angela Bodden-Watson
Administrative Officer, Political Section
Tlf:  +876 929 5555/ 764 0063    Fax: + 876 929 5555
Email: angela.bodden-watson@maec.es
6th Floor, Courtleigh Corporate Centre
6 – 8 St. Lucia Avenue,  Kingston 5
Embassy of Spain
Follow us on Twitter (@EmbajadaEspKGN

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Great Tour of Duty, Ambassador Paola Amadei!


Members of IWF Jamaica with Ambassador Amadei (centre): Thalia Lyn, Minna Israel, Allison Peart, Jean Lowrie-Chin at Farewell Reception last Monday at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel
EU Ambassador Paola Amadei completed an energetic four-year tour of duty in Jamaica and other Caribbean and Latin American countries.  She celebrated Jamaica’s 40-year partnership with the European Union last year; we have benefitted magnanimous funding in the areas of poverty reduction, education, agriculture, housing, health and gender equality.  

The wonderful gentlemen who supported the #HeforShe Campaign, endorsed by Ambassador Amadei
Her passion for gender equality was a special feature at a farewell event held in her honour last week.  We were invited to sign our support at the UN’s HeforShe.org website, and all the gentlemen in the room joined her for a “HeforShe” moment, captured on my Twitter page @souldancing.

Ambassador Paola will not be abandoning her ties with our region. She heads to Germany where she will take up the post of Executive Director of the European Union-Latin America & Caribbean (EU-LAC) Foundation.  We thank her for her generous engagement in Jamaica and send best wishes to her and her family.

Friday, January 29, 2016

CCRP - Caribbean Community of Retired Persons - a caring organisation

CCRP Caring Committee members (from left) Irene Walter, Chair and Hannah Dixon Secretary, present gifts to Golden Age Home resident, Beverly Brown. Also sharing the moment is Supervisor of Cluster D at the Golden Age Home, Sheron Bowley.

Kingston, December 22, 2015: CCRP, the Caribbean Community of Retired Persons, has reconstituted and enlarged its Caring Committee in order to offer greater support to its members.  CCRP, founded in 2010 by Communications Consultant and Seniors Advocate Jean Lowrie-Chin, is a not-for-profit membership organisation created to encourage and support the rights and welfare of retired persons.  Recognising that, as we age, our needs become more varied and unique. The CCRP's mission is to both anticipate and respond to some of these 'special needs'.

Many of these needs result from the natural vulnerabilities caused by ageing – deteriorating health and mobility, economic challenges, (especially faced by persons on fixed incomes or no income) bereavement, and loneliness. Prof. Denise Eldemire-Shearer, Chair of the CCRP and Director of the Mona Ageing and Wellness Centre reports that the elderly (60 years and older) constitute 11.3% of the Jamaican population today, and are projected to rise to 25% by 2050. Over 50% of the elderly are alone, single or widowed.  

The mandate of the CCRP's Caring Committee is to provide direct support, care and attention to CCRP members who are considered vulnerable for reasons of ill health, loss of family member(s), loneliness or other situations requiring palliative interventions.  Membership of the Caring Committee has been expanded to 30 with 15 constituting a core group willing to play an active role in bringing care and comfort to the wider membership when called upon.  

In the past, the Caring Committee had concentrated on marking Centenarian Day every year, undertaken in collaboration with the National Council for Senior Citizens. The committee also brings cheer to the Golden Age Home at Christmas by making a presentation of gift items contributed by members at their annual Christmas social for donation to the residents of the Home. 

This year was no different as members brought boxes of items of toiletries to donate to the home.  These were presented to the residents on Friday, December 18 by the Chair of the Committee, Irene Walter and the Secretary Hannah Dixon. They were accompanied by CCRP Administrative Assistant, Angela Foote.

The reinvigorated committee intends to be much more proactive and responsive to members' needs, helping without hindering, remaining sensitive to the committee's mission of empowering members "to live life to its fullest".

For further information please contact:

Dorett Linton
CCRP Jamaica
Tel. 469-1944

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Jamaica Stock Exchange – to the world!

Excerpt from Jamaica Observer column by Jean Lowrie-Chin

Image result for marlene street-forrest
Marlene Street-Forrest
Congratulations to the dynamic Marlene Street-Forrest, General Manager of the Jamaica Stock Exchange, and her hardworking team: their extraordinary efforts have earned them Bloomberg’s rating as the Number One performing stock exchange in the world in 2015!  Marlene Street-Forrest has noted international interest in Jamaica’s firms:  Heineken NV’s purchase of Red Stripe/Desnoes & Geddes saw those shares soaring by 500 percent and a Mexican company acquired majority shares in the Burrowes family’s Dolphin Cove.

Image result for myrtle bank hotel kingston jamaica
Legendary Myrtle Bank Hotel (Getty Images)
The Jamaica Stock Exchange started operations in 1969, founded by Willard Samms, Raglan Golding, Edward Gayle and Anthony Lloyd.  The palms around their building at 40 Harbour Street bring back memories of driving with my Dad along the palm-lined driveway of the Myrtle Bank Hotel which was at that very location. 

How the business district of downtown Kingston has developed since then – it holds great promise, as does the tourism, agriculture, real estate and manufacturing sectors of Jamaica. The world is discovering the potential of our beloved country, the largest English-speaking Caribbean island, set squarely in the centre of the Americas.

The late Basil Buck
Years ago, I decided to become a ‘penny stockholder’ in the companies served by our agency – this gave a deeper understanding of the businesses, as I listened to the concerns of shareholders large and small at the annual general meetings.  My late friend Basil Buck, owner of Buck Securities, organised for these share purchases and made a few suggestions which turned out to be excellent. 

Then, when we handled the publicity for the Junior Market listings of the Lasco companies about five years ago, we suggested reserving shares for teachers, nurses and police officers, for whom our shop had developed affirmation programmes.  The awareness sessions went well, bringing in hundreds of new participants in Jamaica’s Stock Market.
The Bloomberg website notes that the JSE has launched the Caribbean’s first online trading platform.  This has inspired Denis St. Bernard, a London-based business consultant to start “a diaspora-focused investment company that would pool contributions.” St. Bernard noted that the opportunities are with known Jamaican brands such as GraceKennedy.

Sushil Jain
Investment guru Sushil Jain has been an enthusiastic supporter of Blue Chip Jamaican companies listed on the JSE.  “Why wouldn’t you want to have people like Don Wehby and Patrick Hylton working for you?” he asks. Let us make financial literacy a priority so that ordinary Jamaicans can tap into every opportunity for wealth creation.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Beautiful RJR Sports Foundation Awards

Excerpt from Observer column -  Mon 18 Jan 2016
By Jean Lowrie-Chin

The RJR Foundation Sports Awards, organised by the meticulous Yvonne Wilks-O'Grady and her team, left us filled with pride. There they were, the fastest man and woman in the world, Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Price, being crowned as Jamaica's Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year.  There was cancer survivor, Novlene Williams-Mills, who roared past the American leader in 4x400 World Games event in Beijing to take the Gold Medal for Jamaica, showing us the courage and perseverance that can come from our darkest moments.

Guest speaker UWI Vice-Chancellor Sir Hilary Beckles, lauded Jamaica for our "most incredible contribution to sport". In recalling the resolve of the Swiss to preserve their reputation as the world's top watch-makers, he advised that sports in Jamaica "must be institutionalized and industrialized" to maintain this excellence. He said that what has happened to West Indies cricket must never happen to Jamaica and that we had a responsibility to come together to safeguard our dominance.

As he spoke, I recalled how a Chinese spectator pleaded with me for my Jamaican flag at the Beijing Olympics.  Are we gearing for Rio?  Is there a project to embrace our craft workers so that our vibrant Jamaican colours will shine in Brazil? How far ahead are our sports tourism plans? Let us heed Sir Hilary, thus ensuring that all Jamaicans can benefit from our phenomenal sporting successes.