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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Pope Francis receives Food for the Poor President Robin Mahfood and wife Gail

Here are photos of His Holiness Pope Francis  on May 8, 2015 meeting with Robin Mahfood,  President of Food for the Poor Inc and his wife Gail at the Vatican.
Mother Mariana Pinto from St Lucia organized this wonderful event.
Food for the Poor is the Number One International Philanthropic organisation in the US.  We are so proud that it was founded in Jamaica 34 years ago,  and now serves 17 Caribbean and Latin American countries.
   

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Tao Porchon-Lynch, 96-Y-O Yoga Master wows Jamaica!

Tao Porchon-Lynch leads students through a series of gentle stretches during her class at the Sunken Garden in Hope Gardens on Saturday May 9. The class was a collaborative effort between the Jamaica Yoga Association (JAYA) and Afya Yoga. Ms Porchon-Lynch, certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's oldest yoga instructor, was in Jamaica for a week. During her time on the island, she guest taught a morning yoga class at the Jewel Paradise Cove Beach & Spa Resort in Runaway Bay. In Kingston, she led one workshop at Afya Yoga and led JAYA's bi-weekly community class at Hope Gardens on Saturday.

Tao Porchon-Lynch, seen here with Afya Yoga's Sonita Morin-Abrahams (right), addresses attendees of the open-air yoga class held in the Sunken Garden at Hope Gardens on Saturday May 9. The class was a collaborative effort between the Jamaica Yoga Association (JAYA) and Afya Yoga. Ms Porchon-Lynch, certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's oldest yoga instructor, was in Jamaica for a week. During her time on the island, she guest taught a morning yoga class at the Jewel Paradise Cove Beach & Spa Resort in Runaway Bay. In Kingston, she led one workshop at Afya Yoga and led JAYA's bi-weekly community class at Hope Gardens on Saturday.

Musician Jason Worton nails a variation of the dwi pada asana thanks to assistance from Tao Porchon-Lynch during a yoga class held at Afya Yoga on Saturday May 9. Ms Porchon-Lynch, certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's oldest yoga instructor, was in Jamaica for a week. During her time on the island, she guest taught a morning yoga class at the Jewel Paradise Cove Beach & Spa Resort in Runaway Bay. In Kingston, she led one workshop at Afya Yoga and led JAYA's bi-weekly community class at Hope Gardens on Saturday.

Students during the Tao Porchon-Lynch led open-air yoga class at the Sunken Garden in Hope Gardens on Saturday May 9. The class was a collaborative effort between the Jamaica Yoga Association (JAYA) and Afya Yoga. Ms Porchon-Lynch, certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's oldest yoga instructor, was in Jamaica for a week. During her time on the island, she guest taught a morning yoga class at the Jewel Paradise Cove Beach & Spa Resort in Runaway Bay. In Kingston, she led one workshop at Afya Yoga and led JAYA's bi-weekly community class at Hope Gardens on Saturday.
See you later, Jamaica! Tao poses in front of the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel sign in the lobby as she prepares to leave the island. Ms Porchon-Lynch was thrilled to be here and overwhelmed by the natural beauty of the country and its people.
 My friend Pam McFarlane, invited the legendary 96-year-old Yoga Master Tao Porchon-Lynch to Jamaica.  She was hosted by Sonita Abrahams of AFYA Studios. When asked if she could remain longer, she explained that she had to rush back because she was a competitor in a dance event on Monday!  She took up ballroom dancing when she was 85.  What an inspiring lady!
This is an excerpt of "The Power of a Smile" and Tao drew parallels between it and the warmth of Jamaican people and their smiles during her time here: http://yogauonline.com/yogatherapy/1250062013-tao-porchon-lynch-power-smile

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT RE CCJ PASSES JAMAICA LOWER HOUSE

I have been calling for this for many months... This is good news for all the folks who  cannot afford that expensive trek to the Privy Council... Jean L-C

Excerpt of release just received via email:

Kingston, May 12, 2015:      Team PNP notes with great interest and approval that the Constitutional Amendment to establish the Caribbean Court of Justice as Jamaica's Final Appellate Court passed the Lower House earlier today.

The Most Honourable Prime Minister references the milestone as "being on the right side of history"....

Our position...  is that the Caribbean Court of Justice enhances access, efficiency, efficacy, delivery and quality of Justice to which our people are entitled.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Visit to King's House with Champion Household Workers


Excerpt - Jamaica Observer column for MON May 4 2015 by Jean Lowrie-Chin
Governor General Sir Patrick Allen gives a firm handshake to Gilroy Graham (left), General Manager, Grace Foods & Services Company,  during a courtesy call paid by the 2014 Grace-Kennedy Heather Little-White Household Workers Awards winners, senior GraceKennedy representatives and members of the competition’s adjudication panel on April 30. Looking on, from right, are: Elaine Duncan, first place winner, Mervelyn Brown, second place winner and  Edward McGowan, third place winner of the Awards. Nominations for this year’s competition will close on May 15. The GraceKennedy Group introduced the  Household Worker of the Year Award in 2014, to recognize the contribution of  Jamaica’s finest household workers, as well as to honour the memory of Heather Little-White, the late Jamaican food and nutrition specialist who championed the upliftment of Jamaican household workers throughout her lifetime.

It was a glorious morning when top household workers headed to King’s House last Thursday for a courtesy call with the Governor General.  Elaine Duncan, Mervelyn Brown and Edward McGowan were honoured last year in the GraceKennedy/Heather Little-White Inaugural Household Workers Championship based on criteria including budgetary skills, time management and community involvement.

As one of the judges in the selection, I have to admit that I was moved to tears when I heard their stories of courage and perseverance.  Sir Patrick was no less impressed as Elaine Duncan explained that her employer described her as “no ordinary housekeeper.”  The articulate Ms Duncan explained, 

The Champions, with Nicola Lawson (r), Vice President of the 14,000 strong Jamaica Household Workers Union















“I not only do the regular housework but I also do her banking and other duties on the road”. 
First runner up Mervelyn Brown told the GG that she enjoyed gardening in addition to her household duties and had been employed to the same family for 25 years.  Edward McGowan, the only male in the group, said he had started out as a gardener and handyman but in the apartment complex where he works, his skills in washing, ironing and baby-sitting were quickly recognized and he says “I enjoy doing it all”.

Sir Patrick shared a story of a celebrated organist who acknowledged the wide applause of his audience as he stepped on the stage but when he sat at his instrument, he got no sound.  The GG explained that this organ depended on an individual in the back room who would operate a pump and when the musician checked to see what was going on, the annoyed operator said he should receive some acknowledgement as well. The GG compared this to the outstanding workers in our homes and at King’s House, working in the background to help us function efficiently.

“Whenever anyone compliments me and Lady Allen about the well-kept grounds or the orderly state of King’s House, we are quick to point out that the praise belongs to our dedicated staff,” he assured us.

The Vice-President of the Household Workers Union Nicola Lawson, explained to the GG that they had a very active organization which conducted training programmes in such areas as public speaking and social media, one of the initiatives of their President, Shirley Pryce who was currently doing post-graduate studies in the US. 

One of the judges for the Household Worker of the Year Executive Chef Maisie Miller told the GG that it was an initiative of the late Dr. Heather Little-White that resulted in the certified training of household workers and that these certificates assisted many to source jobs not only in Jamaica but also overseas. Thus the household worker’s award was named in her honour.

Another judge, Dr. Glenda Simms observed that there were some 58,000 household workers in Jamaica, one of the single largest group of workers. The GG remarked that they were indeed unsung heroes who provide invaluable service for Jamaican families, and said he was pleased that the Household Workers Union had such excellent developmental programmes.  

On our way out of King’s House the champions said how honoured they felt when the GG treated them with so much respect and were indeed blessed to have such a warm and approachable GG. 
“We are all one Jamaica,” said Sir Patrick, as he congratulated the champions. “Everyone plays an equally important part.” 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Digicel Foundation Boosts Special Needs with 5K Run/Walk proceeds

23 year-old Genesis Academy student Jehanne Thompson shows (from second left) Kamal Powell, Digicel's Senior Sponsorship and Development Manager; Jean Lowrie-Chin, Digicel Foundation Chairman and Natalie Chin-Watkins, Head of Advertising, Marketing and Communications at the Observer how to properly make French toast. Genesis is one of 12 partners that received proceeds from the Digicel Foundation 5K Run/Walk held in October 2014.
Kingston, Jamaica:  Twelve special needs schools and institutions recently received well-needed support through proceeds from the third annual Digicel Foundation 5K Run/Walk.
Proceeds of J$6.9 million received from the 5K Run/Walk were officially distributed to 12 partners when the Foundation and the event sponsors visited their offices on Thursday, April 23. In October 2014 the Digicel Foundation hosted the signature event which saw the involvement of 8,052 participants, a 10% increase from the previous year, making the annual 5K Run/Walk the fastest growing race of its kind in the island.
Rudolph Gordon, a student of the Lister Mair/Gilby High School for the Deaf (left) teaches Digicel Jamaica Brand Ambassador Alphanso Cunningham how to say his name in sign language. Looking on are (L-R): Judine Hunter, Special Needs Programme Manager, Digicel Foundation; a Lister Mair/Gilby student;  Luri-Ann  Grant, Marketing Officer, Island Grill; Andrew Gordon, Technical Drawing teacher at the school and Brian Schmidt, Marketing Manager, IRIE FM. The Jamaica Association for the Deaf, whose leadership the school falls under, is one of the 12 partners who received proceeds from the 2014 Digicel Foundation 5K Run/Walk.
For Adama Balgrove, Founder and Principal of the Montego Bay Autism Centre, the Digicel Foundation has answered her prayers. "We are so thankful. When we heard the news we were surprised as this came at a time where it is well needed," Balgrove said. The Montego Bay Autism Centre is a first time recipient of the 5K Run/Walk and will be using the funds to furnish their new facility located at Appleton Hall in St. James.
Another first time recipient, Special Olympics Jamaica, will be utilizing the funds for training ahead of the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles this year. "Nothing happens ahead of its time," said Lorna Bell, Executive Director of Special Olympics Jamaica. "With 93 days to go to the Summer Games the funds will be used for stepping up training, towards the athlete's nutrition and to beautifying the Special Olympics Court recently built by the Digicel Foundation."
Other recipients include: Liberty Academy, Jamaica Association on Intellectual Disabilities, Jamaica Association for the Deaf, Jamaica Society for the Blind, Jamaica Downs Syndrome Foundation, STEP Centre, Mustard Seed Communities - Jacob's ladder, Early Stimulation Plus, Genesis Academy and Jamaica Autism Support Association.
"Digicel, through the Digicel Foundation, is a committed partner to the special needs sector in Jamaica," said Judine Hunter, Special Needs Programme Manager at the Digicel Foundation. "Giving back is part of our core values as we continue to provide capacity and training to the special needs sector. We know these partners will be impacting the lives of persons with special needs through these proceeds."
The 4th annual 5K Run/Walk takes place in October 2015 in downtown Kingston.
Tashna-Toya Edwards
Account Executive
PROComm
6 Kingsway | Kingston 10 | Jamaica W.I
Tel: (876) 926 6740 | Cell: (876) 550-7021| Fax: 926 8676
Email: tashna.edwards@procomm.com.jm
...follow through sets us apart

Monday, May 4, 2015

ENTRIES CLOSE TOMORROW FOR FOOD FOR THE POOR’S 5K


Kingston, Jamaica – May 4, 2015: The deadline for Food For The Poor (FFP) Jamaica’s 5K has been extended until tomorrow, May 5.

The charity organisation made the announcement over the weekend as it tries to boost the funds being raised from registration, to build houses for Jamaicans in need.

“We are delighted with the tremendous support that our 5K has been receiving,” David Mair, Executive Director, FFP Jamaica. “However, we are responding to several calls over the weekend so that others can participate. We want all Jamaicans who have not got a chance to register to do so, and be a part of this wonderful event which is for a good cause and which Jamaicans in need of houses will benefit from.”

FFP’s inaugural 5K Run/Walk will be held on Saturday, May 9 – the eve of Mother’s Day in Kingston, Jamaica, starting at Emancipation Park going on to Oxford Road, Old Hope Road, Seaview Avenue, Trafalgar Road and Knutsford Boulevard back to Emancipation Park.

Those still interested in registering can contact 434-9250 or email ffp5k@foodforthepoorja.org. Teams with more than 50 members will benefit from a group discount. All proceeds will go towards the building of homes for the indigent and will be matched by Food For The Poor Florida.

For more information, please contact:
Ainsworth Morris, PROComm. Tel: 926-6740 or 375-6136
Petri-Ann Henry, Public Relations Officer, Food For The Poor Jamaica. Cell: 564-2886

Sunday, May 3, 2015

GG Praises Champion Jamaican Household Workers

Governor General Sir Patrick Allen gives a firm handshake to Gilroy Graham (left), General Manager, Grace Foods & Services Company,  during a courtesy call paid by the 2014 Grace-Kennedy Heather Little-White Household Workers Awards winners, senior GraceKennedy representatives and members of the competition's adjudication panel on April 30. Looking on, from right, are: Elaine Duncan, first place winner, Mervelyn Brown, second place winner and  Edward McGowan, third place winner of the Awards. Nominations for this year's competition will close on May 15. The GraceKennedy Group introduced the  Household Worker of the Year Award in 2014, to recognize the contribution of  Jamaica's finest household workers, as well as to honour the memory of Heather Little-White, the late Jamaican food and nutrition specialist who championed the upliftment of Jamaican household workers throughout her lifetime.

Kingston, Jamaica, May 1 – There were lots of smiles, and a feeling of warmth and  emotion as Governor General of Jamaica, Sir Patrick Allen, met with the  top three 2014 GraceKennedy/Heather Little-White Household Workers during a courtesy call at King's House on Thursday, April 30.

The 2014 awardees, Elaine Duncan, Mervelyn Brown and Edward McGowan, themselves delighted to meet His Excellency, were accompanied by senior representatives from GraceKennedy along with members of the adjudication panel from last year and those joining the panel for this year's initiative.

Sir Patrick had high praise for both the Household Workers Awards initiative, as well as the awardees with whom he spoke. He told the awardees that all Jamaica celebrated and valued them, stating that that he too wanted to tell them how much they are appreciated, "from the very bottom of my heart".

While commending GraceKennedy, Sir Patrick said that the Household Worker initiative showed that at the end of the day, "we are all one Jamaica, and everyone plays an equally important part." 

The courtesy call follows the launch of the 2015 awards on April 10.  The public is being asked to nominate their household worker for the awards this year. Nominations not exceeding 200 words can be sent by May 15 to the email address gracekennedy@gkco.com or be dropped off at or mailed to the GraceKennedy head office in downtown Kingston at 73 Harbour Street. A top ten will be selected by judges, with a top three chosen from that short list. 

The GraceKennedy Heather Little-White Household Worker Award was inaugurated in 2014, with the aim to honour some of Jamaica's finest, though largely unrecognized, workers.  It also serves to honour the memory of the late Jamaican food and nutrition specialist Heather Little-White who championed the training of household workers throughout her lifetime, in large part during her time as a GraceKennedy employee, and later, consultant.

This year's winners will be announced on May 29. Awardees will receive cash prizes  of $250,000, $150,000, and $100,000 for first, second and third place winners respectively, along with gift vouchers from Hi-Lo Food Stores and an account with $25,000 at First Global Bank.

Contact: Simone Clarke-Cooper, Group Chief Corporate Communication Manager
Tel: (876) 932-3174 (office)

Tashna-Toya Edwards
Account Executive
PROComm Limited
Tel (876) 926-6740

Friday, May 1, 2015

Govt Grants Two-Month Amnesty for dormant companies

Here is useful information – shared by Attorney-at-Law Debbie-Ann Gordon Crawford.

Maxine Brown - Alpha Woman of Excellence!



From the names of very worthy alumnae nominated this year, the Executive of the Alpha Academy Alumnae Association, is pleased to announce that:

MAXINE J. BROWN

a 1967 graduate, committed to serving her Alma Mater and her country, has been selected as the 2015 WOMAN OF EXCELLENCE AWARDEE.

Maxine has demonstrated loyalty and dedication to the Convent of Mercy Academy 'Alpha' over the years, always willing to volunteer her expertise and time to assist with programmes at the school and to mentor students.

She served as President of the Alumnae Association during 2010 – 2012, exhibiting excellent leadership, which facilitated sustained growth and vibrancy of the Association.

Maxine has over 35 years' experience in the field of public relations, and as an event consultant and communications and media specialist. She has excelled in her field of work and has been instrumental in changing the face of many corporate entities while working with the first public relations company in Jamaica – Public Relations Associates in the 1970's. Among the outstanding projects she has worked on are:

The successful Tastee Talent Show from its inception, a show which has launched the musical career of many talents who have gained international recognition. Among them are Songstress Nadine Sutherland and DJ King Yellow Man.

While with another outstanding public relations firm, Berl Francis and Company she was also instrumental in launching the first Sigma 5K Run in Downtown Kingston which today continues to raise millions of dollars for children's charities. She has also played an integral role in a national HIV/AIDS campaign which was implemented by Berl Francis and Company to raise awareness of the disease.

Maxine enjoys creative writing and is the recipient of medals in the annual Jamaica Cultural Development Commission's (JCDC) Creative Writing Competition. Among the medals are one gold medal and the Special Writer's Prize in the 2007; and over the years 2 Bronze and 2 Certificates of Merit.

Maxine's voluntary efforts were not confined to Alpha as she shared her expertise with other organizations including the Franciscan Ministries at the Immaculate Conception High School which cares for the under served in the society.

Please come let us celebrate the rich tradition of excellence and sisterhood, at this year's major fundraising event, the stellar 2015 Woman of Excellence Awards Banquet at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel on Friday, May 29, 2015 starting at 7 p.m. when we will also honour a Teacher and Student of the Year of the Academy.

Tickets are $7500  per person and will be available as of MAY 1, 2015 by calling/emailing your booking to Karen Thompson at 818-2990/karenjca@yahoo.com.

See you there!

Margaret Little Wilson, President

Ad Verum et Bonum!



Cordia Thompson
Vice President: Membership
CMA Alumnae Association
Website:http://www.alphaalumnaejm.com
Email: membership@alphaalumnaejm.com