Sunday, August 21, 2011

UWI Memories - Dionne and Minna

Dionne Jackson-Miller

Minna Israel

It was great to see fellow students from our undergraduate years at last week’s UWI Reunion. They look amazing – healthy habits pay off, and I learned that as a day student I missed quite a lot of that enjoyable rivalry between halls of residence. We enjoyed insightful and humorous reveries from Minna Israel, Dionne Jackson-Miller, Wayne Chen, Leighton McKnight and Michael McNaughton. Below are excerpts from Dionne’s and Minna's remarks. - Jean Anita

Excerpts – Dionne Jackson-Miller’s Reflections on Mary Seacole Hall

I’m a proud graduate of the UWI and of Mary Seacole Hall …
- I was promptly renamed MUG, the reason for which is lost in the mists of 19….. and my brother Howard was just as promptly renamed Jug when he landed on Chancellor several years later
- One advantage of university and hall life is supposed to be making friends and contacts you’ll have all your life, but the hall name thing can kinda defeat that purpose
- Imagine this – one busy afternoon in the newsroom, major developments on the industrial relations scene, I’m trying to make sense of it all and I know someone who can help me, a brother from Chancellor I used to lyme with
- Problem is –you're at a political rally, and look…there is…there is… the only name coming to mind is Back-a-neer
- Renaming was just one part of freshers week
- Freshers week was a wonderful time that I still have great memories of
- The banging on the door at 3 o clock in the morning so you could get a guided tour of the campus in the pitch black
- Squinting through the darkness while someone pointed out ODT or old library
- Having Chancellor Hall chairman Rod Stewart and Seacole chairperson Hughjeanette Allen marching around us with huge sticks while we obediently assumed the fresher’s position when someone yelled “Freshers all…ATTEN-SHUN!!!!!!!!” stand at ease - atten-Shun - stand at ease - over and over and over
- Trying to figure out that first morning what was Chan-Sea
- And learning quickly that was the name given to the two united great halls Chancellor and Seacole
- Learning how fortunate we were to have been accepted into the bosom of Chan-sea
- Pitying our friends who wound up in other places - still sorry fi onnu
- I still can’t fathom the idea of Chancellor and Seacole not united as Chansea - but and I feel fortunate that that wasn’t my experience
- We worked together
- We cheered for each other
- We married each other
- From the very first week - We marched together as freshers
- we made friends very quickly - it’s hard not to make friends when you have Rod Stewart ordering the freshman marching beside you to wax lyrical and then hanging around to listen in to the conversation and see if the waxing was lyrical enough!!! And joining in the conversation if he thought the freshman was falling short to show him how it should be done
- we learned that one of the worst things to be on hall was a lumpen
- The mere fact that you were a dedicated student, even a med student was no excuse - after all Dennis Brown was a prime example that you could beat and lyme -
- He’s now a successful doctor
- Saw him the other day and had a nice chat with him - didn’t tell him I couldn’t remember his real name either
- We didn’t need a megaphone on Seacole in my time we had Helen
- At the top of her voice exhorting Seacolites to ROPE OUT!! Whether it was to 5 am Ring Road or a hall meeting
- Living on mary Seacole hall made a life long impression on me
- I cherished my time on hall
- I made lifelong friends and developed a lifelong loyalty to Mary Seacole hall and equally strong loyalty to and good memories of our brothers on Chancellor

Excerpts from Minna Israel’s remarks

Since I have left UWI – the one thing that has never changed – is the importance I have placed on the relationships that were built there, and the experiences I carried with me as I built my career. Our UWI foundation provided the bases upon which we have all built successful careers, and engaged in lifelong pursuits, friendships and relationships; and, with confidence, assumed our places in societies all over the globe. We are indeed special.

So, this evening we CELEBRATE this phenomenal institution. An institution that is unmatched in its contribution to the development of this nation and the region.

So, fellow Alumni and friends of UWI, I ask us all – How do we breathe life into our Alumni Motto? How do we raise the bar and give new meaning to our Motta - “Proud to be making a difference” - and indeed make a difference?

I submit that when we support and contribute to UWI Alumni Association, we are guaranteeing a better future for our students, and by extension, our country, the region and the world.

1 comment:

  1. Its a pity Dionne was not a Taylorite, her experience would have been totally enhanced. But the point is taken though that we hardly remember each other names (which we call aliases) after the first week in Hall