Sunday, April 29, 2012

Jamaican Colin Wynter - Times of London Lawyer of the Week

Colin Wynter
Julian Cornish-Trestrail photo

by Linda Tsang
Published at 12:01AM, April 12 2012 | Times of London

The QC acted for claimants in a case ruling employers’ liability insurance is triggered at the point of toxic exposure

Colin Wynter, QC, of Devereux Chambers, acted for five of the claimants in the landmark Supreme Court case that ruled that all employers’ liability insurance cover is “triggered” at the point of toxic exposure and not when the disease begins to develop. The judgment could result in compensation for thousands of asbestos victims.

What were the main challenges in this case, and the possible implications?

The case, affecting thousands, turned upon the meaning of a single or several words, always the trickiest type of case. Unlike most of the work that I do, which involves moving money from one balance sheet to another, this case had a very human dimension. There was a permanent anxiety throughout the lengthy period of litigation that we might lose.

What was your worst day as a lawyer?

In 1987, in a North London County Court. We went to court to sue a landlord for the return of my student client’s Pakistani passport, and ended up receiving a splenetic scolding from the judge who decided, before any evidence had been called, that my client was an illegal immigrant and I his knowing agent; a humiliating experience.

What was your most memorable experience as a lawyer?

Winning this case with an excellent team of juniors and solicitors: the effect on claimants will persist long after I have retired, and perhaps even turned up my toes; and saving the life of Kojak the Alsatian dog, who was sentenced to death in 1985 at Kingston Magistrates’ Court for biting a postman, but reprieved by Judge Figgis on appeal to Kingston Crown Court.

Who has been the most influential person in your life and why?

Professionally, Colin Edelman, QC, the most hypnotically persuasive advocate I have seen or worked with; it was he who, when a young barrister, demanded that I be given the chance to work in the areas I now do. On the personal side, my elder brother by 11 months, Brian (now Governor of the Bank of Jamaica), whom I have tried to match my whole life. Also Colonel “Ken” Barnes (father of the footballer John Barnes), who was a towering figure of immense authority, kindness and humour.

Why did you become a lawyer?
Perry Mason, which I watched in black and white as a child in Jamaica.

What would your advice be to anyone wanting a career in law?

Work hard and be prepared to deal with and repel self-doubt.

If you had not become a lawyer, what would you have chosen and why?

A journalist: I was interviewed by Trevor Phillips in 1983 for a role as researcher at London Weekend Television. He suggested that I might be “overqualified”, to which I replied that I was no more overqualified than him, Trevor Phillips (MSc). I was not offered the job.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Hopefully, under a palm tree on a beach in the Caribbean, eating fried fish, lobster and plantain.

PM Portia Simpson Miller - Time 100 Most Influential

From JIS website
Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller attended the 2012 TIME 100 Gala celebrating TIME magazine's Most Influential People In The World at the Lincoln Center on April 24, 2012 in New York City. The awards are presented to persons who are considered to have inspired, entertained, challenged and changed the world. They are labelled breakouts, pioneers, moguls and icons. (Photo by Fernando Leon/Getty Images for TIME).

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Beautiful 'Jamaica Gold' Flower Show by Jamaica Horticultural Society

Excerpts of Address to the Opening of 'Jamaica Gold' Flower Show - by Jean Lowrie-Chin

Prof Wilma Bailey, President of the Jamaica Horticultural Society inspecting one of the exhibits

This Horticultural Society is a special blessing to our beloved Jamaica. I note your distinguished history, dating back to 1825, confirmed by a letter from the first President preserved in the British Museum of National History. Although there were several years of dormancy, this present Jamaica Horticultural Society was founded in 1955 and has not looked back.

Your regional focus is realized here today with the participation of the Horticultural Society of Trinidad & Tobago who are paying tribute to you, their Jamaican colleagues on the occasion of our Golden Jubilee.

Tribute to JAMAICA 50 by the Trinidad & Tobago Horticultural Society

We in the islands of the Caribbean know that we cannot take our environment lightly. Your respective countries, Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica - owe you a debt for your responsible stewardship. You understand the delicate balance of nature and you have ensured that some of our rare plants have been preserved.

This is why we can never trivialize the work of organizations such as the Jamaica Horticultural Society.

The close ties between us are undeniable: UWI graduates have inter-married and through our various churches and clubs, we have maintained close friendships with our West Indian brothers and sisters.

We can use this bond for the greater good of our region. As we survey this stunning display of plants, some of which are indigenous to our respective countries, we see the opportunity to become a powerful floral exporting international hub.

We have heard the rave reviews you have received for your shows, here and abroad. We can pool our passion for horticulture to create those well needed jobs and foreign exchange for the Caribbean region. Only last week the IMF Senior Representative for Jamaica, Dr. Gene Leon, commented that “The Gold of Caricom’s promise is yet to be mined”.

Ferns of Jamaica

He appealed to us to be regionalists, planning a future bigger than single operating islands. At our various seminars and social gatherings for our CCRP members, I am amazed increasingly by the brilliance, wisdom and warmth of our seniors.

I believe that this collective wisdom and experience is the Caribbean’s most precious resource and we must find every possible way to bring this to the attention of our leaders. It is by bridging this ever-widening gap between the generations, that we will strengthen our nations and our region.

I know that you, who are so passionately dedicated to the development of horticulture would like to ensure that the foundations you have laid are strengthened and built upon by equally committed successors.

We should re-double our efforts to nurture and mentor our young people so that all of this wonderful work will not only continue but become a meaningful part of our regional development.

The Caribbean is a veritable bouquet of the peoples of the world, displaying hybrid strength of all the races, colours and creeds. We bloom vividly, showing those in the developed world how excellent we can be. As we see the challenges facing even the most developed countries, we realize that we can bloom even more beautifully where we have been planted, where we are nurtured by God’s glorious sunshine and cooled by His wonderful rivers and seas.

Hearty congratulations to Prof. Wilma Bailey, the Executive and members of Jamaica Horticultural Society and the Horticultural Society of Trinidad & Tobago Executives for staging this wonderful exhibition. Let us take away from this event, the pride that each and every person brings to these exquisite exhibits.

Friday, April 27, 2012

We're in a governance emergency

Excerpt from Observer column | 23 April 2012
by Jean Lowrie-Chin

Resilient Jamaicans are not ready to give up on their country anytime soon.
On Thursday representatives of eight new companies, dubbed ‘The Bold Ones of Manufacturing’ gathered on the grounds of Kings House, where GG Sir Patrick Allen and Lady Allen launched a mobile campaign which will see vivid graphics of these companies displayed on National Baking trucks. Among them is Mango Valley Pride, owned by Cinderella Anderson from St Mary, which makes flour from banana, plantain, breadfruit and cassava and ‘raisins’ from otaheite apples. Then there is ‘Pretti Slippery’ in St James owned by Dr Angela Chin Hing who created skin products made from local ingredients for her own children, which have found favour with some of the leading hotel spas in our resort areas.

The GG and Lady Allen beamed as they spoke with these eight brave Jamaicans who have created employment and are tax compliant. They saw them as examples of the active patriotism they have been promoting in their ‘I Believe Initiative’, which reminds us that ‘there is nothing wrong with Jamaica that cannot be fixed by what is right with Jamaica’.
Indeed, there is so much that is right with Jamaica. On Thursday evening, thousands gathered at Emancipation Park for the free premiere of the Bob Marley documentary, a quiet 11th anniversary contribution from Digicel. Dr Sonjah Stanley-Niaah’s ‘live-tweets’ kept us abreast of the rich content: “Bob was the consummate workaholic, writing early in the morning, sleeping only 4hrs per day... It’s lightning and thunder as Marley jumps in the classic performance bringing the leaders of rivaling parties together.” Overseas media were abuzz with reports of this long awaited premiere.
As we count down to the Olympics, the eyes of the world are on Jamaica. We watched the NBC special on Usain Bolt, thanks to a Facebook link from Winsome Foderingham. We saw a focused young man whose father was a strict disciplinarian. “Usain always thanks me for the way I grew him,” said his Dad.

We saw the bright Olympic gold medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser survive and thrive despite the rough environment of her Waterhouse community. Shelly-Ann commented that most girls were preyed upon as soon as they started to mature physically. It was her long hours in training and her protective mother that kept her safe and in school.

NBC host, Lester Holt, who has Jamaican roots, remarked on the paces that our children are put through from a very early age. By the time they get to the Girls’ and Boys’ Championships, they are performing like Olympians. ‘Champs’ is now regarded as the largest and most prestigious high school athletics event in the entire world.

Holt also spoke with coach Glen Mills, a calm individual, who has groomed Usain Bolt and team-mate/archrival Yohan Blake to be the top two sprinters in the world. Mills and fellow coaches are intelligent, patriotic Jamaicans who themselves sacrifice much to bring their charges to this level. I remember former JAAA President and Alcan manager Pat Anderson getting donations of foodstuff to ensure that young athletes in his charge were properly nourished. I am particularly proud of Calabar coach Michael Clarke, who I taught as a fifth former. He was mature beyond his years; respectful and disciplined – no doubt he has passed on these qualities to his alma-mater’s Champs winners.

On balance, Jamaica still comes out as a positive place to be, thanks to folks like our coaches and dedicated visionaries who have never sought the easy way out. It is now incumbent on our leaders to ensure that we address what I have dubbed ‘a conspiracy of mediocrity’ in both the public and private sectors. This phenomenon results in Jamaica’s low productivity score, compared to Caribbean states with far less resources than us. I have too many stories to tell of excellent Jamaicans who simply throw in the towel and migrate, after they are frustrated by the slouches who have no interest in raising their standards at the workplace. We have a clear warning from the IMF – let us stop cosseting the pretenders and discouraging the producers.

Sunday, April 22, 2012



Kingston, Jamaica, April 20, 2012:  Wynton Hudson's Hennessy Cognac creations won him first place at the Kingston Regional Finals of the Hennessy VS Jamaica 50 Bartender Competition. The event was held at the Macau Gaming Lounge and Bar on April 19, 2012. 


Cognac lovers were treated to an array of Hennessy VS mixes as they sampled the signature blends made by the Regional Finalists. The Bartenders were in their element as they captured their audience with colourful descriptions of their entries as well as fanciful displays of talent, throwing and catching bottles filled with liquids.


The Judges and audience seemed equally impressed as they sampled the concoctions and nodded in approval of some of the mixtures - and there were many to be tasted. With exotic titles such as Hennessy Pasa Passa, Hennessy Mass Dappa, Henny One, Berry Rumpus, Mystic Mojo, Henness D Menace, Henny Situation, Aaaaaaahhhhh, Henny Amore, Meet Me Half Way and Hero's Legacy, the mixes offered much promise.

But Wynton Hudson's Hennessy Espresso Razmatini and his Class by Hennessy topped the competition and won him the coveted title of Kingston Regional Winner.  Mr. Hudson won for himself a Hennessy plaque, J$10,000.00 and a gift basket.


Interestingly, there was a tie for second place which went to St. Aubyn Kidd for his creations, Hennessy Passa Passa and Hennessy Mass Dappa and Ryan Mitto for his creations Henny One and Mystic Mojo. Third place went to Phillip Lovejoy for his concoctions Meet me Half Way and Eat, Shot and Drink.


Wynton Hudson will join the three other Regional Finalists in the showdown of the Mixologists at the Grand Finals. This will be held on April 24 at the J. Wray and Nephew Corporate Complex in Kingston.







Contact: Staci Smith 




Friday, April 20, 2012

A Bouquet of Seniors from Trinidad & Tobago

Her Excellency Dr Iva Gloudon, T&T High Commissioner to Jamaica (front in white) joins a group of seniors from the Pearl Gomez-James Senior Citizens Centre in Trinidad when they were hosted by the CCRP at Devon House today. Beside Dr Gloudon at right is Founder-CEO of CCRP Jean Lowrie-Chin.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

GG Unveils National Bold Ones Campaign

Governor General His Excellency Sir Patrick Allen as he unveiled the National Baking Truck bearing the logos of the eight new manufacturers dubbed 'The Bold Ones' who are being promoted by Continental/National Baking Company.

Looking on are Her Excellency Lady Allen, Continental/National Chairman Butch Hendrickson and National Baking Director of Operations Steven Sykes. The event took place this morning on the grounds of King's House


The National Baking Bold Ones for 2012 are:

Jason Dear - No Brand Chemicals (Kgn 11)

Heneka Watkis-Porter - Patwa Apparel (Kgn 10)

Angela Chin Hing - Pretti Slippery (St James)

Suzette Thomas - Sue Tru Caribbean Manufacturers and Distribution Limited (St Thomas)

Michael and Robin Lumsden - Belcour Preserves Limited (Maryland, St Andrew)

Deborah Belcher - Debz Limited (Kgn 6)

Cinderella Anderson - Mango Valley Pride (St Mary)

Denese Palmer, Southside Distributors Limited (St Elizabeth)

Digicel Foundation literacy initiative reaping rewards

by Luke Douglas

Jamaica Observer | Friday, March 02, 2012

AN education initiative, aimed at helping to achieve 100 per cent literacy in primary schools by 2015, is reaping impressive rewards with some students improving by two grades in one year, according to Executive Director of the Digicel Foundation Samantha Chantrelle.

While unable to give an overall assessment of the programme until later this year, Chantrelle said feedback from teachers about the Digicel Foundation's Enrichment Centre Initiative (ECI) has been very encouraging.

Angella Francis (left), teacher at Bridgeport Primary School, and Jeremiah Golding (right), principal of Chapelton All-Age, exchange pleasantries with Major General Robert Neish (second left), executive vice-chairman of the Digicel Foundation, and Executive Director Samantha Chantrelle at a principals' and teachers' forum at the Knutsford Court Hotel in St Andrew on Wednesday. (Photo: Bryan Cummings)


"Some of the children have advanced by two grade levels within a year. They come in unable to read, sometimes unable to recognise letters, and the teachers are telling me that within months they are seeing a huge difference," Chantrelle said Wednesday.

Under the ECI, schools with levels of mastery of below 60 per cent in the Grade Four Literacy Test are targeted. Some 26 schools have been provided with enrichment centres and 31 with mobile enrichment carts so far at a cost of more than $100 million from the Digicel Foundation.

The enrichment centres are equipped with desktop and laptop computers, literacy and numeracy software such as Hooked on Phonics, Phonics Pad and Early Success, and Math Manipulative Audio-Visual headsets, TV and DVD players, among other equipment.

Each cart is outfitted with Digicel 4G Broadband netbooks, 4G Broadband service, a multimedia projector, a multi-functional copier/scanner and printer along with the teaching software. The carts can be pushed to various classrooms, enabling the facilities to be used by more students and teachers.

The objective of the initiative is to contribute to the Ministry of Education's goal of achieving 100 per cent literacy in primary schools by 2015, which is a United Nations Millennium Development Goal.

Dave Allen, acting principal of St Michael's Primary, told the Observer that the enrichment cart has made a significant difference at the school which is located in a depressed area of Kingston.

"When we began two years ago almost all of the children were non-readers but since then we have used aspects of it in literacy and we find that it is beneficial," Allen said. "It really motivates the students to learn in ways that they would not normally do."

He said St Michael's has raised its performance in the GFLT from 31 per cent mastery in 2009 to 58 per cent last year. School attendance is also up to 90 per cent.

Meanwhile five schools with enrichment centres are to be short-listed this month (March) to vie for prizes in the inaugural Enrichment Centre School of the Year competition.

The two top prizes of $250,000 each will go to the Best Enrichment Centre Initiative (ECI) School and the Most Improved (ECI) School in the competition which is open to the 26 schools with enrichment centres.

There are also awards for the top teachers, top students and top parents in ECI schools in the competition which will conclude in May.

The Digicel Foundation hosted principals and teachers at a forum at the Knutsford Court Hotel Wednesday for training and sharing best practices to improve the initiative.

The Foundation hopes to get 100 primary level schools in the initiative within a few years.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Jamaica belongs to all of us

BY JEAN LOWRIE-CHIN | Jamaica Observer | 16 April 2012

The so-called Jamaican flag backdrop created by that misguided decorator for the Montego Bay mayoral swearing-in was just plain ugly. Without the green, there is no freshness, without the black, it would have had no depth and without the gold, it would have had no sparkle. No wonder our Jamaican flag, this wonderful combo of black, green and gold, was the most recognisable one in the Bird’s Nest Stadium for the Beijing Olympics. As our flag was hoisted day after day, saluting medal after medal, we Jamaicans became the toast of Beijing. We had to stop every few steps so that various spectators could take photos, holding on to our beloved flag.

So when a blinkered individual dares to tinker with our precious Black-Green-and-Gold, we are not going to take it lightly. To add insult to injury, we heard the Mayor of Port Maria admitting on CVM News that he had removed brand new green blinds from his office to replace them with a “neutral” colour. The blinds in my office are green because someone told me the colour promotes calm concentration. I wonder if said mayor will also be rewriting the 23rd Psalm to read: “He maketh me to lie down in neutral pastures.”

One of our leaders has accused the concerned public of politicising the green-omission. Say what?! It was with some relief that we heard PNP Chairman Bobby Pickersgill giving an apology and assuring us that his party would not condone disrespect of our national symbols.

To be honest, when I first heard about this outrage, I thought it was a joke: surely no one would be so backward. Surely, even if someone had been so silly, the new mayor, democratically elected to lead his fellow Jamaicans, regardless of party, should have immediately ordered the removal of that funereal backdrop. The islandwide reports are troubling: booing in Portmore, flag-desecration in Montego Bay, d├ęcor-purging in Port Maria and party-skewed messaging for the KSAC swearing-in in Kingston.

A GSAT student of civics would know that this is just plain wrong. Both of our political parties have intelligent, patriotic leaders. I will call no names – generally we know who they are. They are the same ones who suffered deep embarrassment when Norman Manley was not allowed a seat in the Royal Box of the National Stadium, the construction of which was his brainchild when his party was in power.

Clearly, there is an urgent need to educate the political fly-by-nights about the true meaning of democracy. We must no longer tolerate this loutish, threatening behaviour and the weak excuses from those who should know better. We are deeply disappointed in these leaders who parade themselves in Gordon House, don these garish gold chains and show few of the qualities that would make them deserving of the title. May we suggest a week of sackcloth and ashes for both sides of the House to show penitence for the lives destroyed, the rise of vulgarity that has spilled over into the carnal abuse of children (even babies!), the environmental degradation of our beloved country?

Our heroes have been our emancipators, every single one of them from Nanny to NW Manley and Bustamante. Our first and most widely recognised national hero, Marcus Mosiah Garvey, was a principled leader, writing and counselling his followers about education, ambition, self-esteem, discipline and dignity. The most important role of a leader is to inspire his or her followers to be decent and productive. The leaders of both our political parties have failed us miserably. Campaign after campaign, they allow the overloadng of buses for disorderly motorcades. They have so politicised their party colours that we have to think twice before donning that vibrant orange or attractive green garment.

Buju Banton sang, Another toll to the poll may God help we soul... Could go on and on and full has never been told. This is neither PNP nor JLP country – this is our Jamaica. The “full” must now be told so that mean-spirited pretenders will no longer be allowed to lord it over humble, decent Jamaicans.

Read more:

Friday, April 13, 2012

$1M prize for Digital JAM 2.0 -The Future of Work is Online

Received from the Jamaica computer Society - spread the word!

Ingrid Riley

Digital JAM 2.0 -The Future of Work is Online

Call for Submissions

The Government of Jamaica in partnership with the World Bank and private sector operators in the local ICT sector invites applications from Jamaican software developers and digital artists to participate in the Digital Jam 2.0 Mobile Apps Competition.

Conceived as an integral part of a 3-day Business Development and Marketplace event to be held at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston June 28-30, 2012, the following are requirements for submission into the competition:  
• The software application should feature a mobile device interface, serving platforms widely available to the Jamaican public or to a broader international market seeking Jamaica-related inputs or contents.
• The app development should utilize technologies such as SMS, USSD, Java ME, iPhone Xcode, Android development tools and HTML5.
• The application must be new, designed and implemented after January 1, 2012.
• At least half the members of the application development team must be Jamaican by citizenship or parentage.
Concept submission, to be received by April 23, 2012 must specify:
• the proposed features and functions of the  application          
•  Value added component in support of  social  development and/or specific  business objectives  
The process will include sponsored training in specialized mobile applications development along with mentoring and resources to support the competing apps teams during the course of the competition. John Henry Thompson, renowned software inventor and mobile apps developer will lead the program. 

Sponsorship for app development is being sought for 2 categories of mobile apps that have near-term application:

(1) Olympic apps related to the upcoming London games; and

(2) National Culture apps relevant to upcoming
Jamaica 50 celebrations.

Special awards and prize categories will focus on the social value of the mobile applications and the degree to which they integrate creative art content. A grand prize of J$ 1 million will be provided to the overall best application.

More details will be announced in the coming weeks.

For further information on the Mobile Apps Competition kindly contact:
Sent from my BlackBerry® device from Digicel

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Thank you Bureau of Women's Affairs!

by Jean Lowrie-Chin
Yours truly with fellow awardee the legendary Syringa Marshall-Burnett, nursing educator, former NAJ President and former Speaker of the Jamaican Senate

In 1962, the great Louise Bennett exulted in Jamaica’s Independence:
‘Teet and tongue was all united
Heart an’ soul was hans and glove
Fenky-Fenky voice gain vigour pon
‘Jamaica Land We Love’

Many of us here played a part of those celebrations, and today, we are deeply moved that we are receiving Awards named for Jamaica’s Golden Jubilee.

Replying on behalf of this august group of sisters is intimidating. So here I go trying to follow some advice I got: “Always try to be modest …and be proud of it!”

Reflecting on the extraordinary Jamaican heroines who preceded us, it is certainly easy to be modest. The pride we feel is really for their unimaginable courage, they who have toiled for centuries to bring us to this proud day. As our peoples of various ethnic origins comingled to make us truly ‘Out of Many One People”, we have used our hybrid strength to become the ‘biggest little country’ on the planet.
As our sister Jean Wilson says, there can be "No more smalling up of us"!

Today our spirits rise to meet our heroines of the past, defying armies with National Heroine Nanny of the Maroons. We march with Aggie Bernard, Gladys Longbridge-Bustamante, Edna Manley and Madame Rose Leon to defend the rights of our workers and fight for self-government. We rally behind Amy Bailey and May Farquharson, founders of the still vibrant Women’s Federation. On their shoulders we the recipients stand.

We consider it a privilege to have been born and nurtured in this beautiful land Jamaica. It is with an attitude of gratitude that we have continued to give of our best because to this country, our Mother-Father God gave the best.

The most moving experiences I have had recently are with Jamaica’s seniors, many of whom are being honoured this afternoon. They are mentors, nurturers and prayer warriors. Their beauty shines forth in the wisdom of their eyes and their passion for our people.

The Bureau and its generous partners have done well today to have singled out our seniors – too much of their legacy has been lost as some attempt to rewrite history in this dizzy information age.

It is also wonderful that you have chosen younger recipients as well, because they remind us that Jamaica’s good name will endure – we have achieved much and we will continue to achieve even more.

Today’s honour is a clarion call that at a time when the world is facing many crises, we need to draw on our collective strength of mind, body and spirit – as Dr O’Meally-Nelson has asked us - to remind our fellow Jamaicans that there has been no challenge that we have not been able to overcome. The Women’s Bureau with their various projects for economic and political empowerment, inspires us to ensure that as we progress, we create opportunities for our fellow Jamaicans (women & men) to take that upward path with us.

We are grateful to the Bureau of Women’s Affairs supported by the United Nations entity of Gender Equality & the Empowerment of Women and the Dispute Resolution Foundation, for taking on what must have been a near impossible task – that of choosing 50 women from among literally thousands of phenomenal Jamaican women.

And so we share our Awards with our sisters rousing themselves day after day to diligently raise their families, stretching their budgets, showing up for their jobs – ill or well, volunteering in their communities and churches and preserving their dignity in the most trying of situations. We salute them today and we give thanks for this memorable event.

In closing, I quote from a poem by that brilliant Jamaican and international activist and writer, the late Una Marson:

“One prayer I make
Use all of me
To make Thy children
Doubly free.

To those who need
May all I give
Oh make me worthy
So to live”

May God bless you all – thank you so very much!