Sunday, June 29, 2014


The Early Years - Hubie Chin and family - Jean, Noel and Anita

Published in Catholic Opinion - in today's Sunday Gleaner
by Hubie Chin
 As a child growing up and attending St George’s College, a Roman Catholic School, I very often heard the word ‘Father’ which is the title we use to refer to the priests at the college. I was not confirmed as a Roman Catholic until midway my first year at the school so referring to someone as ‘Father’ who was not actually my biological father was somewhat strange at first.

During religious knowledge classes the word ‘Father’ seemed to have more significance as our Lord kept referring to His Father in many instances. In teaching us to pray He began with the words ‘Our Father’, so I came to understand that anyone who was deemed to be a father needed to take that responsibility very seriously.

When I became a parent I realized the enormous challenge I had taken on. What I never expected was the overwhelming joy I would experience in being a father to my two beautiful children. I had to look back at the example of my own parents and remembered their sacrifice in struggling long and hard being shopkeepers so that they could send us to school, clothe and feed us.

With the love they showed us through all the hardships, I wondered if I could show that same devotion when I finally had children of my own. All doubt was put out of my mind when our first child, our daughter came home. It was the most beautiful feeling. Three years later we took our son home. Since then my whole life has changed. I became aware that the Lord had put this responsibility on me to play my part in the moulding of two of His children and I was not going to let Him down.

At Noel's 21st Birthday
These children have been the joy of my life and everything I do revolves around their well-being. Their happiness has become my happiness; their sorrows are my sorrows. We are one. Yes, there are times when discipline had to be done, but I never left any doubt in their minds that I loved them through all of that. 
Their being a part of my life has made me a better person, a more loving and understanding person, someone who really believes that God does not make mistakes. He has a plan for all of us and the joy and happiness He has brought me through my children reinforces the knowledge that if I can have so much love for the children He gave me how can He not love me even more.

So on Fathers’ Day I have to give thanks to my Heavenly Father for allowing me to experience the love of my wonderful children in whom I am well pleased.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

A breathless Game!!

Brazil players celebrate after Gonzalo Jara misses the final penalty
Veteran Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar - BBC photos
Brazil fansBrazil fans had a roller coaster ride just now.  The Chileans fought bravely to end 1-1 in regular time.  Extra time yielded no more goals so then to penalty kicks.  We were on our feet - and thank goodness Brazil pulled through! - Jean Anita
Hosts Brazil knocked Chile out of the 2014 Fifa World Cup in the second round with a 3-2 win on penalties.
Mauricio Pinilla and Alexis Sanchez had penalties saved, before Gonzalo Jara missed the crucial final kick.
During the game itself, David Luiz gave Brazil the lead when he bundled in after Thiago Silva had flicked on Neymar's corner.
Chile equalised when Eduardo Vargas pounced on a defensive error and fed Alexis Sanchez who poked in.
Brazil's Hulk also had a goal disallowed in the second half when English assistant referee Michael Mullarkey judged the striker to have handled Marcelo's pass.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Hakka Superstar Chow Yun Fat Pledges To Donate Entire Fortune To Charity

 Chow Yun Fat will donate entire $1 billion fortune to charity after his death
(Via my friend Patsy Lee)
Posted on 02 February 2014  | 
Already a role model for his frugal lifestyle, Chow Yun Fat is planning to take one more step towards perfection by declaring that he will donate his $1 billion HKD fortune to charity after his death.

Despite being an international film star, Chow Yun Fat still sees himself as an average man. Humble and gracious, he has long since won the battle against materialistic temptations and finds joy in a simple existence.

While many of his colleagues choose to spend their paychecks on cars and name-brand outfits, Chow Yun Fat is happy to hop onto a crowded bus with the public while dressed in clothes purchased years ago.

Surprisingly, the superstar is rarely recognized. "Ninety percent of the people on the subway would be staring down at their phones. Who would even notice me? It's like stepping into an abandoned land!"

Like many from his generation, Chow Yun Fat finds no benefit from having a smart phone and remains loyal to his standard model, reports a Jayne Stars article.

However, he is probably quite skilled with taking cellphone photos as those who do recognize him often ask for a snapshot as keepsake. Even if he is trying to catch a taxi or doing grocery shopping at a public market, Chow Yun Fat would always smile and pose with his fans.

His kindness and respect for others ironically made it difficult for him to ask for help. While he spoke about the advantages of not owning a car, Fat Gor also revealed another major reason that encouraged him to use public transportation.

"If I hire a driver, I would feel bad because he would have to wait for me all day long. I would be anxious because I know that someone is waiting for me. It would be very frustrating!"

Instead, he finds freedom in being responsible for his own needs and raves about the ability to sight-see and people-watch as he strolls the local streets.

Successful financially, Chow Yun Fat is grateful to his mother for teaching him early on to save ten percent from every paycheck and calls thriftiness a virtue.

Childless and approaching old age, he plans to donate everything to charity when his time comes as a way to give thanks to society.

"I feel that the money does not really belong to me. I am just in charge of keeping it temporarily! I will definitely donate it all! I will give it to charities that need it the most."

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Pope Francis ditches bulletproof Popemobile

Francis says 'at my age I don't have much to lose'

By Laura Smith-Spark , CNN
June 14, 2014 -- Updated 2133 GMT (0533 HKT)
(CNN) -- Pope Francis has told a Spanish newspaper that he prefers not to use a bulletproof Popemobile despite the dangers of an assassination attempt because it is a glass "sardine can" that walls him off from people.
"It's true that anything could happen, but let's face it, at my age I don't have much to lose," he told Barcelona newspaper La Vanguardia in an interview published Friday and reported on in English by Vatican Radio.
"I know that something could happen to me, but it's in the hands of God."
Since an assassination attempt on then-Pope John Paul II in 1981, the head of the Roman Catholic Church has customarily used the custom-made glass-sided Popemobile when in public.
But Francis has taken his own approach to transport since assuming the papacy last year -- creating a headache for those tasked with ensuring his security.
On a trip to Brazil, he climbed into a silver hatchback Fiat for the drive from the airport to downtown Rio de Janeiro. Along the route, the vehicle became pinned between a bus and a crush of well-wishers who were reaching into the car to touch the Pope. Security was stepped up after that incident.
He's also used an open-topped vehicle, rather than the enclosed, bulletproof version preferred by Benedict, for tours through crowds of the faithful in St. Peter's Square.
The Pope's recent trip to the Holy Land, during which he made stops in Jordan, the West Bank and Jerusalem, is likely to have posed additional significant security challenges.
But he sees being able to speak with and meet people directly as a key part of his pastoral role as pontiff.
Another Pope Emeritus?
In the interview with La Vanguardia, Francis also did not rule out following in the footsteps of his predecessor in the role, Benedict XVI, who stood down from the papacy citing age and frailty.
Francis described Benedict's retirement as a "great gesture" which opened the door to the creation of an institution of Pope Emeritus, as Benedict is now known, according to Vatican Radio.
"As we live longer, we get to an age at which we cannot carry on with things," Francis said. "I will do the same as he did: ask the Lord enlighten me when the moment comes and tell me what I have to do, and he will tell me for sure."
He speaks too of his commitment to interfaith relations and his hopes for Middle East peace.
Asked finally how he would like to be remembered in history, Francis said he hadn't thought about it, according to Vatican Radio.
"But," he said, "I like it when you recall someone and say, 'he was a good guy, he did what he could, and he was not that bad.' With that, I would be content."

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Three Countries, Three Food for the Poor Anniversaries

The following press release has been posted in the newsroom on FFP's website.


Three Countries, Three Anniversaries All in One Month


A girl at an orphanage in Guyana holds one of the chickens used in a self-sustaining development program.

Related Item:

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (June 18, 2014) – Food For The Poor is celebrating decades of dedicated service in the countries of Jamaica, Haiti and Guyana in the month of June. The organization, which was founded in 1982, now includes more than 5,000 churches and institutions as partners in the distribution of food, medicine, educational supplies and other needed items.

Thirty-two years ago today, Jamaica became the first country to receive assistance from the relief and development organization. The Food For The Poor-Jamaica office and warehouse complex are located in Spanish Town at the intersection of five highways, which lead to all parts of the island. Food For The Poor has completed more than 250 projects in Jamaica over the past five years, and continues to replace dilapidated shacks with permanent housing. In 2013, Food For The Poor, through the generosity of donors, constructed 2,456 housing units throughout the country. Since inception, the charity has built 37,340 housing units island-wide.

"Thousands of people remain on a waiting list to receive Food For The Poor housing across Jamaica. This organization will continue to help as many people as possible by focusing on one family at a time. This is the only way to approach the situation, if not, then it would become overwhelming," said Robin Mahfood, President and CEO of Food For The Poor. "Housing, education and self-sustaining projects are major areas of focus, with the goal of meeting the immediate needs of the truly destitute, and ultimately helping the poor to rise out of poverty."

It was the plea for help from the poorest of the poor living in inhumane conditions in Cite Soleil, located in the capital of Port-au-Prince, which turned Food For The Poor's heart toward Haiti in 1986. This long-established presence allowed the organization to respond immediately when the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake devastated the country. The same rapid response the charity mobilized during the earthquake crisis was activated when news of the October 2010 cholera outbreak reached Food For The Poor. Now the organization has once again stepped in to help on the heels of another potential outbreak – the Chikungunya virus.

"This virus or 'the fever' that's being transmitted by mosquitoes is spreading fast, and now that the rainy season is here, it is on the verge of becoming an epidemic," said Mahfood. "The Food For The Poor-Haiti office made an urgent request for medicine in May, and more than 8,000 boxes and bottles making up seven pallets have been shipped. Food For The Poor will continue to monitor the situation and will work on securing more medicines as needed."

There also are dozens of ongoing Food For The Poor supported projects in Haiti. These projects include: aquaculture, animal husbandry, agricultural, orphan-support,  housing and sanitation, community development, water improvement, school construction and support, feeding programs, fishing villages, alternative energy, and medical initiatives.

Since the 2010 earthquake a total of 4,605 two-room homes have been constructed in Haiti. Clean water also is a critical need in the Caribbean country. Food For The Poor installed 121 water wells in 2013, and with the help of Water Missions International, has installed a total of 78 water filtration units, plus three chlorinators since 2010. Each unit purifies and chlorinates up to 10,000 gallons of water a day.

Twenty-three years ago this month, Food For The Poor began working in Guyana, delivering food and other basic items to Guyana's poor. Since then, the South Florida-based nonprofit has expanded its services to meet the growing needs of the country's impoverished residents. It is now the leading organization providing relief to the people of Guyana.

In 2012, the organization constructed the Hosanna Village in the community of Mashabo, Essequibo Coast, and started the construction of 40 homes and a water project for the Swan Village located close to the Soesdyke Highway.  Last year, work continued on the development of the Swan Village, with 25 additional homes and a community center.

This year, an ambitious project has stretched to build a village in an extremely remote area in the northwestern part of the country. When completed, the village will have 40 homes, a community center and a renovated and expanded primary school. Food For The Poor has delivered more than 900 computer workstations to the South American country, and built 3,134 housing units in Guyana to date.

"When you add it all up, there's a total of more than 82 years of combined dedicated service between these three countries. Words cannot express the gratitude we have toward the Food For The Poor staff, the donors and most importantly for our heavenly Father, who has opened up the floodgates of heaven onto this organization so that we can help others," said Mahfood.

Food For The Poor, named by The Chronicle of Philanthropy as the largest international relief and development organization in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 95 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor. For more information, please

Wanda Wright

Food For The Poor
Public Relations
954-427-2222 x 6079


Monday, June 23, 2014

Egyptian authorities sentence three journalists to lengthy prison terms

Al Jazeera journalists (L-R) Peter Greste, Mohammed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed stand behind bars at a court in Cairo on June 1, 2014. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih

Journalists' incarcerated based on false and unsubstantiated claims

By: Grayson Harbour, IPI
Vienna, June 23, 2014 - Egyptian authorities have sentenced three Al Jazeera reporters to lengthy prison terms based on ungrounded and extraordinary claims, the International Press Institute (IPI) said today.

Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy, and Baher Mohamed, reporters for Al Jazeera English, were sentenced today on charges  they were conspiring with the Muslim Brotherhood to broadcast false reports of civil strife in Egypt.

"These convictions were completely unfounded," said IPI Executive Director Alison Bethel McKenzie during a live broadcast on Al Jazeera English. "These convictions, including those in absentia, really show the depth and breadth of Egypt's attempts to silence the media."

Greste and Fahmy were sentenced to seven years in prison while Mohamed was sentenced to 10  years. The three additional years were for possession of a single spent bullet casing, according to The New York Times.

"These convictions send the message that if you step out of line based on the guidelines and expectations of the government, you will wind up in prison," McKenzie said.

Throughout the trial, prosecutors were criticized by human rights advocates for presenting evidence that was fabricated or irrelevant to the case. Including videos of Greste's old new reports from other countries, according to CNN.

Following the verdict, Al Jazeera English Managing Editor Al Anstey said, "There is no justification whatsoever in the detention of our three colleagues for even one minute. To have sentenced them defies logic, sense, and any semblance of justice."

He went on to say, "Peter, Mohamed, and Baher and six of our other colleagues were sentenced despite the fact that not a shred of evidence was found to support the extraordinary and false charges against them. At no point during the long, drawn out 'trial' did the absurd allegations stand up to scrutiny. There were many moments where in any other court of law the trial would be thrown out."

In a report published in February, "Journalists Under Siege", IPI called on Egypt's interim government to free journalists and to improve safety for media workers. Acknowledging Egyptian voters' approval of a  new constitution, the report urged the government  to "state publicly that it will abide by the letter and spirit of the [January 2014] Constitution --- including articles 70, 71, and 72 that provide guarantees of press freedom, freedom of publication, and the independence of the news media…"

"Now is not the time to be silent," McKenzie said. "We will work with our vast membership and consider what we can do to address the issue of an appeal for these journalists."

For more information on the International Press Institute, go to see the full report on Egypt, click here. 

Sidjae: Be a Learning Organisation

Good day leaders,

Learning Organization
Each individual is important to an organization and has the potential to add value. There are some individuals who add considerable value that are considered key talent. While no individual is indispensable, there are many organizations in which special knowledge and history reside in a few persons, who have the ability to hold the organization at ransom.

Graphic from
A learning organization increases both individual and organizational knowledge, thereby allowing the organization to adapt quickly to the changing demands of its customers and the global environment. Within a learning organization, knowledge is created, acquired and most importantly, integrated throughout the organization. As the knowledge is shared and applied, the individual and collective abilities within the organization increase.

How have you shared your knowledge with your team? How have you ensured that they are applying what they are learning? What new knowledge or skill have you learnt from your team recently?

To Your Unlimited Possibilities,
Sidjae Walia
Training that expands your mind and life
"The mind, once expanded to dimensions of bigger ideas, never returns to its original size" - Oliver Wendell Holmes
Twitter ID:
(647) 927 9289

*Certified to administer the MBTI for individuals and groups. Give me a call if you are interested in learning how your personality impacts your work, team, and personal life*

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Mr God, can you fix Grandma?

I'm sorry for keepin' ya up late.
But, I wanna know
If'n you're too busy, I can wait.
You see Grandma's been forgettin'
A lot of things. Mamma says so.
She forgot my name, today, Mr. God,
And she's a walkin' kinda slow. 
Yesterday, she jest left
Without even sayin' bye.
Daddy brought her back and
He had a tear in his eye.

So, I was wonderin', can you fix her?
She has somthun' called 'all tizers', Daddy said.
She forgets who we are sometimes,
And she forgot that Grandpa's dead.
Mr. God, you give her a new brememberer
'Cause I miss her playin', and stuff, with me
And the cookies she used to bake.
And, she was so smart, wasn't she?

She used to talk 'bout you a lot.
Now, she jest talks to herself and,
Mr. God, she don't know herself
From the pictures on the shelf.

Sometimes, she calls me 'little boy'
And pats my cheek or hair.
And she don't seem to care.

Please, Mr. God,
Will ya fix her, all new again,
A'fore she gets lost and
Can't bremember where she's been?

She ain't sang a Jesus song
Like I like to hear her to do.
Daddy says 'cause she is getting old.
But, she's not as old as you.

Daddy says you never forget and
You are older than anyone, anywhere.
Mamma says, "All we can do is 
Bremember her in prayer.
So, Mr. God, I'm jest askin'
'Cause I don't know how to pray.
'Cause you un'erstand what I try to say.
Does Jesus have a Grandma
And does she forget people, too?
I guess she would be your Mommy
And wouldn't she be older than you?
Well, I gotta go to bed.
Would ya keep Grandma safe, O please,
So as she won't wander off and get lost?
She forgets her hat and coat,
and she could freeze.
I love her lots and
I wish she bremember I'm her little Andy
And bake some good cookies for me,
And even share my candy.

Tell my friend, Jesus, I was here and
Give Him a hug from Grandma and me.
She used to know Him and I heard her say,
"Thank you, Jesus, for little Andy."

Good night, Mr. God. Are ya tired?
You work so hard all day.
I'll be back a'morrow, to visit,
Before I go out to play.

- via my friend Patsy Lee

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Doctors gear for ‘healthy population’

Jean Lowrie-Chin (Jamaica Observer column published 9 June 2014)
HAVANA, Cuba — The Jamaican medical system was boosted by the injection of 68 newly trained medical doctors last year.
The Jamaican doctors graduated from the Medical Faculty of the University of Santiago de Cuba last Tuesday in a short and spicy ceremony that lasted an hour and 13 minutes, much less than any of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean. - The Jamaica Observer
Many Jamaicans return home to do elective surgery and dental work, expressing confidence in our homegrown doctors.  As one individual remarked, “Here in Jamaica I am a name – there I am just a number.” A look at the programme for last week’s Medical Association of Jamaica (MAJ) annual symposium explained why we can have this level of confidence: our doctors take their vocation seriously, constantly researching, writing and upgrading their skills. 
President of the Medical Association of Jamaica, Dr Shane Alexis (left), poses with three doctors honoured by the organisation at its recent banquet held in St Andrew. From left are Dr Ray Fraser, Senior Medical Officer of the Annotto Bay Hospital in St Mary, who received the President's Award; Dr Hopeton Falconer of the Mandeville General Hospital who was given the MAJ Council Award, and Dr RE Christopher Rose of the University Hospital of the West Indies, who, too, copped the MAJ Council Award.
Significantly, the MAJ, Jamaica’s oldest professional organisation, elected one of its youngest Presidents last year, Dr. Shane Alexis.  He credits his two predecessors, Dr Winston De La Haye and Dr Aggrey Irons, with setting the foundation for the rapid renovation of the MAJ headquarters at Roosevelt Avenue, which can now house meetings and workshops to advance the dynamic leader’s vision of a healthy population.
The intrepid Dr Fenton Ferguson, who has dared to go where many other Health Ministers feared to tread – the enactment of anti-smoking legislation – was guest speaker at last week’s elegant opening ceremony. The Minister gave us a discreet lesson in protocol at the beginning of his address: “I am impressed by the level of planning and deliberation that must have been put into this event as evidenced by the long lead-time of the invitation. I therefore had little difficulty in ensuring that I am here with you.” Event planners, take note.

Dr Ferguson (a dentist by profession) reflected, “Why is it that several of Jamaica’s indicators rival that of many more developed countries? The easy answer lies in recognition of the professionalism and competence of health professionals.”
However, he observed, “But a greater consideration is the dynamic rebalancing of the efficiency triangle that has resources in the form of personnel, infrastructure and equipment at one apex methodology and work processes at another and output (health care delivery) at the other.  If we hold resources constant (since it is finite) then methodology and work processes will have to be increased to augment output... Therefore resource optimization will have to be critical watchwords.”
We agree with the Health Minister that resource optimization should be the critical watchwords not only for health, but also for all sectors; unfortunately we are not seeing that level of efficiency and accountability in many areas of the public sector. 
“By the time that I make my contribution in the Sectoral Debate I will be in a position to settle the amendments to the Tobacco Regulations which have so far bestowed many benefits to Jamaica’s health system,” said Minister Ferguson.

It must have been quite a journey for the minister to have piloted those amendments to tobacco regulations – one commentator remarked that the train of events could have been the plot for a high-drama movie.  We can just imagine the power of that lobby, and so we should be proud that the minister remained resolute.  We salute the many Jamaicans who have promoted this cause tirelessly, in particular Heart Foundation Chairman, Dr Knox Hagley.

As we note the greying of the world’s populations and the many health challenges that occur as we age, it is clear that a partnership between the ministries of health and tourism could reap rich rewards for this ‘island in the sun’ with our legendary natural mineral springs and brilliant medics.  Clearly the Health Ministry and the MAJ are up to the task.