Saturday, January 28, 2017
Sunday, January 22, 2017
|Sportswoman & Sportswoman of the Year Elaine Thompson|
and Usain Bolt receive awards from RJR Group MD Gary Allen
and Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment & Sport,
Hon Olivia Grange
|Special Award to Shelly-Ann|
Fraser Pryce from Gleaner
Managing Director Chris Barnes
|Special Award to Usain Bolt from|
Selection Panellist Dr Carrole
|Young Athlete Calabar's Christopher|
Taylor receives his award from his
School's distinguished graduate Hon.
The guest speaker at the event Olivier Gers, CEO of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said he was in Jamaica to discover how our small country had been athletic world beaters since 1948. He recounted the achievements of our greats, and acknowledged the past failures of the IAAF. He said that an independent unit would ensure the success of the Federation’s drive for integrity, and that there would be greater fan engagement to promote the sport.
|Paralympian Gold Medalist Alphanso Cunningham|
receives a Special Award
|Omar McLeod receives Runner-Up|
Award from Hon Molly Rhone
As I watched the younger athletes ascending the stage, I remember the words of my good friend the late Hon Neville ‘Teddy’ McCook in the early nineties, “Jean, if you know what was coming, your head would hurt you!” Well, Mass Teddy, our heads are still spinning as we saw Shelley-Ann Fraser Pryce, always a queen and suffering from an injury, hugging Elaine Thompson after Thompson’s stupendous win of the 100-metre event in Rio. We were dizzy with delight as we saw the flawless gold medal hurdling of Omar Francis, and that great burst of energy at Champs from People’s Choice winner, Calabar’s Christopher Taylor.
|Alia Atkinson receives Runner-Up|
Award for Sportswoman of the Year
Reports are that Shelley-Ann Fraser-Pryce said her bronze medal in the event was her "greatest medal ever …By far, I would definitely say that this is my best championship ever, because I knew how hard I worked, I knew the pain and the sacrifices and the tears."
In a similar spirit, world record holder swimmer Alia Atkinson rebounded from her Olympic disappointment to beat the Olympic Gold medallist and equal her 100-metre breaststroke world record, while also establishing a new world record for the 50-metre breaststoke short course. Dignity and perseverance - that is how our Jamaican royalty rolls!
We were honoured at PROComm when Alia attended our Christmas meeting with our scholars from Grants Pen. Her genuine warmth and listening ear had our team swooning and the young students blushing with pride. She is now organizing free swimming lessons for them!
A Bold 2017
|National Baking Chairman Butch Hendrickson|
inspires at GraceKennedy Business Conference
|GraceKennedy CEO Don Wehby|
leads the dynamic Business Confenrence
How does a media house balance reporting on the tragic and sordid and the positive and constructive? Take for example, the still unfolding reports around the alleged sexual misconduct of several local clergymen. How does one report on this while still ensuring that the excellent work of the majority of our church leaders is not dismissed? Without those churches, many of our excellent high schools would not even exist, many of our poor and abandoned would have no refuge.
Thursday, January 19, 2017
Portrait of Peter Abrahams by his late wife, artist Daphne Abrahams - from Caribbean-beat.com
RELEASE FROM THE PRESS ASSOCIATION OF JAMAICA
Press Association Hails the Late Peter Abrahams' Contributions to National Development & Journalism
January 19, 2017: The Press Association of Jamaica is saddened at the passing of veteran journalist, author and commentator Peter Abrahams.
"Peter Abrahams was a brilliant, incisive and analytical writer, whose significant output in the areas of literature and journalism marked him as a major contributor to Jamaica's national development over the decades," says PAJ President Dionne Jackson Miller.
"Many of us grew up listening to his news commentaries, which always cut to the core of the political and social issues facing the country, offered searing insight, and very often, suggested solutions and a way forward," she added.
His years as Chairman of RJR were exemplified by steadfast support for the newsroom and the journalists who worked there, and he earned many times over the respect, admiration and love of the employees with whom he dealt.
But Abrahams, South African by birth, who adopted Jamaica as his homeland, was also well known internationally, for his contributions to the black liberation struggles, especially through his writing.
"The fact that on the day of his death, at the age of 97, the Gleaner had published a letter by Peter speaking to contemporary issues facing the country is an indicator of how sharp and relevant he remained to the very end," Jackson Miller said.
"We were privileged to have had him with us for so long. There is much that journalists today can learn from Peter's example and work. We are fortunate that he was dedicated to documenting so many of his experiences, which will prove a treasure trove for students of political thought and journalism for years to come," she added.
Contact: Dionne Jackson Miller, 792-3550
Saturday, January 14, 2017
published in Jamaica Observer column 9 Jan 2017
Wednesday, January 4, 2017
The following release is posted in FFP's newsroom.
Bitly link: http://bit.ly/2hHN42
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. Just in time for Christmas, 313 former inmates were home with their families to celebrate, thanks to generous donors of the international relief and development organization Food For The Poor. For 18 years, the charity has secured the release of nonviolent offenders in Guyana, Haiti, Honduras and Jamaica by paying their accumulated fines at Christmas and at Easter.
Hundreds of the poor, including women, in the Caribbean and Latin America are imprisoned for minor offenses because of their inability to pay their jail fines, even though the amounts are minimal.
"These prisons can quickly become a black hole of despair, especially for someone locked up with murderers because they do not have the money to pay a fine for a minor offense," said Robin Mahfood, President/CEO of Food For The Poor. "Every year, we look forward to paying the fines of nonviolent offenders for Christmas. We are reminded in the Holy Scriptures to be merciful. We are truly humbled by the privilege of providing that mercy as a gift of a second chance."
From the prisons in Cap-Haitien, Fort-Liberté, Grande Rivière, Hinche, and Port-de-Paix, Haiti, a total of 195 people were liberated, including 18-year-old Malaica.
The young woman who works as a domestic worker is the mother of a 7-month-old baby. With money extremely tight, Malaica needed to buy food for her child and borrowed 15 Haitian Gordes (22 cents USD) from a friend. When Malaica could not repay the loan, that friend and a group of young women confronted her at her home demanding repayment. Malaica was arrested and imprisoned because she didn't have the money to repay her loan or the jail fine.
Malaica said she's extremely thankful to Fr. Jean Fils Chery who insisted on her release, because she didn't have anyone to care for her baby. Food For The Poor paid her fine and also provided her with a 100-pound bag of rice and other items.
"It's hard to comprehend anyone going to jail, let alone to prison with hard-core inmates, over 22 cents. The Food For The Poor-Haiti staff hears stories like Malaica's all the time. The majority of the people in the prisons are there because of the theft of an animal for food or for things of little value. Sadly, if that person cannot come up with the money, a night's stay in jail can quickly turn into months or even years," said Mahfood.
Also, for the second time in Food For The Poor's 18-year history of its Prison Ministry Program, Haiti has allowed nonviolent offenders locked up in the Prison Civile de Port-au-Prince to have their fines paid by the charity. Sixty-eight men have been liberated from the country's national prison.
The Food For The Poor Prison Ministry Program is helping to transform lives. Since the program's inception in 1998, the charity has assisted in freeing, training and reintroducing nonviolent prisoners back into their communities as productive citizens.
In Honduras, 18 nonviolent offenders were released from their prisons. Eight men from the Privados de Libertad Para Conmuta Penitenciaria and 10 men from the Pastoral Penitenciaria in San Pedro Sula, which included 30-year-old Orvin.
Four years ago, Orvin had moved from the rural tropical rainforest of Mosquitia to the city of San Pedro Sula in search of work to provide for his wife, children and his mother. It didn't take long for Orvin to realize there wasn't much opportunity for an unskilled rural laborer in the city. He said he became depressed, started to drink and got caught up with the wrong crowd.
He was picked up by the police for a minor violation and spent five months in the Pastoral Penitenciaria because he did not have the money to pay his jail fine. But in Orvin's case, his sentencing turned out to be an unexpected blessing.
"It's very hard to survive in a place like this, but while here, I learned how to make sandals. Now I have something to do once I get my freedom," Orvin said. "I am thankful for this program, because it has allowed me to return to my family."
Orvin, along with the rest of the men released, were provided with clothing, toiletries, food and a copy of the Holy Bible.
In Jamaica, 21 nonviolent prisoners were released from their cells. Four women were freed from the Fort Augusta Adult Correctional Centre, which is the only prison for women on the island, four men from Richmond Park, one man from Tamarind Farm, two men from Tower Street and 10 men from the St. Catherine Adult Correctional Centre.
That group of 10 men included a 63-year-old bus driver, who was placed behind bars on Dec. 1, 2016, for not wearing the required bus uniform. The man had two options for the offense, pay a fine of JA$32,000 ($246.15 USD) or spend 60 days in prison. Since he could not afford the fine, he opted to be jailed.
"I have a daughter attending university, and college expenses are quite costly, but I want to give her a better life. This is why I didn't have the funds to pay the fine," said the newly released man. "It has been hard in prison, especially when you think about not having the freedom you are used to. Being on lock down is not easy."
When the man found out that Food For The Poor had paid his outstanding fine for his early release, he went on to say, "I feel good! I didn't have it to pay and to know that people who don't know me would just do this for me, it makes me feel really good inside. Hearty thanks to Food For The Poor."
Immediately upon release from the different prisons, the former inmates were escorted from their cells to a room and later to that prison's chapel where they were each greeted by Food For The Poor staff who provided them with food, supplies and encouragement.
Eleven men were freed from Guyana's notorious prisons in Georgetown and New Amsterdam. The men were taken to the Food For The Poor-Guyana office where they were treated with a simple lunch and a copy of the Holy Bible and other books. They also received travel money and hampers filled with food and personal care items.
Each man was given the opportunity to express his gratitude for a second chance at freedom in a phone call from Georgetown, Guyana, to Mr. Mahfood in Coconut Creek, Fla. Sayad, 37, who was sentenced to three months for stealing, was beside himself with gratitude during the call.
"I am very happy to be out of prison to be with my wife and family. I am very thankful to you for paying this fine for me. I am really, really thankful," said Sayad.
To support Food For The Poor's Prison Ministry Program, checks payable to Food For The Poor can be mailed to 6401 Lyons Road, Coconut Creek, Fla. 33073. Please include reference number "SC# 74122" to ensure your donation is correctly routed, or make an online donation at www.FoodForThePoor.org/pris
"Words do not convey the gratitude we have for our loving donors and staff who have not lost faith on a segment of people who are often forgotten or written off as a lost cause. Thank you," said Mahfood.
Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor primarily 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 visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.
Monday, January 2, 2017
|With my beloved Mother Mrs Maisie Lowrie|
who inspired the creation of CCRP
|CCRP Board Director Mike Fraser|
who advocated for our CCRP-Sagicor
|Distinguished Line-Up of 2016 CCRP Legacy Awardees|
At right is Honorary Chair Professor Hon Denise