Saturday, August 25, 2018

Icons of advertising in Jamaica

Scenes from recent media awards when 94-year-old Mrs Joyce Lindo, founder of LIndo FCB was presented with the AAAJ Lifetime Award. 
By Jean Lowrie-Chin
Excerpt from Jamaica Observer column published 20 August 2018

At the Advertising Agencies Association of Jamaica (AAAJ) event last Thursday, we saw a spritely 94-year-old Joyce Lindo, founder of Lindo FCB, mount the stage to receive the AAAJ Lifetime Award. For a woman to step out in this field at a time when we were being told that our place was in the home, fills us, her fellow women in advertising, with gratitude. Advertising guru Adrian Robinson was likewise honoured, and we cannot forget his stroke of genius in giving that great resort chain the name which resonates on cable worldwide: “Sandals”. Arnold ‘Junior’ Foote was presented with this award several years ago.

Agency owners who had served the industry for over 20 years also received Stalwart Awards:  Beverly Hirst, Terri Williams, Gurney Beckford, Robert MacMillan, Oral McCook, Anthony Gambrill and yours truly.

Agency representatives selected the following media for top recognition: overall winner Mello; Print – Jamaica Observer; Radio – Mello; Non-Traditional – Trend; Outdoor – Caledonia; Printer – Lithographic; Magazine – Buzzz. Big thanks to AAAJ President Kingsley Morris, Media Awards Chair Stephanie McGibbon and Stalwarts Chair Wayne Stewart, all volunteers, for pulling off an excellent event.

We in the advertising industry are proud of the brands we have built, contributing significantly to the development of our economy. Our code of ethics keeps us grounded, even as the galloping technology challenges us to move with the times. We work with production houses, copywriters, artists, photographers, brand ambassadors and musicians to create stand-out messages in a super-competitive environment. Before we start the work, we know we must do some serious listening to the most important people in the whole scheme of things: you the customer.

It’s time to mainstream Marcus Garvey

Cover of Ken Jones edited "Marcus Garvey Said ..." 

by Jean Lowrie-Chin

Observer column published MON 20 August 2018

My son with his bust of Marcus Garvey and
the precious book
Born in Jamaica on August 17, 1887, our first National Hero, Marcus Mosiah Garvey took the world stage by storm with an estimated membership of over four million worldwide in his UNIA (Universal Negro Improvement Association) which he had launched in Jamaica in 1914. There was a groundswell of plaudits on his birthday, stirring my memory of that very special day at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
In a previous column I wrote: “I remember August 17, 2008 when my husband Hubie and I were there for the Olympics.  I remember saying on our way to the Bird’s Nest, “We have to get a Gold for Marcus Garvey’s birthday,” a bit ambitious as we had already scored two Golds and there were rumours that young Shelly-Ann Fraser was not at her fittest. This was her big day – her first Olympic 100-metres final, along with team mates Sherone Simpson and Kerron Stewart.

We were on our feet even before the starter’s gun, and as they stormed to the finish with our ‘Pocket Rocket’ in the lead, we shouted, “One-Two-Three!” But a Russian looked at the board and shouted back, “No Jamaica!  It is ONE-TWO-TWO!”  Later, as we stood teary-eyed for Jamaica’s National Anthem, two Jamaican flags made their way up the poles, as it had not been even imagined that they would need three.”

I remember returning to the hotel that evening, and clicking on the Marcus Garvey website, only to see a medal in the masthead, and his words, “Look for me in the whirlwind.” Talk about ancestral power!

Garvey urges us to read
Professors and writers have worked to keep Garvey’s philosophy alive, including a compilation by Garvey’s late wife, Amy Jacques Garvey, “The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey”, Ken Jones’ “Marcus Garvey Said …”, Professor Robert Hill’s 12-volume collection, “Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Association Papers” which was acquired by Duke University in 2015 along 300 boxes of material which he had begun compiling in 1970, and Professor Rupert Lewis’ publications, including ‘Marcus Garvey’, and “Garvey – Africa, Europe and the Americas”.

In recent conversations with Emprezz Golding and Dr Leahcim Semaj who shares a birthday with the great man, we agreed that if Garvey’s teachings had been mainstreamed since 1962, Jamaica would not be facing the issues of indiscipline and low productivity. I learned only last week from his daughter Justine Henzell, that the late Perry Henzell had written a play on Garvey for his Centenary, and it is among the archives at Liberty Hall. Like Trevor Rhone’s ‘Old Story Time’ this play should be a part of the CSEC syllabus and should be performed all over Jamaica.

With one political administration after the other refusing to fully incorporate Garvey’s works into primary and secondary curriculum, it leads you to wonder if Garvey’s message of dignity and self-reliance is counter to our political culture of conflict and dependence.  No one who recognizes their worth would be hanging out of bus windows on their way to party conferences, chasing down curry goat and T-shirts, and be willing to terrorise those who will not wear the orange or the green.

The challenge to both political parties is therefore a return to Garvey’s teachings and the fraternal collaboration between the founders of their two parties, Sir Alexander Bustamante and N.W. Manley. Jamaicans have become weary of the finger-pointing and yearn for compassionate leadership. How can it be that 30 percent of our population are said to be squatters? Those politicians who have been encouraging this behaviour to shore up votes instead of seeking legitimate housing for their constituents need to be outed.

This is a time for courage, a time when hardworking, decent politicians must stand up to the ones who are painting politics as a dishonorable calling. In 1923, Marcus Garvey wrote, “When Garvey dies, a million Garveys will rise up.” Jamaica is waiting and hoping.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Pope Francis' letter on child sex abuse and cover-ups

Reproduced from

Today, August 20, 2018, Pope Francis has issued a 2,000 word letter following a new report into clerical child sex abuse in the Catholic Church - here it is in full.

Letter of His Holiness Pope Francis To the People of God

"If one member suffers, all suffer together with it" (1 Cor 12:26). These words of Saint Paul forcefully echo in my heart as I acknowledge once more the suffering endured by many minors due to sexual abuse, the abuse of power and the abuse of conscience perpetrated by a significant number of clerics and consecrated persons. Crimes that inflict deep wounds of pain and powerlessness, primarily among the victims, but also in their family members and in the larger community of believers and nonbelievers alike.
Looking back to the past, no effort to beg pardon and to seek to repair the harm done will ever be sufficient. Looking ahead to the future, no effort must be spared to create a culture able to prevent such situations from happening, but also to prevent the possibility of their being covered up and perpetuated. The pain of the victims and their families is also our pain, and so it is urgent that we once more reaffirm our commitment to ensure the protection of minors and of vulnerable adults.

1. If one member suffers…

In recent days, a report was made public which detailed the experiences of at least a thousand survivors, victims of sexual abuse, the abuse of power and of conscience at the hands of priests over a period of approximately seventy years. Even though it can be said that most of these cases belong to the past, nonetheless as time goes on we have come to know the pain of many of the victims. We have realized that these wounds never disappear and that they require us forcefully to condemn these atrocities and join forces in uprooting this culture of death; these wounds never go away.
The heart-wrenching pain of these victims, which cries out to heaven, was long ignored, kept quiet or silenced. But their outcry was more powerful than all the measures meant to silence it, or sought even to resolve it by decisions that increased its gravity by falling into complicity. The Lord heard that cry and once again showed us on which side he stands. Mary's song is not mistaken and continues quietly to echo throughout history. For the Lord remembers the promise he made to our fathers: "he has scattered the proud in their conceit; he has cast down the mighty from their thrones and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty" (Lk 1:51-53).
We feel shame when we realize that our style of life has denied, and continues to deny, the words we recite. With shame and repentance, we acknowledge as an ecclesial community that we were not where we should have been, that we did not act in a timely manner, realizing the magnitude and the gravity of the damage done to so many lives. We showed no care for the little ones; we abandoned them.
I make my own the words of the then Cardinal Ratzinger when, during the Way of the Cross composed for Good Friday 2005, he identified with the cry of pain of so many victims and exclaimed: "How much filth there is in the Church, and even among those who, in the priesthood, ought to belong entirely to [Christ]! How much pride, how much self-complacency! Christ's betrayal by his disciples, their unworthy reception of his body and blood, is certainly the greatest suffering endured by the Redeemer; it pierces his heart. We can only call to him from the depths of our hearts: Kyrie eleison - Lord, save us! (cf. Mt 8:25)" (Ninth Station).

2. …all suffer together with it

The extent and the gravity of all that has happened requires coming to grips with this reality in a comprehensive and communal way. While it is important and necessary on every journey of conversion to acknowledge the truth of what has happened, in itself this is not enough. Today we are challenged as the People of God to take on the pain of our brothers and sisters wounded in their flesh and in their spirit. If, in the past, the response was one of omission, today we want solidarity, in the deepest and most challenging sense, to become our way of forging present and future history.
And this in an environment where conflicts, tensions and above all the victims of every type of abuse can encounter an outstretched hand to protect them and rescue them from their pain (cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 228). Such solidarity demands that we in turn condemn whatever endangers the integrity of any person. A solidarity that summons us to fight all forms of corruption, especially spiritual corruption. The latter is "a comfortable and self-satisfied form of blindness. Everything then appears acceptable: deception, slander, egotism and other subtle forms of self-centeredness, for 'even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light' (2 Cor 11:14)" (Gaudete et Exsultate, 165). Saint Paul's exhortation to suffer with those who suffer is the best antidote against all our attempts to repeat the words of Cain: "Am I my brother's keeper?" (Gen 4:9).
I am conscious of the effort and work being carried out in various parts of the world to come up with the necessary means to ensure the safety and protection of the integrity of children and of vulnerable adults, as well as implementing zero tolerance and ways of making all those who perpetrate or cover up these crimes accountable. We have delayed in applying these actions and sanctions that are so necessary, yet I am confident that they will help to guarantee a greater culture of care in the present and future.
Together with those efforts, every one of the baptized should feel involved in the ecclesial and social change that we so greatly need. This change calls for a personal and communal conversion that makes us see things as the Lord does. For as Saint John Paul II liked to say: "If we have truly started out anew from the contemplation of Christ, we must learn to see him especially in the faces of those with whom he wished to be identified" (Novo Millennio Ineunte, 49). To see things as the Lord does, to be where the Lord wants us to be, to experience a conversion of heart in his presence. To do so, prayer and penance will help.
I invite the entire holy faithful People of God to a penitential exercise of prayer and fasting, following the Lord's command.[1] This can awaken our conscience and arouse our solidarity and commitment to a culture of care that says "never again" to every form of abuse.
It is impossible to think of a conversion of our activity as a Church that does not include the active participation of all the members of God's People. Indeed, whenever we have tried to replace, or silence, or ignore, or reduce the People of God to small elites, we end up creating communities, projects, theological approaches, spiritualities and structures without roots, without memory, without faces, without bodies and ultimately, without lives.[2]
This is clearly seen in a peculiar way of understanding the Church's authority, one common in many communities where sexual abuse and the abuse of power and conscience have occurred. Such is the case with clericalism, an approach that "not only nullifies the character of Christians, but also tends to diminish and undervalue the baptismal grace that the Holy Spirit has placed in the heart of our people".[3] Clericalism, whether fostered by priests themselves or by lay persons, leads to an excision in the ecclesial body that supports and helps to perpetuate many of the evils that we are condemning today. To say "no" to abuse is to say an emphatic "no" to all forms of clericalism.
It is always helpful to remember that "in salvation history, the Lord saved one people. We are never completely ourselves unless we belong to a people. That is why no-one is saved alone, as an isolated individual. Rather, God draws us to himself, taking into account the complex fabric of interpersonal relationships present in the human community. God wanted to enter into the life and history of a people" (Gaudete et Exsultate, 6). Consequently, the only way that we have to respond to this evil that has darkened so many lives is to experience it as a task regarding all of us as the People of God. This awareness of being part of a people and a shared history will enable us to acknowledge our past sins and mistakes with a penitential openness that can allow us to be renewed from within.
Without the active participation of all the Church's members, everything being done to uproot the culture of abuse in our communities will not be successful in generating the necessary dynamics for sound and realistic change. The penitential dimension of fasting and prayer will help us as God's People to come before the Lord and our wounded brothers and sisters as sinners imploring forgiveness and the grace of shame and conversion. In this way, we will come up with actions that can generate resources attuned to the Gospel. For "whenever we make the effort to return to the source and to recover the original freshness of the Gospel, new avenues arise, new paths of creativity open up, with different forms of expression, more eloquent signs and words with new meaning for today's world" (Evangelii Gaudium, 11).
It is essential that we, as a Church, be able to acknowledge and condemn, with sorrow and shame, the atrocities perpetrated by consecrated persons, clerics, and all those entrusted with the mission of watching over and caring for those most vulnerable. Let us beg forgiveness for our own sins and the sins of others. An awareness of sin helps us to acknowledge the errors, the crimes and the wounds caused in the past and allows us, in the present, to be more open and committed along a journey of renewed conversion.
Likewise, penance and prayer will help us to open our eyes and our hearts to other people's sufferings and to overcome the thirst for power and possessions that are so often the root of those evils. May fasting and prayer open our ears to the hushed pain felt by children, young people and the disabled. A fasting that can make us hunger and thirst for justice and impel us to walk in the truth, supporting all the judicial measures that may be necessary. A fasting that shakes us up and leads us to be committed in truth and charity with all men and women of good will, and with society in general, to combatting all forms of the abuse of power, sexual abuse and the abuse of conscience.
In this way, we can show clearly our calling to be "a sign and instrument of communion with God and of the unity of the entire human race" (Lumen Gentium, 1).
"If one member suffers, all suffer together with it", said Saint Paul. By an attitude of prayer and penance, we will become attuned as individuals and as a community to this exhortation, so that we may grow in the gift of compassion, in justice, prevention and reparation. Mary chose to stand at the foot of her Son's cross. She did so unhesitatingly, standing firmly by Jesus' side. In this way, she reveals the way she lived her entire life.
When we experience the desolation caused by these ecclesial wounds, we will do well, with Mary, "to insist more upon prayer", seeking to grow all the more in love and fidelity to the Church (SAINT IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA, Spiritual Exercises, 319). She, the first of the disciples, teaches all of us as disciples how we are to halt before the sufferings of the innocent, without excuses or cowardice. To look to Mary is to discover the model of a true follower of Christ.
May the Holy Spirit grant us the grace of conversion and the interior anointing needed to express before these crimes of abuse our compunction and our resolve courageously to combat them.
Vatican City, 20 August 2018

Saturday, August 18, 2018

GG Sir Patrick Allen: “The centre will and must be made to hold.”

His Excellency The Most Honourable Sir Patrick Allen delivering the 60th Anniversary Distinguished Public Lecture at the University of Technology Jamaica, Papine Campus on July 12, 2018.

Jamaica Observer column published 16 July 2018

by Jean Lowrie-Chin

As we arrived at UTECH for the institution’s 60th Anniversary Lecture by Governor General Sir Patrick Allen, Hubie and I reminisced on our first formal date.  It was several decades before at his CAST (now UTECH) graduation, and here we were almost at the same spot, marveling at the expansion of this great university.

It was a rich Lecture, tracing the history of tertiary education in Jamaica, and the emergence of the digital age. Sir Patrick noted that UTECH “has not only cemented its place on the landscape of the nation, but is producing work-ready graduates, and is the first and only university in the English-speaking Caribbean to
·       have a world-renowned School of Architecture.
·       Is the university with the largest and oldest School of Pharmacy in the region.   
·       Is the only university known anecdotally to be ‘The Home of World Class Athletes’. This makes Jamaica, arguably, the country per capita that produces the best runners in the world.

“Your 60th anniversary theme, ‘Pioneering Past; Bright Future’ aptly summarises and describes your history,” he declared. As he reflected on the benefits as well as the dangers of our digital age, and Vision 2030, Sir Patrick noted, “Having right values is an important component of development.”

Those of us who are concerned about poor governance in our public-sector agencies would do well to consider the Governor General’s resolve that we can overcome these challenges. “We have seen signs of the shaking of the moral foundations which belonged to an earlier time,” he stated. “The combination of easy access to information, the challenge to institutional authority, and the growing acceptance of a post-modern philosophy, when combined, call to mind the book title of the late Nigerian author Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart.”

“We may indeed begin to think that ‘the centre cannot hold’. But it must,” he urged. “Civilization has been through perilous times before, and the human spirit has overcome them. The philosophers speak of a perfection of civilization as we will come to know it …. For us, our obligation must center on the promotion and preservation of quality and excellence. The centre will, and must be made to hold.”

This significant Lecture, posted on the King’s House website (see link below) is well worth a good study.

Monday, August 13, 2018

GoldenEye Beach Huts

Must share info on these lovely beach huts from Cathy Snipper at Island Outpost.
GoldenEye's Beach Huts

GoldenEye in Oracabessa, Jamaica, was once the home of renowned author Ian Fleming. In 2011, Island Records founder Chris Blackwell re-opened the property as a resort and today it's considered among the most luxurious and lush in the Caribbean.
In February 2016, Blackwell expanded upon his vision for GoldenEye with additions that include 26 Beach Huts, a seaside restaurant and rooftop terrace, pool area, snorkeling cove and bay-side beach, bar and grill.
The new Beach Huts, designed by Jamaican architect Ann Hodges, are freestanding one- and two-bedroom octagonal structures built in varying heights. Each is designed with a private veranda, oversized louvered windows and high ceiling, eradicating the need for air conditioning. The layout for the huts was conceived to blend the indoors and out; the sexy sounds of the tropics with the feel of a hut on the beach.
Custom-designed Jamaican furniture, crisp, white linens and African fabrics are featured in each of the rooms. Interior showers—designed as walk-in wet rooms—and bamboo-enclosed outdoor showers and tubs (available in some of the huts) add a sensual vibe to the contemporary interior design by Marika Kessler.
Activities in the newly built Beach Hut area focus around Sha'been—a seafront restaurant with rooftop lounge and games room—and a whimsically designed freshwater pool. Steps away is Snorkeler's Cove, the spot where guests swim out to sea to explore GoldenEye's coral reef and the Oracabessa Fish Sanctuary.
Some Beach Huts are snuggled against Snorkeler's Cove. Others are positioned for best views of the Caribbean Sea, Oracabessa Bay and Button Beach. A protected and shallow part of Oracabessa Bay, Button Beach is the spot for a grill shack serving Jamaican jerk favorites, a drink stand and a naturalistic Jungle Gym area for kids.

Bookings for the Beach Huts can be made at.

It’s our turn to make history

Column published in the Jamaica Observer

 Independence Day August 2018

by Jean Lowrie-Chin

Happy Independence Day!

We are so taken up with news here and abroad, so deep in discussions and accusations that we forget that we are the ones who make the news and indeed, we can make history. Last week, Emancipation Day reminded us that had it not been for our heroic history-makers, we would not be celebrating either of these two Jamaican August holidays.

Besides our National Heroes, the history makers keep emerging and impressing the world. Bob Marley and Usain Bolt bring us kudos wherever we travel. Gordon 'Butch' Stewart's 'Sandals' brand graces multiple cable channels. Jamaican-born Claudia L. Gordon, who was the first deaf Black woman attorney in the US, headed the Disabilities Division in the Obama White House, and recently gave a stirring Ted Talk about her determination to excel, whatever the environment.

So how will our current political leaders make history, as did the founding fathers of the two major political parties, Sir Alexander Bustamante and Norman Washington Manley? The ruling party and the opposition are in that "one moment in time", when they too can become icons of a new Jamaica. 

The governance issues leading to a series of resignation at two agencies attached to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Energy are a call to create a serious new era of leadership. The lingering Trafigura case reminds us that there are questions of integrity on both sides of the House.

Yet, we have reason to believe that there are enough solid political representatives, individuals who could have successful professions outside of politics, who genuinely want to make a reality out of our Vision 2030: "Jamaica, the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business." I spoke with one concerned representative recently and urged the individual not to lose heart as Jamaica needs strong patriots.

The inglorious beginnings of political 'tribal war' and the continued divide in certain garrison areas can be phased out and a proud new era can begin for Jamaica. We need to observe which politicians are willing to engage their opposite numbers for community and constituency activities and which keep resisting.  The dividers are signaling that they are putting party above country, and do not deserve support.

We also need to look at ourselves, those who do not choose a political path, but have done well in our country, and ask if we have contributed enough to affirm the good people who have stepped up to take the brickbats aimed at politicians in general. Have we shunned them, leaving them vulnerable to less positive influences?

Here we are, the third largest English-speaking country in the Americas, perfectly mapped between North and South America, with one of the best God-given harbours in the world, and a landscape that Christopher Columbus described on landing in 1494, as "the fairest isle that eyes ever beheld". The three centuries of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade left our emancipated sisters and brothers weak and traumatized – their 'reward' was the least arable land and tough terms to 'pay back' their ruthless 'owners' who received handsome settlements after Emancipation. The matter of reparation cannot be simply dropped, so let us be courageous in our negotiations as there are great humanitarians of every creed and colour. 

It was wonderful to read the many quotes from the late revolutionary writer James Baldwin as we observed his 94th birthday last Friday.  This is one that should move us: "I'm not interested in anybody's guilt. Guilt is a luxury that we can no longer afford. I know you didn't do it, and I didn't do it either, but I am responsible for it because I am a man and a citizen of this country and you are responsible for it, too, for the very same reason... Anyone who is trying to be conscious must begin to dismiss the vocabulary which we've used so long to cover it up, to lie about the way things are."

Friday, August 3, 2018

Beautiful Flag Circle in Downtown Kingston

Flag Circle Opening: Minister Senator Kamina Johnson-Smith with
KSAMC CEO Robert Hill and Mayor Senator Delroy Williams
Photo - @its_loven
 Heather Moyston, Digicel Admin. Manager 
 initiated the beautification of 'Flag Circle' in 2012  
The roundabout near Breezy Castle was leased from the UDC by Digicel in 2012, an initiative of Group Administrative Manager Heather Moyston who believed that this should be a beautiful gateway to Downtown Kingston.  One of my first duties as Chair of the Digicel Foundation, was the unveiling of the sculpture at the centre, symbolizing unity.

Now Senator Delroy Williams, Mayor of Kingston and Robert Hill, CEO of the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) have spearheaded the renaming of the area as ‘Flag Circle’, raising the flags of Jamaica and of the KSAMC at a colourful ceremony last Thursday.  It is the perfect location for a flag display as they dance around in breezes from the waterfront.  The Mayor’s dedication and faith in Kingston becoming “the pearl of the Caribbean” is inspiring – he has us “still believing”, as he hashtags on social media.