Prime Minister Orrett ‘Bruce’ Golding no doubt expected to consolidate plans to move the country forward into a brighter future. Instead, he found himself being the embattled leader.
The pronouncements he made at inauguration time, about holding poverty at bay, job creation, and the faith bestowed on him by last-minute sponsors all began to fall like nine pins or stacked cards. Those cards were stacked against him, according to Jamaica street talk, by bad luck or obeah. In the opinion of analysts, observers and pollsters, he lacked initiative, political will, and the willingness to take advice. One in six Jamaicans was classified as poor, 73% had to adjust their style of living, spending less than $300 a day, unemployment neared 12%, the economy remained on a downward trend for 12 quarters. They looked askance at the self-proclaimed ‘Driver’ who should have piloted the ‘Bus’ to a successful destination, but the vehicle careened off course. AN-SO (check de angel fe dat phrase) And since Bruce did not abandon the vehicle and disappear into de bush as the ordinary Jamaican male driver who had crashed would have done… 2010 turned out to be an extremely trying year for him.
Controversy (much of it internally engendered — barring world recession and crime) emanating from the Dudus-Manatt-Brady affaire dogged his steps from the 2nd quarter when the Commission of Enquiry was to meet. Contention flared up again the last quarter, this time from within the ranks of the JLP when, at the approach of the 67th Annual Party Conference, several procedures which should flow smoothly, created disunity instead. First, Mike Henry took the much sought-after Chairmanship post from a dispirited Ken Baugh; General Secretary Karl Samuda endorsed youthful apprentice Aundre Franklin as his successor over the PM’s Information Man Daryl Vaz; and late bloomer Dr. Charlton Collie became a casualty of the voting by delegates. Then the press aired certain damning accusations leveled at James Robertson related to an individual seeking asylum abroad and another claiming that his life was threatened. To top it all, a character in whom the police was showing interest appeared not only on Robertson’s platform but under his embrace. And a number of Horace Chang’s supporters in the West became disgruntled enough not to attend Conference, upset that Christopher Tufton had ridden the emblematic wooden horse of Troy into their midst all the way from St. Bess, and taken the Deputy Leader prize. Everything happened so quickly that P.M. Golding was speechless.
It was a year when Tivoli, the PM’s constituency, turned him out of doors.
To his Tivoli constituents who had hoisted him to power, he had reneged on his perceived protection of Christopher Dudus Coke, the don who protected them. (Note that in the French creole version of the name ‘dou-dou’ means dearly beloved). That Dudus was the supposed leader of the dreaded Shower Posse became public knowledge, and when that individual chose the protection of the adversary USA who wanted him extradited, over that of his own country, it spoke volumes. US law firm Manatt Phelps and Phillips likely and unintentionally gained international mileage out of the matter. Local legal lights Harold Brady and Douglas Leys could have lost their civil positions for the questionable interceding roles the PM imposed on them, and then denied. The blame game ended with one suing the other, and a call for both the PM and Leys to resign. There were calls for Golding’s resignation. The Don Anderson/CVMTV polls later indicated that 49% felt Golding should step down as leader of the governing party, 32% that he should not, 13% not sure, with 67% of the populace blaming the man himself instead of the Party, for the fiasco. Nearing the 67th Annual General Conference in late November, a writer in the Sunday Observer suggested that it would take a miracle for the JLP to survive. Obviously, 67 was a number to watch.
And to top it all, it was Christopher Tufton, not Bruce Golding, who ended up winning the Gleaner Company-devised Man of the Year Award, for public service no less, and from a list of 110 nominees.
And those who thought Tufton would not be tough enough when dutty get tough were surprised when in November he unseated Chang in a bloodless coup. Others wondered why he had seen it necessary to make that move, with his own viable constituency of St. Elizabeth and Manchester, plus the island’s agribusiness to attend to. Still others wondered where Tufton would get time to spread himself thinner when he still had a justifiable amount of tomato seeds to plant, cassava to reap and bammies to bake.
Golding had also inherited legal wranglings related to unpaid salaries Unresolved PNP-donated political scandals such as Trafigura and the Cuban Light Bulb hung like an albatross round his neck, as did the ever-present Damocles sword of natural disasters and emergency management, to say nothing of the IMF obstacle course. The public felt that was no time to champion the cause of ‘Dudus’ Coke, whose father Lester had died in prison and allegedly left the young man a dubious legacy. Public sympathy for the young man whom they said was quiet, generous to the poor, had attended a reputable high school (he did well at Maths) was replaced by anger when it came out that he owned numerous business ventures, and that several multi-million dollar projects had been handed to him on golden platters. Rumors about Coke’s ownership of several mansions on the hills overlooking the city, directorship of security companies under names of family, friends and colleagues, involvement in the construction of the new transport centre downtown, which threatened to derail the already fragile reputation of the UDC, all added to the intrigue.
Following Golding’s challenge to the USA under the guise of disrespect to the ‘sovereignty’ of a nation, the army was eventually called in after the failed attempts to circumvent the course of extradition law, and after Coke’s lawyers failed to bring him in. The so-called ‘invasion’ of the fugitive’s Tivoli stronghold ended up claiming 70-odd lives. The Police high command believed about 100 recruits congregated there from as far as Montego Bay to defend their leader, some for a fee, some for the adventure. The Prime Minister’s televised admission, after he had strongly denied being involved, evoked feelings of shock, dismay, even anger, from citizens at home and abroad. Opposition leader Portia Simpson Miller saw her chance to call that admission “the mother of all scandals”. She said his actions caused the Government to lose all credibility. PM Golding appeared to shrug most of it off.
A spate of unfortunate pronouncements followed bouts of absenteeism from the public eye. One of them concerned the setting of term limits for Prime Ministers’ tenure. This prompted comparisons to the New York mayor who had the state change the existing law instead of the Constitution. Another bone of contention in the third quarter arose from the suggestion, again without discussion, to transfer the historical 200-acre Up Park Camp housing the JDF and the Police, to 400 acres at Caymanas across the Causeway into St.Catherine. The reason given for this unprecedented move was ‘the revitalization of the city’. The Minister of Information said it was a ‘done deal’. The Rev. Garnet Roper said it was a matter which deserved to be discussed, granted feasibility study, and decided on by all stakeholders. Rumor had it that the prime land might be slated for housing.
The good things were few but appreciable. The Government passed three successive IMF tests; the fiscal balance move to J$5b was a little above target. The depreciation of the dollar was arrested, but that did not bring joy to exporters. Ian Boyne reminded readers (In Focus Nov. 21) that interest rates were down, net international reserves at US$1.91b were ahead of target, gross reserves were at US$2.79b at the end of September.
The NEW NATION COALITION (NNC) the newest of Jamaica’s political ‘third’ parties was formed, headed by Betty Ann Blaine, well-known children’s advocate. The party had 10 founding members and promised moral and social reformation, urban housing, rural land reforms, and policies based on Christian principles. The party has given its support to Contractor General Greg Christie who has been persistent in the anti-corruption struggle, and has called for expansion of powers in his office.
STATE SCANDALS were unfortunately, a clear and present factor in public life.
The Child Development Agency (CDA) for instance, came under fire for the alleged mishandling of matters related to the Armadale Girls Home in St. Ann. In what was billed The Armadale Fray, 7 teenaged girls lost their lives in a fire deemed to have been unlawfully set. It was also strange that in the aftermath there was only one resignation, while another alleged perpetrator was allegedly transferred to the Office of the Prime Minister.
With regard to the Students Loan Bureau (SLB), the female Managing Director Lenice Barnett was held for alleged misappropriation of funds and abuse of privileges concerning vehicles. Tertiary level students who were to benefit, have over the years lamented the built-in difficulties related to finding willing signatories, coping with high interest rates, as well as stiff repayment regimes after graduation, with few job prospects on the horizon.
At the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), a long-overdue audit revealed poor management and irregularity of contracts within the Petro-Caribe Development Fund (PCDF) dating from the fiscal year April 1, 2006 to March 31, 2007 revealing a J$3m cash-skimming exercise. Lack of oversight by both the Group Management Director and the Board of Directors led to a police probe, with the incumbent General Manager vigorously protesting her own dismissal.
The National Insurance Fund (NIF) is widely accepted as a noble organization set up to compensate government workers who are no longer employed, and whose annual contributions cover pension payments along with NI Gold health cards to access lower pharmaceutical fees. The Trinidad-owned Sagicor appropriated Blue Cross. The NI Scheme had invested J$30b (half its value) in domestic government bonds and instruments, of which the previous government transferred J$1b, they said, to small business investments. NIS was also hit by the JDX Initiative of the present Government to help prepare for the IMF. The prevailing question seems to be: Will there ever be enough to compensate pensioners?
Commissions of Enquiry were set up to probe Manatt, Trafigura and the Cuban Light Bulb scandals. The public queried the wisdom of the PM in selecting individuals well known to him. Trafigura, is a scandal continually denied by members of the PNP hierarchy; however, the Dutch Government plans to investigate it in Jamaica shortly. On the matter of the light bulbs donated by Cuba for free distribution, accused Junior Minister Kern Spencer had his court case, held in the palm of K.D.Knight, in this contentious matter, constantly re-scheduled with no resolution. One of the co-accused made a plea bargaining attempt, to which end DPP Lewin seems to have been subjected to a high level of harassment by others in the judiciary. Commissions are costly, and clarity is not the order of the day. Furthermore, the law does not give the Prime Minister the power to name or appoint commissioners (which he has done), but it is up to the Governor General to advise him to do so.
CRIME in general and murder in particular in Jamaica, are linked to easy access of guns on the streets, and boosted by the tendency of the unemployed male toward ordinary and praedial larceny. Also, it is a known fact that police stations are ill-equipped to manage the daily round, which now includes more domestic violence as well as missing adults and children. A case in point, according to the Peace Management Initiative, was Montego Bay where the station was equipped to handle 196 cases, but responded to 507. The consensus also is that the Force is both overworked and short on transportation.
After the standoff with Dudus, most gangs went into hiding, but only until the army had completed its scheduled curfews in certain areas. Up until then, crime had succeeded in flooring the island with the ‘murder capital’ of the world epithet. However, there was a 16% reduction in fatal road accidents between January and July, compared favorably to the same period in 2009. There were 132 collisions and 144 deaths up to July 7, while in 2009, there were 169 collisions and 195 deaths. And although there was a reduction of murder in the last quarter, 53% of the populace do not believe it, and 56% say they don’t feel safer, according to polls.
Not so newly appointed Acting Commissioner of Police Owen Ellington, O.D. faced an uphill task when he took office, with a brief hiatus via a two-day visit to the South Florida community in March, facilitated by the office of the Consulate General of Jamaica. While there, he officiated where necessary, and took the opportunity to observe areas of law enforcement still relevant in the Jamaican society.
A.C. Ellington seemingly brought a breath of fresh air; he gave the impression of an intelligent approach, pleasant but firm communication skills, and a determination to manage his officers even after popular British top-cop Mark Shields had left the hustings. He has the continued fearless and committed assistance of CIB Commander Les Green.
Allegations of police brutality, corruption and violation of human rights peaked at the second quarter and raised the ire of monitoring group Jamaicans For Justice. A classic case of corruption was that of Russell Robinson, a police sergeant assigned to oversee the Armory at Headquarters. He soon found himself slapped with 24 charges as the mastermind behind the theft and distribution of weapons along with thousands of rounds of ammunition.
Another case revealed two officers beating, and then shooting a suspect as he lay unarmed on the ground. With three officers held in custody, the accused said they acted in self-defense, but the amateur video footage recorded by a bystander showed the killing which occurred in Buckfield, near Ocho Rios. It was therefore no asset to tourism that Ocho Rios featured in a Sunday Gleaner survey during Tourism Week in December as being among the top 12 crime-ridden communities, and this review also included another visitor destination, Montego Bay.
On the upside, invaluable work was done in helping the law officers to analyse crime statistics by the Mona GeoInformatics Institute (MGI), whose main job is really to promote map-making, geodesy, and GPS technology and software. Iin its role as a subsidiary of the UWI, it was the first of its kind to embark on major mapping in 2006. Data indicated 100 communities where no crime was recorded. Six communities in St. Thomas – Stokes Hall, Amity Hall, Sunning Hill and Hagley Gap – recorded zero criminal activity, with one each for Airy Castle and Lyssons, and that placed the parish squarely on the least-crime list. May Pen had the most, just shy of 300, followed by Linstead, and areas such as Half Way Tree (163) and Cockburn Pen (73), where crime rates had not gone down.
In contrast with the Police, members of the Jamaica Defence Force were viewed in a more positive light especially after the “Dudus Affair”, when they helped bring about a dramatic reduction in crime. People were angry when they were withdrawn on the pretext that theirs is a supporting rather than a replacement one. A lot of praise went to one of their senior officers known only as ‘Rocky’, who though not exactly a six-footer, was highly trained, disciplined, resolute, and handsome. The females of the species looked in vain for him at the roadblocks and curfews. Coast guards, consistently held in high esteem, continued to professionally guard our coastlines, save fishermen lost at sea, and intercept narco traders. In terms of prison compounds, trouble remained at a minimum, perhaps because the Police kept sending out a kind of belligerent Turn-Yourself-In message to perpetrators who realized they should not wait on the Or-Else-We’ll-Come-And-Get-You after clause. This ploy reaped success especially in Spanish Town, where the One Order and other gangs are known to stake out their territory. Perhaps this is also because the penal focus is more on rehabilitation and re-socialization into society than on outright punishment. In line with this approach, one will find the first Radio Station of its kind in the Caribbean at the Department of Correctional Services at Tower Street, where inmates learn media skills along with the traditional ones such as furniture making, upholstery, barbering and shoe-making.
Cyber-crimes, including identity theft and spam, were added to the usual lotto scams which thrived mainly in tourist centers such as Montego Bay and Ocho Rios, especially in the last quarter. The island’s two largest banks reportedly lost tidy sums at their ATMs, and as Christmas approached, jewellery outlets in the capital city were targeted. Police blotters were recording more stolen hardware of the computer age — DVDs, disc burners, printers, mixers and speakers.
Oppenheimer & Co reported good signs not only for the economy via declining interest rates (Sun. Observer, Nov 7) but ‘hopeful statistics’ toward crime reduction, with corruption declining locally and internationally.
LEGAL Links have been strengthened and upheld by the General Legal Council (GLC) — a necessary and valuable watchdog organization set up in 1985 to monitor the conduct, via the Disciplinary Committee, of the island’s 3,864 attorneys. Since that time, 38 transgressors have been disbarred, mainly for misappropriation of clients’ funds, and breaches of ethical rules of the Jamaican Bar Association and the Advocates Association of Jamaica.
Members of the public have been distressed at some unsavory issues brought to light this year, regarding dual citizenships they thought had been laid to rest. Politicians such as Shahine Robinson had to withdraw from the bye-election in the N.E. St. Ann division until she renounced, while the Opposition felt they should withdraw their candidate on a matter of principle. This has been an across-the-board situation on both sides of the political divide. In a timely article entitled ‘Time to end dual-citizenship nonsense’ contributed by sociologist Glenn Tucker (Sunday Gleaner Dec. 12) , the query is: “How much of this is helping to move the nation forward?”
Enormous pressure was inflicted on civic professionals. Public Defender Earl Witter had the case of the missing Tivolites thrust upon him; Contractor General Greg Christie, whose difficult job is to defend truth and right, even had his life threatened — a situation even more disgraceful, because the very politicians who are to uphold public accountability were themselves among main perpetrators; DPP Paula Llewellyn, one of the first females to hold that high post, should not have suffered this kind of harassment.
On a brighter note, Professor Charles Anderson, based in Trinidad and Tobago, was the first Jamaican to be appointed judge of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). Anderson replaced retired judge Duke Pollard of Guyana, after being selected by the Trinidad-based Regional Judicial and Legal Services Commission to assume duties in June.
Rear Admiral Peter Brady, Director General of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ), was elected to lead the Diplomatic Conference on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping in Manila, Philippines. Brady was the first Jamaican to be elected as chair of such a gathering, met to implement global standards for training and certifying seafarers to operate high-tech vessels.
ECONOMY and GOVERNMENT Links
In ECONOMY and GOVERNMENT Links, according to Minister of Finance, Audley Shaw, this year’s Budget Estimate would hit J$503.9 billion. Having gained some notoriety for the ‘success’ of the JDX initiative, and having steered the passage to the IMF on all three sessions, he managed to stave off some of the criticism leveled at his office. The IMF tax package of J$23b is onerous, and according to journalist Robert Buddan, it has helped to depress the economy. He said the debt is three times what is considered sustainable, and is one and a half times above the levels for other Caribbean countries. One criticism of the JDX, however, was that the benefits did not trickle down to the small business sector. Similar comments were linked to beneficiaries of the sugar industry for, although the sale of the last three sugar estates took place, sugar workers have either not been compensated, or not seen favorable light at the ends of the rows of cane.
Almost 100,000 Jamaicans lost jobs while facing a stymied economy and a waning light in some sectors of the tourist market. According to the Minister a sum of €17m (J$2.2b) was injected into the Consolidated Fund early in the year to provide fiscal support after the fall-out in the bauxite/alumina sector. Thus he saw the re-opening of the West Indies Alumina (Windalco) plant in Ewarton at the end of the second quarter as a welcome occurrence.
Nearing Christmas, rumors circulated about memos cancelling Christmas parties in public sector offices, something with which the President of the Civil Service did not agree, and with which small businesses and hotels were not happy. The ministerial advisory also came too late for some plans to be canceled, thus causing a loss of severable non-refundable deposits.
Brewery heavyweights J. Wray & Nephew and Red Stripe were hit with a same-day tax by this Ministry; 94% owned by Trinidad and Tobago, they threatened to relocate.
The ‘software’ dispute between Grace Kennedy Remittance Services (GKRS) Limited and Paymaster Limited ended when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of GKRS Limited.
COK Sodality (CCU) lead by Jacqueline Mighty merged with MoneyMasters Ltd. in order to expand investment services.
INDUSTRY and Commerce
INDUSTRY and Commerce Minister Karl Samuda, speaking at a seminar sponsored by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) stated that the island’s micro- and small-business sector remain viable. He said some enterprises had failed because they did not take advantage of available opportunities.
Minister Ed Bartlett displayed the kind of optimism that saw the island’s TOURISM LINK remaining intact despite the odds. Jamaica, or rather the Sandals Resorts, won several Awards by the time Tourism Week (Dec. 12-18) came around. Noted Gleaner contributor Dennis Morrison (Dec. 12) sought to remind readers of the contribution made by individuals who no longer served, and of Jampro’s mobilization of what he called ‘tourism investments’, i.e. programs of ‘infrastructure modernization’ such as roadways and airport upgrades. The outcome was the addition of 10,000 rooms on the North Coast by Spanish investors, and the employment of over 30,000 in the construction industry.
If a high crime rate and economic recession ‘floored’ the island, they did not seem to floor the Minister of Tourism, even if he earned the ire of Butch Stewart or was constantly accused of overspending globally on ads for the preferred honeymoon and holiday destination. ‘We’re not just sea and sun’, he declared redundantly. Optimistic Ed Bartlett always found statistics to back up his claims for a rising tourist market (up from 7% in cruise ship arrivals). Early in the year he predicted a 2% growth over the 4% in visitor arrivals from the previous year, especially with the expected expansion of the shipping pier in Trelawny to accommodate the largest cruise ship in the world. When this record-breaking event did not take place in November after a year of great expectations, the blame was placed on the Trelawny Parish Council by Minister Montague.
Devon House, one of Jamaica’s celebrated national heritage monuments, reopened on July 26 after undergoing extensive renovation supported by the Ministry of Tourism and the Tourism Enhancement Fund; this is hopefully to improve the appeal of the historical landmark and attract visitors to the south coast, including those intrigued by Kingston’s cultural flair. On the grounds one can still find the popular ‘I SCREAM’, Grogge Shoppe and Brick Oven, souvenir, book and snack counters, and Rum Roast and Royal, as well as two restaurants, one in the former stable of original owner George Stiebel, the other, ‘Norma’s on the Terrace’. Sadly, Norma Shirley, an iconic restaurateur passed on in November leaving son Delius, also a chef, and mother, as well as an entire community of ‘foodies’ to mourn her loss as one who helped to promote the tantalizing Kingston Restaurant Week and The Annual Observer Food Awards.
Research showed that while there was a decrease in the number of holiday travelers worldwide, Jamaica contributed to the recovery of Caribbean tourism and increased its market share, welcoming some 1.3m visitors to August, a success attributed to the role of Montego Bay as a regional hub, despite the loss of the island’s national carrier Air Jamaica and/or its merger with Caribbean Air. The latest dispute (Sunday Gleaner, Dec. 5) centered on Government’s bid to raise (read double) the levy on incoming airline passengers. This, in collaboration with the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) and Parliamentary approval, to support marketing initiatives. Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) President Wayne Cummings pointed out the unrealistic nature of such a move at a time when room rates are subject to market conditions. Opposition Spokesman on Tourism Dr. Wykeham McNeill likewise disagreed, citing the ‘Christmas present’, the General Consumption Tax of 2009, as also unwelcome.
AIR LINKS provided much drama. After the national airline was pulled from its main Florida routes, there was a period in which speculation about its divestment swirled like a dust storm. One rumor blamed the IMF for recommending the sale of Air Jamaica as one of the conditions to of receiving funding. Another said that fewer than half of the 1,200 Jamaican employees would keep their jobs, and that the Government had actually set aside J$27b for divestment, redundancies, taxes and leases. The ‘love bird’ had its wings clipped. The Air Jamaica ad then read: ‘The Little Piece of Jamaica that STILL flies’ – a sad day for Jamaicans. The divestment process ended in December.
All the protests made by the Jamaica
Airline Pilots Association (JALPA) and appeals submitted to Prime Minister Golding in an urgent control bid were non-productive; Caribbean Airlines appeared to have sealed the deal. Then the Government of Trinidad and Tobago changed hands, causing concerns to remain unresolved up to June. Trinidad and Tobago’s new Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, whose UNC/PP came into power in May, sanctioned the deal with Bruce Golding at the CARICOM Heads of Government conference in Montego Bay in July. That put an end to speculation. It was there that the now famous broadside about the twin-island republic being ‘an ATM machine’ was made. Another warning was thrown out to islands wishing to get disaster relief without benefit accruing to the land of pitch and tar. This was after St. Vincent, St. Lucia, and other CARICOM states as well as Haiti had suffered from Nicole’s flood rains and were awaiting the onslaught of Tomás. Noted journalist Ricky Singh commented that the lady Prime Minister was misquoted, while Sir Ronald Sanders claimed she had not made the ‘inflammatory’ statement attributed to her. (Sunday Observer, Nov. 7).
EDUCATION Minister Andrew Holness approached his tasks with aplomb, facing the usual challenges of placing students in preferred schools and placating teachers for lack of remuneration against performance goals. The Minister also had to cope, in September, with the usual furore over auxiliary registration fees, claiming that no child should be turned away, while principals resolutely defended the importance of those supplementary fees towards security, sports and other necessary extracurricular activities.
The consensus is that he has so far acted with tenacity and intelligence belying his age and experience. Most of all, he was one of the few public servants who was not afraid to admit when something did not work, and to be willing to try something else. Thus the reviving of National Achievement test (grade four in particular), and of his pet project – Transformation, which focuses on accountability and performance-generated goals. One of the instruments of the Education System Transformation Program (ESTP) is rightly nicknamed LAMP (to throw light on literacy and numeracy). Funded by IADB in collaboration with the UNESCO Institute of Statistics, the project is directly related to maintaining data for diagnostic assessment of skills. All statistics are international and exist within linguistic frameworks, and are geared to deliver information, develop standards and methodologies, carry out initiatives and reinforce capacities. Bookstart Jamaica 2011 is another project which also seems to be a noble idea, i.e. to make bookpacks available to parents of newborn babies, so that ‘family literacy activities’ can have a headstart.
The hue and cry of broken agreements with The Jamaica’s Teacher’s Association’s representatives at their annual conference regarding salaries is an annual recurrence, but was a serious challenge this year since the agreement was legally binding. His was the unenviable challenge to face new and dynamic President Nadine Malloy with the news that the Government would not be filling the breach, until further notice.
One of the suggestions made by Minister Holness was that Mathematics, a subject which too often attracts failure, should be included in the qualification of all prospective teachers.
High school students competed in national championships by grade levels in the annual Mathematical Olympiad sponsored by the University of the West Indies and Sterling Asset Management Limited. The top three later competed in the 12th Central American 2010 Regional Mathematical Olympiad in Puerto Rico.
Mona School of Business also hosted a two-day round table, in collaboration with its own Math Department and Caribbean Association in March, attended by more than 80 business leaders and professionals. The 187 graduands of diploma, MBA and EMBA included Kwaku Antwi from Ghana, who was chosen to represent Telecommunications Policy and Technology Management at the 7th Caribbean Internet Forum.
UWI Phd candidate Simone Badal McCreath won the inaugural Luther G. Speare Memorial scholarship to continue her research on screening for anti-cancer. This is one of several awards presented by his widow.
Eleven Jamaican recipients of full scholarships went off to pursue higher education degrees in China. Under the Chinese Government’s scholarship program, they will study at several universities in the disciplines of economics, electronics, financial engineering, biology, tourism management, and environmental management. The students will have to learn Chinese (Mandarin) as well, since some of the courses are taught in that language.
The results of the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) were above average and reaped many scholarships. For example, the Head Girl of St. Richards Primary (on Red Hills Road) gained not one but two. Sashauni Cummings of Villa Road Primary I was the 26th recipient of the JTA/Aubrey Phillips Scholarship, which placed her in deCateret College (also in Mandeville). And Jamaican-born Jonbonae Chung became top achiever in the Turks and Caicos Islands with a GSAT average of 89.13%.
The Gleaner-sponsored National Spelling Bee Competition fielding 273 spellers (8-15 years) was won by Owayne Rodney of St. Thomas More Prep School, one of 49 qualifiers at the June 4 semi-finals for the Scripps award at the Grand Hyatt Washington Hotel.
Excellent results also came from some Upgraded secondary schools, some of which surpassed traditional ones. This prompted several school boards to sanction the usual long lists of names being printed in the local papers. Joan Spencer Ernandez, educator and lecturer at the UWI, Mona, issued a warning against relying on the performance of students in external exams as the only measure of school success. She noted in particular, the yearly rankings of schools published in the media with high schools rated according to the scores received in the annual Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) at the General Proficiency level. She believes this is unfair to Upgraded high schools, which face challenges not experienced by traditional high schools.
The AGRICULTURE LINK remained fairly viable through the first three quarters until incessant tropical rains brought by Nicole devastated the sector, particularly the ‘bread basket’ parish of St. Elizabeth, the Minister Tufton’s constituent terrain. There was extensive damage to the island’s road network. Two ponds in the Treasure Beach area merged into one, and New Market reverted to its historically water-logged state. Months later, there were houses and cultivation still under water. In mid-December, a private airstrip was built in response to the deteriorating roads leading to the Calabash Bay area. This civic initiative facilitated quick, necessary trips by air to the beach and surrounding hotels. This aerodrome, named after Lionel Densham, who originally owned the property at Short Hill, is owned by hotelier Jason Henzell of Jake’s in Treasure Beach.
The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) had already indicated that there was an overall drop of 2.5 percentage points in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the last quarter of the preceding year, except in the farm sector.
And according to Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Tufton, Jamaica’s agricultural sector recorded a 3.1% increase in gross production in the first quarter, despite the impact of the prolonged drought of the previous two years and the rainy season. In general, locals were again encouraged to ‘grow what they eat and eat what they grow’ in order to survive, to boost Jamaica’s agriculture output and spend less on imports by producing enough to export. Dr. Tufton had begun his reign with a cassava slogan which had induced kindly laughter, and this year he continued it with tomatoes. At his acknowledgement of the Gleaner’s Man-Of-The-Year Award, he had his staff set up an experimental nursery corner. As he spoke, he displayed a small pot with soil, into which he deposited a tomato seed to illustrate the new slogan. Talk about a mustard seed demonstration! One of the high points of the year, the Denbigh agricultural exhibition did not disappoint, with its rich displays of fruit, vegetable, condiment and livestock, all embellished by exciting competitions, cultural shows and the Farm queens. On December 9, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed in conjunction with 7 of the island’s marine resource agencies, to prevent further depletion of the fishing stock in 9 bays designated as ‘sanctuaries’. These coral reef sanctuaries covering more than 5,000 hectares, would be monitored by fishing communities as ‘no-fishing zones’ to protect juvenile fish. This J$23m project was welcomed by all stakeholders representing state and non-governmental organizations and was motivation, at least for the 3,000 fisher folk who came on board.
An effort to appease farmers in South Trelawny was the yam packaging facility, which the Minister officially opened at Wait-A-Bit on February 22. One example of an effort to export a locally made product was a blend of natural spices called Complete Seasoning. It was produced by Jamaican company, Local Spice Limited, and earned rave reviews from one of America’s consumer trend-watchers and food analysts. The product also received an impressive rating of over 90% for taste, ingredients, preparation and packaging.
Also in export, the Minister, in conjunction with the Coffee Industry Board, signed an agreement with Hangzhou Coffee and Western Food Association of China aimed at creating an additional market for Jamaica’s premium coffee. The agreement made the Chinese organization the exclusive importer of Jamaican coffee over two years.
And in a gesture of goodwill between the two countries, the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, H.E. Chen Jinghua, presented a batch of agricultural machines and irrigation equipment including tractors, rice harvesters, electric water pumps, diesel generators, plows, sprayers, brush cutters, and rice seeding machines. The machinery will be used in the Ministry’s plans to revamp Jamaica’s rice industry.
WATER AND HOUSING
WATER AND HOUSING Minister Mr. Horace Chang was obviously in a position to indulge in more watering than construction, which was carried out by the NHT. The Minister approached the island’s water systems in a structured way by carrying out needs assessments, clinical observation, and putting corrective measures in place after in-depth research.
HEALTH partnered with Education to forge a new and innovative LINK with the introduction of a special Health Passport to be issued at birth and follow the child through to age 18. It records each child’s vaccinations, health history profile, etc. Education’s Bookstart idea fitted in also, and parents were being educated about the safety and protection of the document even before the Pilot Project began.
The practice and procedures relating to Health programs were this year stretched to breaking point, with hundreds of ambulances parked for lack of repair, and many health facilities in poor condition. For one, the sector boasts a cadre of nurses who are well trained, dedicated and committed, holding the fort in health education and protection of the rights of such related professionals as care givers, hospital practitioners and pharmacists. Secondly, although the Jamaican-trained health professional is always in demand overseas, many stayed on the island.
Minister Rudolph ‘Ruddy’ Spencer faced heavy enough issues. During the year, no one could figure out which dilemma hit him more, not managing to pay nurses what was due to them by law, or not figuring out how to sustain the Free Healthcare promised to Jamaicans at election time by Mr. Golding. With two years to go before the next election, non-payment of bills to major suppliers has become a major concern. The Minister waged his biggest battles both privately and on public platforms with the island’s Nursing Association’s (JNA) Grande Dame Edith Allwood Anderson, the knowledgeable and fearless champion of nurses. Those battles raised the lady up to the status of a Nanny — interpret that how you will! An-so, since Minister Shaw would not give him the money to pay nurses he went and pre-empted Prince William, as did Minister Shaw, by not waiting until 2011 (to take a new bride.)
Dr. Marion Bullock-DuCasse also served without compunction from a different standpoint: overseeing public education campaigns for general safety and well-being. It did not help that cholera, which has been kept out of Jamaica for more than a hundred years, may just re-enter our borders from neighboring Haiti, where it has already ravaged hundreds, still vulnerable after the earthquake and flooding.
Valerie Ricketts Germaine presented strong cases during the year to highlight the concerns and the welfare of young pharmacists in particular, through the offices of the Jamaica Pharmaceutical Association (JPA), which she had the distinction of serving as President. Like Allwood Anderson, she was both knowledgeable and no-nonsense when confronting the Minister.
Kingston Public and Cornwall Regional Hospitals benefited from funds to the tune of US$ 400,000 provided through the National Health Fund, to procure two new radioactive sources for cobalt machines for use in radioactivity and radiotherapy treatments. They also got kits and computers.
It has been awhile since invention or creativity has hit the limelight. So it is to the credit of Jamaican Joel Sadler, mechanical engineer at Stanford University in California that a prosthetic knee has been invented to help amputees. The world should benefit. Also, Jamaican business owner Dr. Roslyn Thompson of New Hope Chiropractic in Orlando reportedly introduced a natural alternative to cosmetic surgery aimed at anti-aging through her alliance with Texas Beauty Institute. Dr. Thompson offers the new specialization through her new company Beautiful Face & Figure, aimed at providing a painless process for natural cosmetic healing and recovery.
Well-known Jamaican scientist Dr. Henry Lowe launched the new Bio-Tech R&D Institute in December, basically to research, develop and market medicines and other health products from local Jamaican plants. Dr. Henry is known for his past involvement with Blue Cross as well as the development of Canasol, the first commercial eye medication made from cannabis (marijuana). The focus of the institute will be on chronic diseases such as diabetes, prostate, cancer and cardiovascular problems. The Institute will be partnered by the Environmental Health Foundation, Federated Pharmaceuticals/Lascelles Laboratories and Dr. Joseph Bryant of University of Maryland Medical School, and will operate out of UWI. The possibility of introducing cutting-edge biotechnology, will no doubt propel this ambitious initiative into the global neutraceutical business. However, UWI urologist Dr. William Aiken, in true democratic stance, raised certain objections relating to the extent to which the necessary research has been entirely satisfactory.
Capital and Credit Merchant Bank –3rd quarter net profit increased by 20 % from J$107m to $129m. CCFG showed 194% growth in securities trading after 2009 losses. They said their focus was on core income, non-interest expenses and declining operating expenses.
NCB Group profit was J$11b via an increase in retail banking. At the end of the year, NCB copped five awards from the JSE Best Practices Awards, such as the Governor General’s Award for Excellence, Corporate Disclosure and Investor Relations Award. The NCB Group also won the PSOJ/JSE Award for Corporate Governance. The NCB Foundation Entrepreneurial competition took place in March. Students were asked to form, name and operate their businesses.
This scene continues to be vibrant in Jamaica in terms of traditional sports such as football, cricket and horse racing.
The highlight of this segment is therefore more non-traditional sports in which small numbers of Jamaicans participated at the beginning of the year. For instance, there was skiing by Errol Kerr, who was one of the 10 nominees for Sportsman of the year. There was wind surfing by brothers Inilek and Icah Wilmot, dog-sledding by Newton Marshall and go-karting by Alan Hoo. We even had a St. Jago past athlete, Keisha Downer, fighting in Afghanistan, Dustin Brown qualifying for Wimbledon (the first since 1970), and Samardo Samuels drafted into the NBA . Darrell Williams, formerly of Meadowbrook, was selected to play for the USC Football League in Florida. And female jockey Georgina Sergeon raced very convincingly at Caymanas Park.
It was on January 19th that Californian Errol Kerr of Jamaican parentage joined a small Jamaican National Ski team to compete in the Winter Olympics at Canada’s Blue Mountain for the FIS World Cup, when he was honored to carry the Jamaican flag and gain a position. This was a first, reminiscent of our bob-sled team, including two brothers and the Cool Runnings hype and Hollywood movie that followed it. Another first was the victory of Inilek Wilmot in the five-event Jamaica Surfing competition in St. Thomas, following on the victory of his brother Icah in the 2009 National open series. The brothers have also competed in South American waters. Junior surfers Armani Green and Ronald Hastings were among 25 youngsters who received scholarships from the International Surfing Association. Still another first is the famous Iditarod Alaskan dogsled race in which 27-year-old Jamaican musher Newton Marshall was a viable participant. The race, numbered among the most legendary competitions in the world, covered 1,770 kilometers with Marshall becoming the first Jamaican to complete the grueling 1,000 mile run from Anchorage to Nome. His team crossed the finish line on March 19, finishing 47th out of 71 starters.
Alan Scott Hoo, 16, made an impact on the international go-kart racing scene. Leaving Jamaica at age seven to reside in Florida, Hoo has been racing ever since. He became Jamaica’s first Formula One driver, having finished fifth in his first competitive race in February and winning the title Rookie of the Year with that performance. Enrolment in the Skip Barber racing school in Sebring, Florida catapulted him into signing with the Boys NASCAR series camp.
Former Jamaican athlete Keisha Downer who competed for St. Jago High School and Jamaica in the World Junior Championships in 1998, after attending Texas University, added Defense Artillery (1st Battalion) duties in Afghanistan as a US Army Lieutenant to her repertoire.
Wimbledon had not embraced a Jamaican male competitor since 1970, until Dustin Brown competed at the All England Lawn Tennis Championship and qualified for Wimbledon.
Samardo Samuels, a Jamaican national, was among the basketball players drafted into the prestigious NBA. He actually participated initially to ‘test the waters’, according to his coach, Rick Pitino. Samuels turned out to be instrumental in helping the Louisville Cardinals win a tournament bid in the NCAA. International Chess Master for 2010 was Jamaican Jomo Pitterson in the sub-zonal regional championships in Nassau, Bahamas, June 25 to July 1. This stunning 7-point victory out of a possible nine followed his 2008-2009 success when he was acclaimed Chess Federation (FIDE) Master. As the first Caribbean native of the English-speaking Caribbean to win a tournament normally dominated by Latin Americans he made history. As Jamaica’s first ever international chess master, he should not normally have been left off the list of nominees for the RJR Sports Foundation Sportsman of the Year award. However, following a review of the matter, an exception was made on the grounds that the functioning definition of a ‘mind game’ had not up to the time specified been fully assessed with a view to inclusion.
The first Tri-Nation Polo tournament for women, sponsored by ICWI, was hosted by Jamaica’s Polo Association instead of Africa, the usual host of the series.
Jamaican Simone Edwards, national women’s basketball captain and assistant coach of the women’s team at George Mason University, was chosen to receive the 2010 Ad Astra Award in December. This was given by the New York chapter of Kingston’s Immaculate Conception High School Alumnae Association. The ’Jamaican Hurricane’ as she is nicknamed, also played as all-time leader for the Seattle Storm in the WNBA before retiring in 2006 at age 33.
CRICKET as a whole was, as they say, honored more in the breach, with its myriad disputes, charges and counter charges ranging from the islands to Guyana, Australia and New Zealand, Africa and the Eastern countries then up to the UK. It was a devastating start of the year for the West Indies, and there was much spotlight on the vagaries and idiosyncrasies of individual players, some refusing to play in mid-year because of fees, others refusing to accept positions of responsibility.
Members of the J.C.Association faced what one official called a ‘perilous state’ of its finances in November on the request of the finance director for an audit.
WI was beaten by Australia, Bangladesh and South Africa on more than one occasion, with the saving grace being Chris Gayle who ended up as cricketer of the year. In November, Gayle made 333 runs in the first test in the series against Sri Lanka (the most by any West Indian), elevating him into the company of the ‘greats’ such as Brian Lara and Tom Bradman. Gayle, however, may have gained from being removed as Captain of the WI in favor of the disciplined Darren Sammy with the methodical Jamaican Brendan Nash taking over as Vice Captain from the callous Ramnerash Sarwan who was actually dropped fom the squad for the Sir Lanka series. Nash accentuated his elevation by also being nominated along with Chris Gayle for Sportsman of the Year.
The WI, with good support from a willing rainy season in Sri Lanka, drew all three test matches and were able, by virtue of not being defeated, to rise above New Zealand to seventh in the test rankings globally. How are the mighty fallen one may say, but there are positive signs of greatness among some of the younger players surging into the WI team. One particular standout is Darren Bravo. A flashing, left-handed batsman, this cocky young Trinidadian is amazingly similar in style, aggression and performance with the bat to the eminent Brian Lara. One to watch for 2011.
Marlon Samuels, back after a two-year ban for alleged involvement in match fixing, flexed his muscles in two major outings while further afield, the evergreen Indian maestro Sachin Tendulkar strolled on to his world record 50th career test hundred against South Africa. This will remain on the books for a long time especially as the Indian continues to play with gusto for his country. There are more hundreds to come from the old batting stylist.
Jamaica won the proverbial three-peat when they captured the four-day regional competition for the third year running. The Jamaicans finished with 60 points after winning five of their six matches and losing only to Barbados, who finished second with 57 points. The Leewards Islands were a distance back on 34 points in third spot. Captain Tamar Lambert was ecstatic with the victory and led the team with both bat and ball. The corpulent 28-year-old all-rounder scored 203 runs with a best score of 58 at an average of 20.30, but it was his bowling which surprised many for the season. He finished with 16 wickets at 10.12 runs apiece. His previous 51 first-class matches had only reaped 25 wickets. In the one-dayers, Jamaica went down in the semi-final to the eventual winners Barbados here in Jamaica
Jamaican Stafanie Taylor gave a good performance, but the West Indies team lost in the semi-final to Pakistan by six wickets in the first official warm-up match in preparation for the Women’s World Twenty-20 Championship next year. They beat England early in 2010 and SA.
TRACK AND FIELD this year opened with the Camperdown classic in which Usain Bolt was the main attraction. Racers Track Club, of which Bolt is a member, anchored at an impressive 38.08 beating his previous record 38.10. On February 27 the Gibson Relays took place at the National Stadium where Kip Keter, gold medal 800m world record holder was a guest.
Penn Relays drew a record crowd of 54,310. Bolt’s presence as well as the usual Jamaican contingent of high school girls and boys, provided a magnet for a meet that has drawn great attendance throughout its 116-year history. According to one reporter, luring a certified megastar without being forced to produce a six-figure bonus represented a huge boon. It was Bolt’s first race in the United States since he had lowered his two world records in the 100 and 200 meters at last summer’s world championships in Berlin, Germany. The venerable meet on the University of Pennsylvania campus represented an appealing chance for Bolt to work out the kinks while also offering him something of a homecoming, since he had competed at this three-day relay event for four straight years while still in high school.
As triple Olympic sprint champion and gold medal winner Bolt ran the fourth fastest 200-meter time in history at Jamaica’s International Invitational, clocking 19.57 seconds in front of a crowd of 30,000, his best time ever on Jamaican soil.
Bolt and Powell were conspicuous by their absence from the Diamond League meet in Paris in July, but the former, obviously guided by a good management team, had an exciting year of globe trotting to Singapore, Australia and Africa, making waves. At the end of the year they, as well sprinter Lansford Spence were among the nominees for Sportsman of the Year
As an ambassador at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore, Bolt encouraged young people worldwide to become more active in sports. During a visit to Kenya the enterprising young man was made a Masai elder and provided with the name ‘Loingwani’. In Australia, he introduced his own sports drink (which he has been using since 2008) Gatorade Bolt Lemon Ice. Usain Bolt crowned his year with signing a book deal with Harper for two books. One will be about the athlete’s career and the other a longer autobiography.
The Government muscled in on the earnings of Jamaican athletes. Bolt is said to be one of the few that has paid up his taxes, but objected to Britain’s 50% tax demand.
Jermaine Gonzales was the man to watch, as he set a new world record of 44.40 seconds in the men’s 400-meter dash at the IAAF Diamond League meet in Monaco. Lerone Clarke, who like former silver medalist Michael Green and Bolt is formerly of William Knibb, mined gold for the 100-meter final at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India. And Dorain Scott who had also got a gold medal at the CAC games, received silver medal in the shot put.
World and Olympic 100-meter champion Shelly Ann Fraser was named UNICEF National Goodwill Ambassador at a fund-raising dinner in Kingston for her commitment to inspiring and influencing young people. And at a fundraiser in February, she also raised approximately $5,000 to support the work of UNICEF in Haiti. However, the case surrounding the use of a banned substance for dental pain, led to a six-month suspension followed by re-instatement in November, after intense investigation by the JAAA. Though Coach Stephen Francis responded satisfactorily, it is thought that he was let off slightly for such a misdemeanor. Alain Bailey achieved a world record 8.35m in the long jump and won the SEC Outdoor Championships at LaPorte Stadium in Tennessee. Bailey had also represented Jamaica in the 2009 IAAF World Championships in Berlin.
The debate continues as to the proper use of the underutilized Trelawny Multipurpose Stadium. Many proposals have been made as to the use of the stadium. The Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival moved there in January but at the end of the year, it was announced that UTECH would be granted access to the facility when it completes the construction of its Western campus on adjacent lands.
FOOTBALL plodded along throughout the year with the senior Reggae Boyz retaining the Digicel Cup in Martinique and supremacy in the Caribbean. Their win on penalties after extra time against Guadeloupe did not however stamp their authority on the smaller islands as expected from the fans. Trinidad and Tobago was even less illustrious as they were knocked out in the opening round. Heads will roll in the twin-island State and Russell Latapy could lose his post as coach. Meanwhile, local hero from the ’98 World Cup, Theodore Whitmore, continues to hold his own as coach of the Boyz even with very limited cash available. The lack of cash was brought embarrassingly to the fore when the Boyz refused to take the field in the second encounter of the competition in Martinique unless guaranteed improved daily allowances and 80% of the winnings gained. The military commando of the JFF, Captain Burrell, had to capitulate and offered the demands from his own pocketbook. Some thought the actions of the players to be unpatriotic and ruthless. Others however, were sympathetic and felt it was time for the players to stand up and stop ‘holding the ball’ for the financially strapped JFF. The debate continues. Our U-17s went to Brazil for a training camp as they got ready for the final play-offs for the U-17 World Cup finals in Mexico in 2011. With Jamaica hosting the CONCACAF regional playoffs, the mood is high for Jamaica to grab a spot. At press, however, the team was beset with groin injuries to starters and were the whipping boys to similar age club teams in Brazil.
On the local scene, Harbour View Football Club continued to dominate Jamaica’s football winning the Premier League for 2009-2010 and dethroned Tivoli Gardens in the process. The Stars of the East, who won the season’s DPL title with two games remaining, also celebrated winning the Jamaica Football Federation’s U-21 League for the third consecutive time. They also added to their cabinet, the Kingston and St Andrew Football Association (KSAFA) U-20 League trophy. In the current premier league competition, just one point each separate the top four teams in the overall standings. Tivoli sit on top with 37, followed by Portmore, Waterhouse and Boys’ Town with Arnett Gardens and Sporting Central of Clarendon in hot pursuit. This fierce competition is accentuated by the continued musical chairs being played by the coaches as Glendon ‘Admiral’ Bailey, Donovan Duckie, Paul ‘Tegat’Davis, Lenworth Hyde Snr. and the nomadic Geoffrey Maxwell have all swapped clubs this season.
At the high school level, the Hope Road-based Jamaica College created history once again when on December 11 its fFootball team won what is dubbed the ‘season triple’ — Manning Cup, Walker Cup and Olivier Shield — for the first time. What one news editor called the ‘historic treble’ whipped up a huge outpouring of pride for the boys and their captain Ashani Walker and coach Alfred Henry. Sponsored by Pepsi, the match played out at Jarrett Park in Montego Bay.
NETBALL provided another opportunity for the Sunshine Girls to remain in the World top four teams, which include England, Australia and New Zealand. It was in the last preliminary game at Liverpool that the Sunshine Girls topped point standings with 4 points in the first semifinal with the Silverferns, with whom they tied after losing most series. After intense preparation and high hopes, the team went to Australia in a bid to move up from their fourth position, but unfortunately they lost. Coach Connie Francis said that they would have to learn from their mistakes in order to advance to next year’s World Championship, which will be in Singapore.
President of Jamaica Netball Association (JNA) Marva Bernard accepted an award for contribution to the development of sports, from the Kiwanis Club of North St Andrew, during a ceremony held in September.
HORSERACING gained prominence when triple crown champion Mark My Word romped home in the 32nd running of the J$5m CTL Superstakes at Caymanas Park in November to emulate the feat of The Viceroy, who was the only horse to have won the Triple Crown (2000 Guineas, Derby and St. Leger) and the Superstakes in the same year accomplishing the feat 21 years ago. Owned by Elite Bloodstock Limited and trained by Richard Azan, who is also a part owner, Mark My Word, a chestnut colt by Market Rally out of Miss Chestnut (Horse Chestnut) and bred at Ham Stables was winning for the seventh time from 11 career starts and earned J$2.7m as the winner’s share for earnings of J$13,085,800 lifetime. The performance has now firmly catapulted Mark My Word as the firm favorite to be crowned 2010 Horse-of-the-Year.
Hall of Fame jockey, the legendary Winston Griffiths OD, in nostalgic fashion, highlighted Super Day with his 1,600th winner at Caymanas Park when he guided the Spencer Chung-trained St Cecelia to victory in the CTL Caribbean Sprint Championship over 1,200 meters. Coincidentally, Griffiths became the first racing personality at Caymanas Park to notch 1,000 winners exactly 17 years ago in the very same race when he booted home master sprinter Eros to a commanding victory.
Although several changes in diplomatic postings this year featured women, two men stood out for their high levels of professionalism, their non-confrontational approach and charm. One was Sen. the Honorable Burchell Whiteman who was welcomed ‘back home’ with open arms, and His Excellency Jesus Silva, Spanish Ambassador extraordinaire, whose departure for the Dominican Republic was accepted with sad hearts. Who else could have persuaded King Juan Carlos and his wife to visit not only the corridors of Parliament, but Spanish Town itself? Mr. Whiteman and Dr. Alfred Sangster were also granted honorary doctorates by the Mico University honoris causa.
American Ambassador Pamela Bridgewater Awkard replaced Sue Cobb in November after a long wait, which watchers attributed to the strained relations between the Jamaican Government and the USA.
Audrey P. Marks, a career entrepreneur and former deputy chair of UDC, replaced Anthony Johnson, former parliamentarian, who left his position as Jamaica’s Ambassador to the U.S. (since 2008) to take up the diplomatic position vacated by Burchell Whiteman in the UK. Marks, Jamaica’s first woman Ambassador to the U.S., accepted her Letters of Credence from President Barack Obama. Marks had already made a name for herself on Jamaican business rosters as Managing Director of Paymaster Ja. Ltd. During the meeting at the White House, the President welcomed her warmly, while expressing continued and strong support for Jamaica’s Government and people.
The second female Custos of St. Andrew since the Rev. Carmen Stewart retired, is Marigold Harding, who has given distinguished service to the Lay Magistrates Association and to the Jamaica Horticultural Society.
U.S. Congresswoman Yvette Clarke on November 26th spoke at the Golden awards banquet at the Pegasus Hotel for the St. Elizabeth Foundation. Gleaner Lifestyle editor Babara Ellington described her as ‘one half of the first mother-daughter succession in the history of the New York city council representing the 11th Congressional District (since November 2006).
On the ENVIRONMENT LINK, the Natural Resources Conservation Authority (NRCA) and the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) continued their fairly effective monitoring and corrective measures. For instance they were instrumental in implementing restrictive measures against Berger Paints Ltd. for discharging ‘untreated trade effluent’ into the sea, an occurrence that was blamed on dysfunctional settling tanks. Effluent from the prestigious UWI was also at some point discharged into the Hope River.
At least two tremors were felt as late as December but the island was speared a full-blown earthquake. These events brought into sharp focus the continued need for climate change awareness particularly by members of the younger generation. It is also worthy of note that committed groups continue to carry out an annual beach clean-up exercise.
Shashion Thomas, an advisor in the Caribbean Youth Environment Network, was one of four Jamaicans recognized by the British Council for their contributions to youth and advocacy for climate change, and as one of 10 Climate Change Champions to represent the Caribbean region.
Moving on to the 6-ft long excitement that was created for the crowd of Sandy Bay, Clarendon, the cavernous mouth of a captive crocodile was duct taped and the legs tied, after which it was safely removed by NEPA. NEPA warned that endangered reptiles should not be destroyed since most of them are not aggressive unless provoked. There were also timely reminders on the longstanding ban on illegal trading in indigenous birdlife, such as the black-and-yellow-billed parrot, which are protected under the Endangered Species and Wild Life Protection Acts.
Mandeville, located on the hills overlooking Spur Tree and the plains at Goshen, was one of the few towns with water woes brought on by shortage. However, there was some remediation effected by the hard-working Minister of Water and Housing Horace Chang.
Beach erosion at ‘Little Ochie’, which occurred in the earlier part of the year at Alligator Pond reached disaster levels with tropical rains dumped by Nicole in September, which ate into the already fragile shoreline. In fact, St. Elizabeth was one of the parishes worst hit with ponds overflowing and blocking highways, and practically drowning once again the community of New Market. Westmoreland experienced its first tornado which uprooted trees and whipped branches before leaving a slighter trail of disaster across Mandeville and Port Antonio. Jamaica was again smiled upon by Lady Luck when Tomás came visiting after doing damage to smaller islands to the east, but did not even pause before roaring through the Cuba/Haiti channel. Unfortunately, the 2008 rains had destroyed the lone fireboat assigned to the Montego Bay area to serve Hanover and St. James, in order to extinguish fires that may occur along the shore lines in these parishes where most resorts are located.
Famers in St. Catherine were disturbed that land abutting the Rio Cobre bank behind Lauriston outside of Spanish Town had been heavily eroded by year-long rains. After two adults lost their lives there in late September, citizens blocked the Sligoville main road at the St. Jago Heights entrance to press their demand for the posting of a lifeguard at the danger-spot.
In St. Thomas, the Public Health Department launched a three-year solid waste management project to reduce littering and illicit dump sites. Medical officer of Health Dr. D’Oyen Smith voiced concerns against the spread of Dengue fever and Leptospirosis, while recommending the construction of sanitary landfills for the collection of refuse.
According to James Robertson, Jamaica’s Minister of Energy and Mining, the island could posisbly have a renewable energy policy by year end. He made his prediction at a workshop on energy efficiency and renewable energy in a growing economy, which hihglighted solar lighting, solar-powered irrigation, LED technology, and water conservation technologies.
HAITI EARTHQUAKE DISASTER LINK
Jamaica’s relief efforts towards Haiti’s massive earthquake disaster went into overdrive as soon as the 7.0 magnitude was verified on Tuesday, January 13. Minister of information Daryl Vaz, Prime Minister Bruce Golding, doctors, soldiers and aid agency representatives visited Haiti. Arrangements were made for stranded Jamaicans who were already serving there to be airlifted home. Leader of the Opposition Simpson Miller and ex-Prime Minister Patterson also lent their support. Patterson was later retained as a key figure in CARICOM to help monitor aid resources, but little of this has been communicated to the public.
The Prime Minister hosted a number of Caribbean Leaders in January at Jamaica House to discuss and co-ordinate CARICOM’s role in the disaster, with Jamaica as the hub through which the help would be channeled. Help, with an influx of refugees, came from the U.S. The RJR Communications group set up a crisis fund that collected more than J$6m in three days. Digicel (Digital Cellular), which had plans to launch a text and voice donations line to support Haiti, donated US$5m, while ODPEM and other relief agencies sent supplies and rescue personnel. Even the poorest of Jamaicans added their widow’s mites to the million dollar contributions from corporate society.
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
The ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT link has always been a strong one on the island.
A funny thing happened in 2010. Much of the entertainment surfaced in the first third of the year and kind of petered out after the summer break, only to revitalize late in the year. Some say the Dudus Affair put a damper on things for a while. Also early in the year, a wide cross-section of young artistes were denied travel visas to islands, such as St. Lucia and the twin-island republic. This, as we say in Jay-Ay, cut dem coat tail.– it demobilized them; loss of the U.S. visa slashed their ‘almighty dollar’ earnings. Why was this so? One of our past Prime Ministers would charitably say — youthful exuberance. Foreign keepers of foreign security would chidingly say — uncouth language and vegetable matter not on the import list, i.e., badwud an ily.
Loss of Visa was closely followed by Loss of Freedom to roam, jump and prance on stage, thump your girlfriend, a.k.a. jail time. Their Jamaican fans did not, however, desert them; there was still Rebel Salute and Sting. Much love went out to the Warlord (the thumper); they missed the Ninja, waiting patiently until he comes back from the other side; they fumed that Buju might have been framed, but concluded he should have been more conscious and believed his own messages; his loyal following was nobly headed by young Stephen. Gyptian flourished, touring everywhere except Egypt. Fortunately, the praise-and-worship posse against whom the first stone could not be cast, got on board the Glory Train, they did not use cursewords (at least not in public), and they certainly showed Fun in the Son.
The grim reaper took a number of artistes in 2010. Two artistes shot in the same week, one fatal, prompted this highly philosophical street comment: ‘de big-up of gunman haffe stap brap’. Leaving this earth were: Alton Ellis, Karl Young, Sugar Minott, Keith Stewart, O’Neal Edwards, Gregory Isaacs, Sonia Pottinger (first female producer ), and two Professors whose work served to enhance Rasta, the Arts and Entertainment: Rex Nettleford and Barry Chevannes. All were missed and given due honors.
So, the Jazz and Blues migrated from the Aqueduct in Montego Bay to the showpiece Trelawny Stadium. It was up to Turnkey Productions Manager Walter Elmore to convince enthusiasts that the move was in their best interest, and it turned out to be quite a success.
Also at the beginning of the year Shaggy and Friends mustered forces to stage the very worthwhile Dare to Care concert on the lawns of King’s House to benefit the Bustamante Children’s Hospital.
First-quarter happenings included the Reggae Film Festival Feb. 25-27 at the Hilton, Bob Marley’s 65th birthday celebration, the 6th annual EME Awards at the Pegasus. The EME recognized 30 achievement categories covered by local and international media. The Film Institute under the directorship of Barbara Blake Hannah proudly featured special entries including the documentary ‘Made In Jamaica’ and the premiere ‘Reggae In The Ruff’.
By March, Jimmy Cliff, before being inducted into the prestigious Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, donated valuable memorabilia to it, as the second reggae artiste to achieve this since Bob Marley in 1994.
Marley siblings also won their seventh and fifth Grammys, Stephen for ‘Mind Control’ (acoustic version) and the album ‘Family Time’ by Ziggy, respectively.
Poetry and drama have a vibrant life in Jamaica, with readings taking place regularly at selected venues in Kingston. Ity and Fancy Cat premiered on live television to the delight of the viewing public who used to falla backa dem to de Pegasus. In true Jamaican style they soon became instant chefs, gleefully deceiving morning time viewers on the Grace Kennedy cooking show that all it takes is an apron.
The National Pantomime had its usual loyal following at the Little Theatre from Christmas Eve to as late as Easter in some instances, with the Little Little Theatre playing back-up. Unfortunately, the prestigious but arthritic Madam of the Theatre downtown (The Ward) is in dire need of repairs. Cinema 2 hosted Oliver and Friends including stalwarts like Glen Campbell, Michael Nicholson and Dahlia Harris.
Local and international literary works were on at the 10th Annual Calabash International Literary Festival staged at Calabash Bay in Treasure Beach. Founder Collin Channer and coordinator Kwame Dawes launched a collection of poems under the Bob Marley-inspired title ‘So Much Things to Say’. ‘Literary voYces’ as a foil to Calabash was launched at Strawberry Fields in Robin’s Bay in November and was well supported. Jennifer Keane-Dawes was brought home to be honored, and there were readings from upcoming books by the likes of Marcia Forbes and Barbara Blake Hannah.
Mutabaruka, beloved barefooted globe-trotting poet of the people was duly honored by Youth Group National Centre for youth development (NCYO), and the Rotoract club of Mandeville for outstanding work in the field of arts.
The National Gallery presented its Awards to a talented and dedicated set, including sculptress Laura Facey. Their exhibition runs until March 2011; thanks to the curators and support staff, art continues to flourish.
Jazz continued in the Pegasus Gardens and Myrna Hague kept the jazz flame alive, such as the annual concert in Ocho Rios, in memory of late husband Sonny Bradshaw.
SUMFEST took place in Montego Bay in the summer and featured numerous reggae artists, as well as Americans Chris Brown and Usher. Production organizers dedicated Dancehall Night to the memory of the late O’Neil Edwards, former member of Voicemail. The Reggae Sumfest team felt it was a fitting tribute to a man whose music has played a key role in the maintenance of the flair and fun of the dancehall culture.
This was the 7th year of The Liguanea Art and Craft festival, staged by Tony and June Wong featuring some of Jamaica’s best ceramists, artists, photographers, jewelers and sculptors. It has become Jamaica’s largest outdoor art festival, where patrons are treated to a wide range and output from both up-and-coming artistes as well as established veterans.
On August 6th and 7th at Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) and 8th at Lehman College, the world renowned lovers rocker himself, Beres Hammond returned to the Tri-State area for three wonderful nights. This year’s concerts were bigger and better with special guest artists Inner Circle Band singing their hits ‘Bad Boys’ and ‘Sweat’ along with Culture featuring Kenyatta Hill. Part of the proceeds from this year’s festival was donated to the American Foundation of the University of the West Indies (AFUWI) Scholarship Fu
Downtown Kingston LINK
The Downtown Kingston LINK features its most miraculous recovery to date. The bruised and battered Historic District was always trying to make a comeback, primarily through the heroic efforts of the Kingston Restoration Fund in the 1990s under Morin Seymour. The Douglas Orane-led Grace Kennedy Ltd. had long catered to Homework Centers and food outlets to nurture inner-city children. The Bank of Jamaica’s monthly free Lunchtime Concerts tenaciously maintained an appeal toward appreciation of The Arts. A spanking new Transportation Centre to complement the one in Half Way Tree is slated to start operations in early 2011. Digicel’s planned Head Office should spark the kind of excitement that might ignite new interest in prime waterfront property there. Just as important was the J$100m investment into the refurbishing of the historic Old Coronation Lady (Market) by that Irish media giant. And Christmas entertainment took on new life at the staging of ‘Ole Time Chrismus’ by The Institute of Jamaica on East Street on December 17. Not to be outdone, the merchant community staged a ‘Shop til’ you drop’ discount campaign on the 15th, under the theme ‘Downtown Comes Alive’, possibly having taken a clue from Uptown’s successful Fashion Night Out in September. They offered fashion show, junkanoo, and, the drawing card – shuttle service. The National Gallery situated at Ocean Boulevard is also celebrating in the light of its National Biennial Art Exhibition from Dec. 12 to March 5.
We all know the fashion, beauty and talent LINK on the island is fabulous. September 10 yielded a successful second staging of Fashion’s Night Out, a clone of the New York shop-venture of the same name, not only in Kingston but Montego Bay. Brainchild of The Observer’s style editor, the experience garnered wide support for the doyenne of style Novia McDonald Whyte.
Pulse, Jamaica’s noted Fashion House gone international and on the stock market, staged its prestigious annual Caribbean Fashion Week in June, assembling a wide range of creative talents. Featured were top-class designers and models that have gained exposure and recognition in foremost overseas fashion houses. International models Jeneil Williams and Sanya Hughes realized their wildest dreams, the latter landing a role in blockbuster film Pirates of the Caribbean’s 4th – ‘On Stranger Tides’ slated for release in 2011. Kingsley Cooper and Romae Gordon remain its outstanding executives. With their sure-fire techniques of selection and procedure and with style-writer Chester Francis Jackson always on hand with ready pen, their latest venture was to position the hillside retreat Villa Ronai in niche-market-expansion mode for 2011.
Saint International led by Deweight Peters also made outstanding fashion statements by unearthing and propelling new talent on to the international catwalks of Milan, London, New York and the Far East. Peters has proven to be a dynamic and courageous innovator who has evolved as a role model to persons who might have grown up without privileges and been tempted to give up.
Jamaica’s Yendi Phillips, 24, made history as a triple winner by earning the title of Miss Jamaica World in 2007, Miss Jamaica Universe 2010, and placing second in the Miss Universe contest in Las Vegas, in August, fresh from stints in South Africa and California. Chantal Raymond who won Miss Jamaica World 2010 did not place in the World Finals in China. Yendi has credited her success to nurturing and confidence from her late mother, as well as commitment to success from her dad. Phillips, who has a B.A. in Fine Arts from the SUNY, Brockport, and a Master’s degree in Recreation and Leisure Management, formerly attended St. Andrew High School for Girls.
Also 23-year-old Cherine Stone was crowned Miss Global Jamaica at Montego Bay’s Grand Palladium in June.
Coverage of the Tivoli debacle by media houses was excellent despite the obvious and extreme danger to life and limb of reporters. Anxiety reigned for some female staff members of CVM in particular, and for photographers in general, who showed heroics. Members of local religious fraternities like the Jamaica Council of Churches and Full Gospel Assemblies made appropriate statements of condemnation, mainly about the atrocities borne by the Jamaican people at the hands of indisciplined youth favored by street dons who in turn were favored by some politicians. The general feeling was that there could be more action and less talk in changing ghetto life styles. A case in point concerned the difficulties under which candidates for Overseas Examinations were forced to sit their tests, often dodging bullets, without sufficient transportation arrangements made for them. Kudos to principals who kept many students visiting their schools as centers, as safe as possible, even feeding them out of their inadequate supplies. The condemnation by some religious groups was even extended to one of their numbers, who apparently, in an unprecedented biblical context, dared ‘to be a Daniel’ — Rev. Merrick ‘Al’ Miller was the one who, after convincing the siblings of Dudus to turn themselves in, attempted to convey the fugitive to the American Embassy instead of toward the local police. The reason given was the fear, of the fugitive, for his life in the hands of local lawmen. The need for ‘national consensus and national unity’, which was the message of hope delivered at the annual Synod in June by Lord Bishop Alfred Reid, seemed to sum it all up.
The radio station NewsTalk 93 FM was fully acquired by the UWI following the sale of shares by Breakfast Club Limited. Public response to the sometimes shocking ‘mix-up and blenda’ call-in program by Dr. Kingsley Ragashanti Stewart may have resulted in a predictable shake-up which saw him moving to Nationwide.
Media wars in Jamaica are thankfully, executed with a little more decorum than political ones, in which mere colors of green or red/orange can set off a fire bomb. Digital Cellular ‘Digicel’ (allegedly serving almost 2m contributors) continued its planned expansion, spiced with sponsorship of many events, including the Rising Stars song competition which entered its 7th year. Dalton Harris, 17 year-old schoolboy, took the honors home to Clarendon (a boost for young Jamaican males). But no group was more grateful to Digicel for its J$100m donation than the sturdy women who preside over the food baskets of the city’s households and institutions – the vendors of Coronation Market.
The company continued to offer strong competition to Lime (formerly Cable & Wireless) and the spunky latecomer Claro. ‘Plug, Pay and Go’ Jamaica’s fastest wireless ‘4G’ broadband service — was the theme of the official launch of Digicel 4G Broadband in September. Fast forward to the Chris Dearing-led Lime’s accusation of misrepresenting its WiMAX mandate based on the ruling of the International Telecommunication Union’s Radiocommunication sector.
Then on December 9, Lime rolled out its ‘promised’ Mobile TV – a service first introduced by South Korea in 2005. Deployed only via IPTV-enabled phones like the Nokia 5330, this collaboration was done with local cable company DC Digital. In coming months, service will be available beyond pilots Kingston and St. Catherine, to national and Caribbean coverage. And that is only part of the US$100m slated as infrastructure capital, with underwater cable, additional cell sites, with expansion of broadband and 3G still in the offing.
A weekly web TV show is now provided by the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper called Sports Unwrapped. The show has been characterized as a good idea that is currently executed in a less than optimal way. It is similar to a primetime sportscast and is expected to build an even larger audience and community around the Gleaner, which is one of the two most visited Jamaican sites on the web.
OUTREACH Programs form a positive and supportive link to what TVJ calls a ‘ray of hope’. Kudos to the private sector, which dispenses a large proportion of their profits. Often traumatic cases involving children who need delicate and costly operations at specialist hospitals overseas (e.g. Johns Hopkins and Jackson Memorial) are funded by volunteers. Many scholarships and prizes are given without reserve, for this is a country where a large proportion of those who are gifted, qualified, and deserving are without resources.
The Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education 2003 Fund (CHASE), in a bid to help transform the island’s early childhood landscape, this year contributed over J$150m into rebuilding and refurbishing more than 438 basic schools. CEO W. Billy Heaven indicated Manchester, Hanover, and St. Elizabeth benefited, and other projects included the upgrading of 11 archives and libraries, and funding for teachers’ scholarships.
First Step Early Childhood Institution at Top Hill founded 10 years ago by Rev. William Perkins at the United Evangelical Missionary Church, is a case study with a successful outreach program, which was formally adapted into the Ministry’s Early Childhood Commission.
JPS is constantly vilified and reported to the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) for real or perceived offences against users of its products. On the other hand, hundreds of basic school pupils are fed daily by the company.
The JSIF-managed emerging recovery project continues as Sustainable Reliable and Reconstruction Plan (SRRP) on road improvement for US$10m.
MILESTONES of attainment serve to remind us of the cultural, social and religious foundations set by those who made sacrifices so that we as Jamaicans can be proud of our heritage.
By far the most impressive is Spanish Town which was established in 1543 thus making it 467 years of age. That means that in the short span of 33 years, the old town will have achieved the ripe old age of 500. Its place, and that of St. James Cathedral, in the wider Caribbean is not to be scoffed at. The King of Spain and his wife arrived there last year (2009), however the old King’s House in the Square has been losing its valuable louvre windows at an alarming rate, and the Iron Bridge past the Hospital, which is the oldest in the New World is in need of repairs. Of the J$10m given by the E.U. representative around 2007 to 2008 for repairs, very little work was done at the base which has been further eroded by the Rio Cobre. Let us remember that since Columbus arrived there in 1492, not enough links have been forged with Spain. The presence of Spain exists now only in place names like Ocho Rios, Oracabessa (ora cabeza), and Port Maria, and the hotels that have sprung up on the North Coast in recent years. It is clear that not enough respect has been given to Spanish Town.
The Anglican Cure of St. Luke’s has 318 years of history, while it has only been 38 years since the church of the same name, situated below the famous Cross Roads clock in the square, was rebuilt. The Synod or Church Council is 140 years old and the name Archbishop Nuttall is synonymous with the church, church house and hospital in Cross Roads. The 175-year-old Mico Teacher Training College was established for young men by funds set aside by a member of the old plantocracy, Lady Mico. Female students were accepted some years ago, as well as students from other islands. The venerable institution, which has produced many principals, insurance and business executives, is now a University offering a wide cross-section of updated courses. Following close behind is the 125-year-old Shortwood Teachers College for ladies, but which now admits male students. The Old Students Association has attained 85 years.
On October 1, the Seventh Day Adventist in Jamaica celebrated 150 years. With several churches and school in every parish, its crowning glory is the Northern Caribbean University (NCU), which grew out of West Indies College, on the hill overlooking cool Mandeville. Its Promise Team Xormis triumphed at the Microsoft Imagine Cup; NCU won six times (2005-2010) and was crowned regional champions on four occasions, bringing pride not only to the island’s tertiary institutions, but to the Caribbean. Without a doubt, NCU has led its counterparts UWI and UTECH in several fields of endeavor. In the 100-year bracket are Boys Champs and the Girl Guides Association, two institutions that have set sterling qualities for youth, discipline, fairness and dedication. The Liguanea Club in New Kingston was 100 years old this month (December): a gentleman’s club that set high standards in terms of civic responsibility and good sportsmanship. The Council of Voluntary Services (CVSS) has served for 70 years.
Girls Champs, the University Chapel of the West Indies, and UTECH (started as the College of Arts Science and Technology) are all in the 50-year group. Dr. Alfred Sangter, who piloted the transformation of UTECH will receive an honorary doctorate, honoris causa, from The Mico at its 175th anniversary celebrations. The Chapel’s interesting history relates to its advent as a Trelawny sugar mill disassembled and put back together stone by stone at its present location. Mona Prep celebrated their 46th year. Forty years ago environmentalists launched World Earth Day, and Jamaica is doing its part to uphold that noble and necessary tradition through NEPA and NRCA. When St. Jago High School won the National Schools Challenge Quiz Championship in 2010, they were actually participating in a 41-year-old competition. The National Gallery of Jamaica is 35 years old, while the Small Business Association is 36. The Book Industry Association of Jamaica started 11 years ago and is still going strong, offering biennial awards. Calabash International Literary Festival actually started as a fledgling experiment at Calabash Bay, Treasure Beach, 10 years ago, and has grown phenomenally. Founders Collin Channer (hails from Craig Head, Manchester, loves to read and migrated with his mother to New York in his adolescent years) and Kwame Dawes (his father was no other than writer and poet Neville Dawes from that bright spot called Sturge Town, St. Ann and his mother is from Ghana) are two bright, courageous young men of Jamaican roots.
So Much Things to Say (Calabash Int.) Colin Channer & Kwame Dawes
Whispering of the Trees (Poetry) Cynthia Wilson
Dog-Heart (novel of Olympic Gardens) Diana McCauley
Champs 100: A Century of Jamaican
High School Athletics 1910-2010. Hubert Lawrence, Albert Grant
Mind Shaper (Poetry, Prayers and Patois) Jennifer Lumley
The Day I Met Me (Poetry) Tracey Tucker
Dear Dad Ky-mani Marley
Red and Black in Haiti: Radicalism, Conflict
And Political Change (2008-2009 (Award) Dr. Matthew Jordan Smith
The Last Warner Woman Kei Miller
Heart Song (Poetry) Blossom O’Meally-Nelson
Anancy Stories (DVD & Voice) Andrew Davies
Travel Light (Covenant Players International) Philippa Davies
A Mother’s Tales of Hope Grace Virtue
Jamaican by Birth, American by Choice Owen James
Intersections (Poetry) Frances Marie Coke
The Jamerican J.J. Gumbs
Lime Tree Can’t Bear Orange Amanda Smyth
Fifty Years of Drawing: 1958-2008 Barrington Watson
Growing Out: Black Hair & Black Pride Barbara Blake Hanna
Music, Media & Adolescent Sexuality Marcia A. Forbes
9.58 My Story Usain Bolt
The Hills of Hebron (New Edition) Sylvia Wynter
Marooned in Nova Scotia – Jamaican Horane Smith
Maroons in Canada
Lover’s Leap Horane Smith
Lime Jewel Anthology for Haiti (contributed)
My Life and Leadership (Vol. 2) Edward Seaga
A Glimpse Within (Poetry) L. Christopher Castriota
Caribbean Business for CSEC (POB) Mark Wilson, Patrice Bowen &
The Prostate Cancer Guide Drs. Henry Lowe & Perceval
(for men) Bahadoo-Singh
Jamaica fi Real Kevin O’Brian Chang
Keep On Running (photo history of
Island Records) Chris Salewicz
The Art of Jamaica-A Prelude Wayne Lawrence
An Ounce of Prevention (for women) Dr. Anthony Vendryes
Inner City Girl Colleen Smith-Dennis
Starting a Business in Jamaica Kimala Bennett
Risky Business Shazeeda Ali
The Small Business Survival Guide Alrick Robinson
The Baby Who Would Not… Smile Cordella Wallace Lewis
Dr. Dudley Clifford Stokes Gleaner Editor
Albert Farquharson Educator & Custos, St. Elizabeth
Milton ‘Rex’ Nettleford UWI Professor Emeritus, Caribbean Man
Karl Young Media (Irie FM)
Horace Clarke Member of Parliament, Businessman
Lincoln Barrington ‘Sugar’ Minott, Reggae Artistes
Gregory ‘Cool Ruler’ Isaacs,
Keith ‘Keith & Enid’Stewart,
O’Neil ‘Voice Mail’ Edwards
Roy Collister Business Innovator
Constance King Educator (Math. Specialist)
Fuarnado Roberts Table Tennis
Ron Horsham JAAA
Alton Barrington ‘Barry’ Chevannes UWI Professor of Anthropology
Rev. Canon Weeville Gordon Religious, Civic Leader
Norma Shirley Master Chef & Restaurateur
Pat Belinfanti Veteran Journalist & Port
Lloyd Hall Musicologist extraordinaire
John Maxwell Veteran Journalist &
About the Author:
Cordella Wallace Lewis has been a student of adult literatures mainly in English, and to a lesser extent in Spanish. Although she has spent some time on adult fiction, which she also hopes to pursue, she has recently been struck with the demands placed on growing children by the modern lifestyle. Quite unintentionally she began to pen these thoughts which come, ostensibly, ‘out of the mouth of a babe’. This could also be because much of her working life has been spent with children. The Baby Who Would Not… is, hopefully, the first in a series of pursuits in the art of writing children’s books. The ground work has already been laid for another effort entitled Ten and Rising.