THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
MARK GOLDING, PNP LEADER< CALLS FOR JAMAICA TO REMOVE BRITISH QUEEN AS HEAD OF STATE
Mark Golding, the head of the People’s National Party (PNP), called upon Jamaica’s Parliament to join Barbados in removing Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain as the nation’s head of state. Barbados made the move in September 2020. Golding noted that Barbados had taken the necessary steps to take on sovereignty by establishing a Barbadian as its head of state. Golding urged Jamaica to do the same without delay, noting that replacement of the British monarch had been approved by both political parties more than ten years ago. Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness is supportive of removing Queen Elizabeth as head of state, but no action has been taken to move forward on the issue as yet.
JAMAICA’S MINISTRY OF EDUCATION SAYS STUDENT SAFETY IS HIGHEST PRIORITY IN SCHOOL REOPENING
According to the Ministry of Education in Jamaica, the safety of students is its top priority as the nation prepares to reopen schools for in-person learning for grade 7 through 10. The Ministry noted that the Education in Emergency Plan, which is based on international best practices, provides all students with the choice of continuing their education via computer-aided and audio-visual learning methods and through learning kits. The Ministry stated that its collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Wellness allows the safe return of some students to the face-to-face learning environment. Grades 7 through 10 will have the chance to go back to physical learning environments once the Health and Wellness Ministry directs the Education Ministry that it is safe to do so.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
PRIME MINISTER OF BARBADOS CALLS ATTENTION TO CLIMATE CHANGE WITH “FIERY SPEECH”
Mia Mottley, the Prime Minister of Barbados who made headlines with her strong presentation to the United Nations in September of 2021, continued to make her mark on the world stage with what has been described as a “fiery speech” on climate change at the COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Glasgow, Scotland, on November 1, 2021. Mottley represents one of the oldest of Great Britain’s Caribbean colonies, although Barbados will remove Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state on November 30, 2021. In her speech, Mottley said a increase in global temperature of two degrees Celsius would represent a “death sentence” for islands and coastal communities. She exhorted the nations of the world to “try harder” to change the situation and said that failing to provide sufficient funding to small island nations, which are on the frontline of climate change, can be measured in “lives and livelihoods.” She called the lack of support “immoral” and “unjust.” She called on world leaders to spent more on financing a transition to more sustainable sources of energy, energy use, food consumption, and transportation. If this is not done, Mottley said it will “greed and selfishness to sow the seeds of our common destruction.”
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICA’S CONSUL GENERAL ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF DIASPORA AWARDS
Oliver Mair, the Consul General of Jamaica, announced twelve awardees for the Consulate General of Jamaica Diaspora Honors of 2021. These individuals were chosen from the Southern USA and will receive their awards on November 7, 2021, at a virtual ceremony conducted on the social medial platforms of Jamaicans.com and the Facebook page of the Consulate General of Jamaica Miami. The wards were presented in recognition of those who selflessly serve their community. The awardees for Luminary Honors in the following areas include Public Service: Andrew Adams of the Jamaica Foundation of Houston (JFH); Faith and Religious Leadership: Pastor Robert Stewart, Senior Pastor Pentecostal Tabernacle, Miami; Cultural Arts (Media, Entertainment, Culture): Ms. Audrey Anderson, Board member of the Louise Bennett Coverley Heritage Council (LBCHC) and Xavier Murphy, Media Consultant and Founder of Jamaicans.com; Business Leadership: Patrick Cha Fong, Principal of Kingston Miami Trading;
Health Care: Dr. Yvonne Smith, Atlanta-Montego Bay Sister Cities Committee; Youth Excellence: Miss Briana Nichole Williams, Jamaican Olympian athlete; Education: Pauline Jolly, PhD. Founder and Past President of Central Alabama Caribbean American Organization; Philanthropy/Social Services: Bruce Palmer, President of Jamaica United Relief Organization (JURA); and Special Community Honor: Ms. Andrea Dixon, Registered Nurse who is being recognized as an outstanding humanitarian and philanthropist. Two community awards were also announced for the Louise Bennett Coverley Heritage Council (LBCHC) for outstanding contribution to Jamaica’s rich cultural heritage in the Diaspora; and to Grace Kennedy (USA) for its contribution as a corporate/community partner.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
JAMAICAN BOARD GAME INVENTOR CREATES MILLION-DOLLAR BUSINESS BASED ON CULTURE, LIFESTYLE OF JAMAICA
Patrice Johnson, 47, has grown a million-dollar game business from a game she developed in 2020 with inspiration gained from the birth of her autistic son, Jaden. When he was diagnosed with autism, she decided to focus her talents toward educational and entertainment purposes. The game is called “Guesswah,” and it has been described as a wholesome word guessing game for three or more players aged six and older. It is based on Jamaica’s lifestyle and culture and leverages the appeal of the island to a worldwide audience. Johnson notes that her target market comprises young to middled-aged Jamaican professionals who are board game enthusiasts or “thrill seekers.” Her company, IBJ, is expanding its produce line in 2022 with an eye to attracting players who tend to be “very patriotic,” Johnson said, and who appreciate cultural entertainment. A unique feature of Guesswah is that it can be customized for any event or occasion, the first created for the Digicel Foundation at Christmas in 2020. The company’s motto is “Learning through laughter.”
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
PIONEER MUSICIAN “SEECO” PATTERSON, FOUNDATION MEMBER OF BOB MARLEY AND THE WAILERS DIES AT AGE 90
Alvin “Seeco” Patterson, who is widely considered a foundation member of the legendary group Bob Marley and The Wailers, passed away at the University Hospital of the West Indies on November 1, 2021, at the age of 90. Patterson had a strong bond with Marley and was present at His Hope Road home in 1976 when Bob and Rita Marley and band manager Don Taylor were injured by shooters. According to singer Ken Boothe, Patterson was the first person to take Marley to Studio One, and his home served as a gathering place for musicians in the early days of reggae. Boothe said Patterson contributed greatly to the music business and deserves to be remembered. Patterson was born Francisco Willie in Havana, Cuba, in 1930 to a Jamaican father and a Panamanian mother. He used the stage name of Alvin Patterson and got his nickname “Seeco” as a shortened form of his birth name. He was also called “Pep,” a nickname he received while at school. Patterson and his parents emigrated to Jamaica from Cuba and lived in Westmoreland.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
PHYSIOLOGIST FROM QUEENSLAND HELPS PREPARE JAMAICA BOBSLED ATHLETES TRAIN FOR WINTER OLYMPICS
Jo Brown, a physio-therapist from Queensland, Australia, is helping Jamaica’s bobsled team prepare to qualify to compete in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China. The team made its legendary debut at the 1988 Olympics 33 years ago, inspiring the Hollywood film “Cool Runnings.” Brown said it was an honor to work with the team and noted that its original coach, Pat Brown, is the current driving coach, returning for the season to coach the drivers. The team’s other coach, Wayne Thomas, was a member of the last team to represent Jamaica. Brown has recently worked with Jamaican sprinters Elaine Thompson-Herah and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, and her experience includes working with Swimming Australia, Tennis Australia, Netball Australia, the Australian Winter Olympics speed skaters and the Paralympic ski team, the USA ski team, and the Tongan Rugby Sevens. She began collaborating with Jamaican athletes at the Commonwealth Games in 2018. Original team brakeman Christian Stokes, the current president of the Jamaican Bobsleigh Foundation, asked Brown if she would aid the current team as they prepare for qualification. Brown has joined the team in Whistler in Canada to prepare the four-man team prepare for three qualifying events before Christmas 2021.