THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICAN CHURCH LEADERS CONDEMN “RELIGIOUS TRAGEDY,” CULT OF PERSONALITY, AT PATHWAYS INTERNATIONAL KINGDOM RESTORATION MINISTRIES
The Reverend Everton Jackson, the former head of the Calvary Baptist Church in Montego Bay, called for the church to condemn what he called a “religious tragedy” arising from a “personality cult” in operation at the Pathways International Kingdom Restoration Ministries in Paradise. The Jamaica Council of Churches (JCC) also condemned the horrific deaths at Pathways in which two congregation members were killed in an apparent ritual. Another member of the congregation was killed by security forces as they returned fire after being shot at upon responding to a call for help at the church. The JCC president, Reverend Newton Dixon, stated in a press release, “This dreadful incident understandably turns the spotlight on the place and practice of religion and faith in the life of a nation and its people.” Dixon said, “We denounce and condemn all forms of religious practices which exploit and endanger persons and expose them to harm or distress, as this is wholly inimical to the gospel of love, whose Progenitor and Exemplar is Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.” The JCC called on Jamaicans to apply critical discernment to all areas of their lives, especially in spiritual and religious matters.
JAMAICAN LEADERS ANDREW HOLNESS AND MARK GOLDING HAIL COLIN POWELL UPON HIS DEATH AT AGE 84
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness joined Opposition Leader Mark Golding in hailing the life and achievements of former United States Secretary of State Colin Powell, who died of complications from COVID-19 at the age of 84. Powell was the first Jamaican American to serve as Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff. Powell was born in 1937 to Jamaican parents Luther and Maud Powell. He became a four-star general and in 1989 became the first Black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a role in which he oversaw the US invasions of Panama and Kuwait.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
NEW GALLERY EXHIBITION IN ONTARIO FEATURES “EYE-OPENING” PHOTOGRAPHS OF CARIBBEAN PEOPLE
The exhibit “Fragments of Epic Memory” mounted by the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) displays photographs from a collection of historical images from Caribbean countries of Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, and Barbados, and reflects a community that has suffered from under-representation in art galleries, according to curator Julie Crooks of AGO. The photographs are part of the exhibition that takes its title from the 1992 Nobel Lecture by Caribbean poet Derek Walcott. Two hundred photographic images from the collection of Patrick Montgomery offer new views of the Caribbean experience and are displayed together with paintings, sculpture, and video works by modern Caribbean artists. The exhibit is considered culturally significant for contemporary Caribbean audiences, according to Lee L’Clerc, instructor in the Caribbean Studies program at the University of Toronto, as they show how concepts of identity can be understood “as a set of cultural constructs that change with time, and Caribbean identity is a historically changing cultural identity.” This is the first exhibit organized by AGO’s Department of Arts of Global Africa and Diaspora, which was established in 2020 as the first of its kind in Canada.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
NEW YORK SENATOR CHAMPIONS JAMAICAN-BORN ASSEMBLYMAN TO BECOME NEW U.S. AMBASSADOR TO JAMAICA
The United States Senior Senator from New York, Chuck Schumer, has recommended Nick Perry, Jamaican-born State Assemblyman, to become the next United States Ambassador to Jamaica. Schumer, a Democrat, has called on President Joe Biden to nominate Perry, who is based in Brooklyn, as he has dedicated himself to serving his constituents and developed many cultural, economic, and political links between the US and Jamaica. Additionally, Schumer said the unique understanding and perspectives Perry would bring to the ambassadorship would help strengthen the long-standing bond between the countries. Schumer’s recommendation has met with positive reaction from Jamaicans in the Diaspora. Perry, 71, attended Kingston College and migrated to the US in 1971. He served for two years in the US Army and has represented Brooklyn’s 58th assembly district for more than 30 years, being elected for the first time in 1992. He is considered the third most powerful politician in state government.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
JAMAICA WINS TOP HONORS AT WORLD TRAVEL AWARDS
Jamaica has taken home the top honors for a Caribbean destination at the World Travel Awards. The awards include Leading Caribbean Destination, Leading Caribbean Cruise Destination, and the Caribbean’s Leading Tourist Board. Sangster International Airport in Jamaica won the Caribbean’s Leading Airport award. The Port of Falmouth received the trophy for Caribbean’s Leading Cruise Port, while the Port of Montego Bay took the award for the Caribbean’s Leading Home Port; the Historic Naval Dockyard at Port Royal won the award for the Caribbean’s Leading Tourism Development Project. As 2021 brought a resurgence in tourism in the Caribbean, Montego Bay’s news hotel, Eclipse at Half Moon, won the award for the Leading New Hotel in the region. Jamaica’s Round Hill Hostel and Villas and GoldenEye in Jamaica also won travel awards: the Caribbean’s Leading Villa Resort and the Caribbean’s Leading Boutique Resort, respectively. The winners are selected after a year-long search for top tourism and hospitality brands via votes by travel industry professionals and the public.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
JAMAICAN PRODUCER MAKES FILM ABOUT MARCUS GARVEY
Jamaican filmmaker Roy T. Anderson, who was born in Ridge Pen, St. Elizabeth, has made a film about Jamaica’s first national hero, Marcus Garvey. The docufilm entitled “African Redemption: The Life and Legacy of Marcus Garvey” reflects Anderson’s concerns that the real story of Garvey, among others, is not being told properly. The film follows Garvey’s life from his birth 50 years after slavery was abolished to his creation of a plan for the liberation of his people. Narrated by Keith David, an Emmy Award-winning actor, the feature offers the non-academic public the story of the foremost pan-Africanist in the world. Anderson was contacted by Marcus Garvey’s son Dr. Julius Garvey in 2014 about making a documentary about his father. The film was featured during Jamaica’s National Heroes Week.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
JAMAICA’S SUNSHINE GIRLS DEFEAT T&T IN CLEAN SWEEP OF SUNSHINE SERIES
The Sunshine Girls of Jamaica beat their Caribbean rivals Trinidad and Tobago with a score of 73 to 22 to finish a three-match Sunshine Series at Kingston’s National Indoor Sports Complex with a clean sweep. Jamaica ranked six places higher than T&T, holding the fourth-place spot in the world’s listing. The Jamaicans, ranked six places above the Calypso Girls at fourth in the world, were dominant throughout the series as they won every match by more than 30 points. Although Jhaniele Fowler, the team captain and goal shooter, played only the first three quarters of the match, she led the team, achieving 41 goals from 46 attempts. Connie Francis, Jamaica’s head coach, said she was proud of the team’s series performance, calling it “fantastic.” She said the girls “just raised the bar” and that she was especially proud of the defending players. The Sunshine Girls are currently preparing for the Commonwealth Games of 2022.