A few good men

Monday, November 18, 2019

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IMD: Making a difference for men and boys
IT was in 1999 that International Men’s Day (IMD) was officially launched in Trinidad and Tobago, and it’s now celebrated in over 80 countries worldwide. This year’s IMD is being celebrated under the theme ‘Making a difference for men and boys’, with a challenge for men to lead by example, as a way to create a society in which all individuals will flourish.
Over the next several pages All Woman celebrates IMD 2019 though a series of articles celebrating men as partners, parents, friends and role models, highlighting those who lead by example, as well as ways for other men to use the opportunity to make practical improvements to their lives, and that of others.

IN Heaven's Here on Earth, crooner Tracy Chapman sings, “I've seen and met angels wearing the disguise of ordinary people leading ordinary lives“. Below we share some ordinary and not so ordinary men in various sectors who are leading by example and touching people's lives with extraordinary deeds.

BUSINESS

Willard Brown

Willard Brown is an executive vice-president and actuary of the Employee Benefits Division, Sagicor Life Jamaica, leading a team of 270 at the country's largest insurance provider. Brown strongly believes in the adage of leading by example, having been in a position of leadership for some 13 years.

“I don't ask anyone on my team to do anything that I wouldn't do, and I always try to treat people in the same way that I wish they would treat me. It means that my work ethic must be of the same standard that I demand of my team. This also involves some amount of transparency and being willing to accept honest, even harsh, feedback from my team members when I am falling short,” he said.

For Brown, it is important that young professionals have positive and authentic examples of leadership, leading to greater trust of authority figures.

“When people look at you and see that you are willing to abide by the same standard that you ask of them they are also more willing to respect, trust and follow,” Brown said.

A husband and father of three, he further shared that his family and team keep him centred.

“I am fortunate to have a great team and we try to keep each other honest and on our toes. My family, especially, keeps me focused on being the best version of myself and it has also meant a lot to me to set a good example for them because, ultimately, they are the biggest blessing in my life,” Brown said.

An active participant in the company's corporate social responsibility activities, Brown can always be seen at various initiatives carried out by the Sagicor Foundation. He is also on the board of the Family Life Ministries and the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA) and various committees.

“Every time I see how my involvement benefits the wider community, I feel a huge sense of accomplishment,” he said.

He is guided by the philosophy that people should always make their presence felt by making a difference wherever they are.

ENTERTAINMENT

Beenie Man

This summer Moses Davis heard the plight of Waterhouse residents who had gone months without water due to road construction in the Corporate Area, and he mobilised his foundation to ensure that families, especially those with young children had access to the precious commodity.

With his partner Krystal Tomlinson, Beenie Man engaged corporate entity Wisynco to reach out to the community – paying trucks to deliver water and also delivering bottled water to the residents.

Giving back is not new to Beenie Man, among other philanthropic moves is his annual Summa Sizzle Fun Day, where proceeds for the last two years have gone to the St Augustine Place of Safety in Clarendon.

Popcaan

Hailed by St Thomas Western Member of Parliament (MP) James Robertson for doing the work of a councillor and MP, Popcaan has been using his Unruly Fest to help his home parish over the past three years with infrastructural upgrades.

According to the self-proclaimed “Unruly Boss”, part of winning in life is giving back to his community in St Thomas and spreading his resources as far as he can.

“Yuh haffi buil' up yuh place, buil' up yuh community an' when yuh get di blessing jus' share it,” he has said.

SPORT

Usain Bolt

His foundation is “dedicated to the legacy for happy children”, and Usain Bolt has used his fame to do all that – and more. In January he committed $1 million towards Special Olympics Jamaica's efforts to compete at the 2019 World Games in Abu Dhabi, he has an annual Usain Bolt Foundation Christmas Treat in Sherwood Content, and just recently, joined with Food for the Poor and RE/MAX Elite to build a house in Ellerslie Pen, St Catherine, for a family who lost their home in a fire. Bolt's donation of US$3,800 was matched by Food for the Poor, while the construction was facilitated through RE/MAX.

MEDICINE

Dr Vernon Dacosta

Montego Bay-based Cornwall College on May 4 named this medical doctor as one of its its Men of Might for distinguished service to his community, and the director of the Hugh Wynter Fertility Management Unit at The University of the West Indies can certainly proudly wear the title.

Dr Dacosta has been a celebrated specialist in fertility and in vitro fertilisation for over two decades, helping women who are unable to conceive naturally start their families.

EDUCATION

Albert Corcho

He describes himself as being very unconventional, and this is the sort of approach educator Albert Corcho has been taking in carrying out his duties as principal for Calabar High School. Already, he has implemented some changes which he feels will help to position the 100-year-old institution to become the school of choice for boys in Jamaica, after having served as principal for Munro College in St Elizabeth, and being credited for a number of positive changes at Tarrant High School where he spent 10 years as a principal. He is convinced that Calabar is where he will be retiring as an educator, and love him or hate him, there's no debate that with Corcho change has come, and is coming for Calabar.

RELIGION

Bishop Dr Rowan Edwards

His 10,000 Men and Their Families March was held again in Spanish Town this year under the theme, 'We use what is right to correct what is wrong', with an aim to encourage residents to rebuild their communities in partnership with the church and business community. The annual march held to promote peace in the old capital is hosted by the the Spanish Town Revival, in association with the Spanish Town Ministers Fraternal, under the leadership of former chairman Bishop Edwards, the brainchild and main driving force behind this initiative. Each year the event seeks to promote peace and an end to gun violence in the various volatile communities in Spanish Town and its environs by way of a march, typically including uniformed and various church groups marching along with marching bands from multiple locations around Spanish Town.


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