A peaceful life for every Jamaican


A peaceful life for every Jamaican

Jean Lowrie-Chin

Monday, November 04, 2019

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Despite the states of emergency which have been declared for some areas of Jamaica many decent, law-abiding citizens remain vulnerable. I agree that the measure is necessary, but must appeal for more 'joined-up Government' to ensure greater safety of us all.

An ancillary worker shared that a house in the inner-city community in which she lives had been fire-bombed: “They throw gas oil on the four corners of the house and light it. And then they shoot up around the house,” she said.

“The grandmother and the four grandchildren living there escape by the grace of God. They had to throw the children over the fence. Pure gunshot all over the place. Lord God!”

“The children in the area going to school next morning just trembling like this,” she said, holding out her hands and shaking them.

She said the area is under the current state of emergency and luckily the police kept closer watch after the incident so she could finally have a reasonable night's sleep, not diving under the bed in response to the gunshots of previous nights.

We simply cannot allow our humble, hard-working folk to continue living like this. Crime in lower-income areas is dumbing down our country. Children cannot thrive in sleepless fear; they cannot learn if the previous night's shooting leaves them shaking at their desks.

The 'Jamaica Moves' campaign has caught on islandwide. Now the 'Live Good' campaign must be handled with the same enthusiasm and funding with input from every government ministry. Further, every Member of Parliament, political caretaker, and parish councillor must be called upon to be open and active in their condemnation of thuggery. Politicians should also decide to spend less time on campaigning and more time serving their respective communities. That remains the best way to sway voters.

Since witnesses are fearful of giving information there should be no delay in implementing the technology available to facilitate the evidence required to bring criminals to justice.


Farewell, Tarania

The death of Reggae Girl Tarania “Plum Plum” Clarke, reportedly the result of a stabbing by a friend, is a sad loss.

Reggae Girls Coach Hue Menzies remembers how respectful 20-year-old Tarania was and the bright future that she had. She was captain of the Waterhouse football club and was to take up a scholarship at the Daytona College in January of next year.

A social media post from sports reporter Karen Madden noted: “Plum Plum was a star from her Excelsior days. No surprise when she was drafted to Waterhouse & #ReggaeGirlz youth & senior programme. She got a huge break in recent Olympic Qualifiers & scored twice. A talented player & a nice girl. This is heartbreaking #RIPBalla #TaraniaClarke.”


Special congrats, Bruce James

When professionals share their comfortable lives with the less comfortable area of sports the results can be magnificent. And so, we laud Bruce James, who was recently invested into the Order of Distinction in the rank of Officer “for sterling contribution to the development of sports in Jamaica, especially in track and field”. Bruce has a successful career in banking but, moved by the need for “a Jamaican post-high school training option for athletics as one did not exist”, he, Stephen Francis, Paul Francis and David Noel decided to form MVP. Bruce notes, “Our goal then and now is to prove that Jamaican coaches, Jamaican managers and Jamaican facilities can develop Jamaican athletes to be the very best in the world.”

No doubt, MVP's guidance has assisted in making one of their charges, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, a model of diligence, integrity, and ambition for her fellow Jamaicans.

Bruce James shared, “My involvement in athletics started when I represented St Andrew Preparatory School at Prep Champs. At Wolmer's, my love for the sport was nurtured, including being the captain of the track team and earning an athletics scholarship to Florida State University (FSU). At FSU I earned my BSc and MBA and was also the captain of the track team in my senior year. Upon returning home I decided to give back to the school and sport that had given me so much by serving as the manager of the Wolmer's Boys' School track team.”

It must have been a bittersweet moment for Bruce James and his daughters, who last year lost their beloved wife and mother, Pascale.

Congratulations, Bruce, stay strong.


Thalia Lyn — PSOJ Hall of Famer

Thalia Lyn's colleagues of the International Women's Forum were euphoric last Tuesday when we witnessed her induction into the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica's Hall of Fame. She is only the second woman — the first being Lorna Myers — to have been bestowed this honour.

Thalia's many accomplishments as entrepreneur, diplomat, and gender activist have been shared far and wide; however, what stands out for me is Thalia's and her husband, Michael's dedication to the upliftment of their fellow Jamaicans. These include projects for Mustard Seed, scholarship programmes, sponsorship of sporting events, and their soup kitchen. They have set a fine example for their family members, including grandson Matthew Lyn, founder of the WIND Club, which recently completed the building of five Food For the Poor homes in Jamaica.


Negril Chamber's Recycling Project

The Negril Chamber of Commerce, led by Nola Stair, has taken the initiative to establish the Negril Recycling Centre in the Whitehall community. Wisynco kindly collects the large bags of plastics for recycling. The project had a setback due to fire, but the Digicel Foundation stepped in to repair the building and provide electrical equipment for a planned glass-crushing machine. They will be able to get guidance from the New Horizons Outreach Ministries in St Catherine, whose recycling programme has yielded beautiful tiles and countertops. The Negril Chamber is looking forward to having the plant's electrical connection up and running, so we are asking Jamaica Public Service if they would expedite. This will also result in more employment for residents of the area.


Evening with Spain's Carmen Paris

Accompanied on piano by Uruguayan musician Diego Ebbeler and on percussion by the renowned Madrid-Parisian musician Jorge Tejerina, the award-winning Carmen Paris sang and danced her way into the hearts of Jamaican audiences in Kingston and Montego Bay. Gratitude to Ambassador Josep María Bosch Bessa, Embassy of Spain; the Spanish-Jamaican Foundation; and TSK for their sponsorship of this free concert.




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