A Tru Applaud It! Ocassion

Friday Social

Friday, November 16, 2018

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Trade Winds Citrus Limited, makers of Tru-Juice, pulled out all the stops yesterday afternoon when Managing Director Peter McConnell invited 10 St Dominic Preparatory School students to join him and a few of his executives for lunch. The cherub-faced youngsters from grades two through six were great ambassadors for the Linstead-based school. The event was more than Trade Winds giving the students a riverside dining experience, as it is sure to jump-start their appreciation of fine dining and understanding of etiquette.

The event was the fifth in the Jamaica Observer's 2018 Applaud It! series. In its fifth year, Applaud It! is an initiative that provides a unique opportunity for industry leaders to meet the next generation exactly where they are at and guide them through an experience that exposes them to social and dining skills.

McConnell was joined by his wife Stephanie, head of international commerce Richard Groves, and head of marketing and corporate communications Marsha Lumley.

The 1080 Events team truly embraced the pastoral surroundings and created a splendid tablescape in the al fresco dining area. Wooden tables were draped in white linen runners, topped with rose gold glassware, good china, fresh flowers atop discs of tree trunks, and solid flatware, all under an ivy-draped tent. Nature's soundtrack of a rushing river, birdsong and the occasional lorry — OK, so not 100% nature — allowed all to forget customary hustle and bustle of the classroom and office.

This opinionated set of youngsters were forthcoming with questions and really engaged their adult hosts. From questions on farming and how the company makes all its juice to sharing their career aspirations, there was never a dull moment at the table.

Chef Jacqui Tyson created a five-course menu that sparked conversation with each successive plate. This eager set of students were ready to try new dishes and offer feedback — all while ensuring that their knives and forks were being handled correctly.

The luncheon successfully fulfilled the Applaud It! brief as the hosts had vibrant exchanges with their young guests. During a discussion on current affairs, McConnell encouraged the students to keep abreast of news items by reading the newspaper and watching news programmes like those on CNN. One student responded: “But what's CNN, Sir?” and by the time McConnell was finished explaining it looked as if those within earshot were ready to rush home to tune into Anderson Cooper 360.

As the adults said goodbye the children shouted sincere thank yous as they frolicked on the grass, adding to the unforgettable memories made.

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