How will you help Jamaica?
Negative social media posts between political tribalists have a deleterious effect on Jamaica’s image.online

As we scan our social media pages and see the arrows shooting back and forth between the political tribalists, we wonder: How does this affect potential investors’ impressions of Jamaica?

While our athletes train from morning to night to produce world-leading results, others are just producing discord with their bitter posts. For us to reinforce our strong democracy, we can criticise without being disrespectful.

In the meanwhile, there are brilliant Jamaicans in both the public and private sector who are flying our flag high despite the constant griping. Last week I had the chance to visit such individuals, leaving the meetings with renewed hope.

First, we met with Senator Leslie Campbell, state minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade who has been engaging our Jamaican Diaspora in concert with our outstanding Ambassador Audrey Marks. We were impressed by the courteous staff and enjoyed the breathtaking views of the Kingston Harbour offered by their new headquarters. This location should reinforce our commitment to environmental protection as it sits on the very edge of the Kingston Waterfront.

Leslie Campbell.

We visited Jamaica Promotions Corporation (Jampro), sharing thoughts with President Diane Edwards who has been engaging international investors at the World Freezone Organization (World FZO) Conference and Jamaicans abroad at the Jamaica Diaspora Conference last month. This comes on the heels of Jampro receiving the Best Use of Partnership Award from the World Trade Promotion Organizations for supporting micro, small and medium enterprises to overcome export challenges. The popular Site Selection magazine has also declared Jamaica “the logistics Capital of the Caribbean”.

We also met with American Chamber of Commerce Jamaica Jamaica (AMCHAM) President Ann-Dawn Young Sang and CEO Jodi-Ann Quarrie. They were upbeat on US-Jamaica partnerships, acknowledging our challenges but confident that we can seize the many new opportunities that are coming our way. In a discussion with Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) vice-presidents Jacqueline Sharp and Adrian Stokes, who is also chair of the PSOJ Economic Committee, we realised the commitment of these high-level volunteers who run successful businesses, even as they engage on Jamaica’s development demands. Led by President Keith Duncan and CEO Imega Breeze-McNab, the PSOJ has dedicated sub-committees that have directly impacted government policy and give practical guidance. Indeed, anyone can go the PSOJ website for a free download of the Jamaica Corporate Governance Code.

Even if we do not occupy positions of power, we can follow these examples and project positivity for Jamaica. The news headlines are bad enough, the crime level is distressing but we can only move forward if we build on what is good in Jamaica. In the words of Governor General Sir Patrick Allen, “There is nothing wrong with Jamaica that cannot be fixed by what is right with Jamaica.”

Ann Dawn Young Sang

ROAD MADNESS

Just like shooting deaths, we are becoming dangerously inured to fatal road crashes. We are now barely affected by the sight of motor vehicles crumpled beyond recognition and firefighters working to free the hapless victims.

Up to last Friday, over 230 lives were lost on our roads, an increase over the same period last year. The level of indiscipline on our roads makes us wary of moving off when we get the green as chances are there are several coming at us on the red. We see second and third lanes being formed, mostly by taxi drivers, pushing oncoming traffic on to the sidewalk. There is still no safe time for pedestrians to cross the busy intersection of Hope, Trafalgar, and Waterloo roads, even though several schools are in the surrounding areas.

Dr Lucien Jones, convenor of the National Road Safety Council, has noted, “Our big problem is that over 80 per cent of bikers are not wearing helmets. Many road users also are not buckled up, are driving under the influence of alcohol and speeding. A deadly cocktail of eminently preventable causes of crashes and death.” Until the updated Road Traffic Act is implemented and people start feeling their carelessness in their pockets, the fatalities will keep climbing.

Audrey Marks.

CONGRATULATIONS, CLOVIS METCALFE

Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Ltd (SVREL) has announced the naming of a new racing event at Caymanas Park in honour of Clovis Metcalfe, chair of both the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission and the Jamaica Racing Commission. This is in acknowledgement of Metcalfe’s role in the development of racing as a partner in Ham Stables, owners and breeders of racehorses since the 70s.

Jamaica Observer reporter Ruddy Allen quoted Metcalfe in a recent report: “I followed in the footsteps of Howard Hamilton who, just a month ago, was accorded such honour … it is my hope that the trend will continue, and going forward we will see farriers, grooms, jockeys, trainers, owners, outstanding stakeholders, and other individuals that they may be accorded that same honour.”

Metcalfe, retired managing director of CIBC-FCIBJ, and his wife Hermine, former lecturer in pharmacy at University of Technology, Jamaica, are both recipients of national honours for their service in various spheres of Jamaican life. Heartiest congratulations to them both.

FR HOWARD THOMPSON’S MILESTONE

Our pastor, Rev Dr Howard Thompson is not one to speak about his accomplishments. However, it is remarkable that when he presented his master’s thesis at The University of the West Indies, he was advised that with a few more substantial chapters he may be recommended for an upgrade for a doctoral degree in theology. Not only was he successful, but he also received the doctorate with high commendation.

Recently, Father Howie, who was born a Hindu and previously pursued a career in banking, celebrated his 24th anniversary of priesthood. His memorable homilies have gone far and wide as his online presence grew during the novel coronavirus pandemic. Now people of various denominations look forward to his daily online prayers.

Father Howie initiated and successfully led Roman Catholic evangelisation walks to broker peace and solidarity by visiting over 500 homes during the eruption of violence in the Red Hills Road area when he was pastor at St Richard’s Church.

He is patron of the Stella Maris Foundation, serves on archdiocesan councils, and lectures at St Michael’s Seminary and at the United Theological College of the West Indies (UTCWI).

His even temper becomes a tad passionate when the West Indies cricket team is in competition. We wish him many more inspiring years of service.

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!

Here’s wishing our US family and friends a happy Fourth of July. It is a special one for us in Jamaica as for the first time we have a Jamaican-born US Ambassador, Noah Nickolas “Nick” Perry. Greetings to him and the staff at the US Embassy.

FAREWELL, EVERALD HARROW

In April 2009 Television Jamaica (TVJ) film-maker Everald Harrow set out with our merry band of chefs and media folks on a tour of Norway’s fishing facilities. It was then that we grew to appreciate his professional discipline as well as his gentle personality. It was always lovely to see him at TVJ, and we would reflect on memories of the Norway adventure.

A thanksgiving service for Everald Harrow will be held this Friday at 10:00 am at Faith Cathedral Deliverance Centre on Waltham Park Road. We send condolence to his family and colleagues and pray that his beautiful soul will rest in peace.

lowriechin@aim.com

www.lowrie-chin.blogspot.com

Jean Lowrie-Chin

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