Jamaica 50 calendar launched here

The curiosities of anxious Jamaicans anticipating a banner year for the island’s jubilee celebrations were pacified recently when the consulate released an official calendar listing activities planned for residents here.

Greeted by Consular General Herman G. Lamont and Sharon Burrell Green, deputy CG, Jamaican nationals sampled food products, danced to the Ruff Tuff Band and reveled in nostalgia as folklorist Andrene G. Bonner previewed a likely repertoire that will endure throughout the year.

Ambassador Raymond Wolfe represented the Permanent Mission of Jamaica to the United Nations in delivering goodwill messages to celebrants of the golden anniversary.

“In 50 years Jamaica has made an indelible mark on the consciousness of the world as our rich cultural heritage and artistic prowess in literature and music among other creative endeavors have taken shape and travelled around the universe in the inevitable flows of globalization,” Lisa Hanna, Minister of Youth and Culture said in a statement to the gathering.

Unable to attend the launch, the minister’s message was read by Alecia Taylor, vice consul at the consulate.

She emphasized the island’s contribution of reggae music, athletic milestones, and achievements in academia.

“And while they work to build their adopted homes away from home, Jamaicans in the diaspora continue to forge and nurture tremendous links with our island nation as they continue to play a central role in its social, political and economic growth and development,” Hanna added.

The Braata Folk Singers, Gordon Chambers and Rudi-Ann Miller added to the program’s lively reception.

The much anticipated itinerary of year-long events will incorporate endorsed, prolonged activities that will continue until December.

Scheduled events in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and New Jersey launched a Jamaica 50 diaspora calendar.

Paid and free events range from a literary series, church services, films, Jamaica Day at Grand Central (Aug. 1) Flag raising and proclamation presentation at Brooklyn Borough Hall (Aug. 6) lighting of the Empire State Building (Aug. 6) Jamaica 50 independence ball (Aug. 18) youth symposium (Oct.) salute to heroes (Oct. 8-14) Jamaica Day at United Nations (Sept. 18) exhibition at the UN (June to Dec.) Jamaica 50 ‘oldies but goodies’ at the UN (Dec. 19/20).

Book launches, reggae concerts, a jerk festival, film screenings, domino competitions, cricket and football matches, picnics and art exhibitions are all confirmed events approved to mark the 50th anniversary of independence.

Jamaican Gleaner Wins CTO Writer Prize

Janet Silvera, a senior writer for the Jamaica Gleaner will receive the Marcia Vickery-Wallace award on June 8 when Caribbean Tourism Organization hosts their 15th annual convention in NYC.

In addition to reporting on all things Jamaican, the journalist established Hospitality Jamaica, a 16-page, bi-monthly tourism trade publication published by the Gleaner.

Prior to her stint at the daily newspaper she worked as senior airport hostess for the Jamaica Tourist Board and later became the official marketing officer in the overseas relations department.

One of her principal duties was to liase with French travel agents and tour operators.

“I went on a 6 month sabbatical to the University town of Rennes in Brittany, to learn French,” Silvera said. “I gained enough knowledge of the language to get by and serve the French companies better.”

After a decade, Silvera forayed from the position of marketing officer to pursue a position at the island’s premiere newspaper.

Within months at the Gleaner she penned her first published article “It’s ok to have two men.”

Since that time, Silvera’s published stories have varied from crime, society, climate change to politics.

She is president of the Western Jamaica Media Association (WJMA), a director of the Press Association of Jamaica, board member of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry as well as the Kiwanis Club of Providence.

Last year, Silvera and Dollis Campbell, her best friend of 25 years joined forces with Kingston’s Millicent Lynch to form Distinctly Dynamic Event Services.

Their collaboration launched an annual Kingston Pon Di River, literary, arts and music festival.

Silvera was named the Press Association of Jamaica News Journalist of the Year in 2009, for the thought-provoking report “Dad Raped Us.”

The Marcia Vickery-Wallace Award was established in 1987 as a tribute to Marcia Vickery-Wallace, former editor of Brides Magazine.

Catch You On The Inside!

More from Around NYC