It is no secret that author Ian Fleming loved the island of Jamaica.
Of all the places in the world he could have lived, he chose to live and work on that particular Caribbean destination.
As a naval officer he travelled the globe and was commissioned by the Sunday Times to explore 14 of the world’s most exotic cities.
However, in 1941 when he was assigned by the British Navy for a mission dubbed Operation Goldeneye to Oracabessa in Jamaica, Fleming probably decided on his own paradise.
He bought a plot of land there.
Built a home and spent every winter there until his death in 1964.
From his idyllic workplace he penned 14 novels the world revels. Five of them were filmed on the island.
And his first film “Dr. No” was released the same year Jamaica attained independence from his birth country of England.
That was 1962.
Location shots were filmed across the island. Local thespians were prominently featured. And Sean Connery delivered classy portrayals in homage to both the divorced and divorcee nations.
As a matter of fact, since that time the tiny paradise has been prominently featured as the location for “To Live & Let Die,” another Bond thriller chosen by Pinewood Studios the caretakers of the franchise.
With the 25th installment due in 2020, the government of Jamaica announced plans to send representatives to London to talk with Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson decision makers at the renowned film studios.
Reportedly, Edmund Bartlett, minister of tourism and Olivia Grange, minister of culture, entertainment and other portfolios will stump to add Jamaica on the list of locales spy, agent 007 will have to travel in order to thwart an enemy of the British Empire as well as the world.
Filming on the island will have “enormous eternal impact” on the industry, Bartlett said.
Still untitled, the adventure, thriller has been touted to be the next Bond blockbuster. In a tradition boasting technologically advanced gadgets, sexy scenes, beautiful women and landscapes, lavish lifestyle, treacherous villains and loyalty to HRH Queen Elizabeth II the anticipated release has been buzzed about with reports that Jamaica is a shoo-in.
Buju Banton is slated to perform at this year’s Reggae Sumfest concert series in Montego Bay. That was the first big news announced by Downsound, the presenters of the annual, marathon music fest in Jamaica. Now another teaser recently stated that Caribbean Airlines will partner with Sumfest to display a logo on their aircraft in promotion of the July summer music festival.
With 20 destinations on their route, the skies will carry the banner calendar event.
The rest of the lineup and other aspects of the fun-filled annual concert attraction will be made public to New Yorkers during the Big Apple launch in Brooklyn on April 17.
Pam Lee, a tireless artist whose focus on acrylics has been consistent and dedicated was tapped for a month-long art exhibition at the municipal building in the center of the city. Lee, a former student of Wolmer’s High School, an all-girls academic institution in Kingston, Jamaica and resident of China Town was among 46 Manhattan artists whose display in the second annual senior art show is being hailed by Gale A. Brewer, Manhattan Borough president.
In an exhibition titled “Better With Age” that opened April 5 at 1 Centre St., Lee stood tall and proud next to her colorful creation explaining how she emerged of the chosen few.
“I actually submitted three pieces,” Lee explained, “the one I thought would be accepted didn’t make it but this acrylic did.”
Her daughter Robyn was elated to see her mother’s name among those selected for display along the halls of the Maggi Peyton Gallery.
“I am proud of her. She didn’t even think she would qualify it is I who encouraged her to apply and actually submitted the application,” Robyn explained.
The turnaround was so fast, soon after the submission Robyn had to help expedite the readiness of the print and the name of a framer who could quickly present the painting.
At the reception Robyn added that “In no time at all they told her to present the framed painting for mounting.”
The supportive offspring flew from the west coast where she resides with her husband Jose to show solidarity with her father Tom and friends who’ve always endorsed the aspirations of the freelance artist.
The purpose of the exhibition is to showcase the work of over 60-year-olds from a diverse New York City community.
Lee’s painting — on the 19th floor of the building — will be on display until April 30.
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