Week 52 (2001)

What Is Your Resolve For The New Year?

For hundreds of civic minded residents of Central Jamaica, the year 2002 will mean new challenges to their spirit of volunteerism as they creatively respond to the needs of the less fortunate in our society, being their "brothers' keeper" just happens to be a lifelong commitment and not an expedient virtue.

The events of Sept.11th have demonstrated the fragility of the global economic order, to put it bluntly, an absolute farce, our collective resolve on this little rock must be the abandonment of wholesale hypocrisy which is practiced in Jamaica, the plunderers of our resources must no longer find sympathetic ears to their diatribe of negativity while continually stashing billions of US dollars in foreign banks, a reprehensible act on one hand and a source of consolation on the other as both our internal and external debt combined could be liquidated by these hoarders of capital overnight and guess who complains the most?

Our most fundamental resolve in the New Year must be that of self empowerment and the search for truth, don't be fooled by the promoters of the "information age", the art of obfuscation is now a thriving industry in developed countries, with the deepening crisis in Argentina, Japan and elsewhere, we certainly have a lot to be thankful for, admit it!

Let's Promote Peace - Phillips

Minister of National Security, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips has called on Jamaicans to promote peace through this festive season and to continue to display acts of kindness, sympathy and concern throughout the new year in an attempt to foster better relationships with each other.

Minister Phillips was speaking at a Christmas Tree Lighting and Police Awards Ceremony on Monday December 17, at the Mandeville Greens.

The ceremony was hosted by the Mandeville Police Civic Committee (M.P.C.C.) and the Manchester Parish Council (M.P.C.) under the theme: "Our police and citizens unite... a thousand candles brighten the night."

Minister Phillips noted that "if we are to overcome the problem of crime, the unified effort of citizens co-operating with the police is compulsory.

The Security Minister pointed to the fact that since the start of the year, fourteen members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) have been murdered and noted that despite this unpleasant situation, the JCF remains committed to enforcing law and order in society.

Minister Phillips said that each citizen has a role to stand up for justice. "No bribe can be accepted if it is not offered" he said while pointing to the importance of integrity in serving the nation.

During the ceremony the six nominees for police officer of the year were presented. The police officers were: Woman Corporal Nadine Franklyn-Thompson, Woman Constable Verona Johnson, Woman Inspector Clovis Todd, Cpl. Chever Witter, Sgt. Lloyd Darby and Constable Rovan Salmon.

Sgt. Lloyd Darby was later announced police officer of the year 2001 for the parish of Manchester while Cpl. Nadine Franklyn- Thompson and Inspector Clovis Todd copped the trophy for the female police officer of the year for the parish.

Major Ganja Haul in St. Elizabeth

The Area Three Narcotics Police made a major ganja haul in Hounslow, St. Elizabeth on Dec. 24th. No one was arrested in connection with the seizure.

Reports from the CNN's St. Elizabeth Liaison Officer are that about 3:00p.m., the Narcotics Police carried out an operation in Hounslow District. During the operation an unoccupied house was searched. Fifty nine packages of ganja weighting 909 kilograms (2000 lb) were found.

Investigations continue.

Timely Thoughts

As the year rushes on to its close, let us take time to reflect on how we have conducted our lives in 2001, and let us endeavour to make changes in those areas in which we have failed or erred.

We must first learn to forgive ourselves, if we are to succeed in life. Correcting our mistakes, endeavouring not to make them again, and forgiving those who have wronged us in 2001 will enable us to enjoy a better quality of life in 2002.

A progressive New Year.

Woman Charged for Ingesting Cocaine

A 25 year-old woman was admitted to hospital under police guard for breaches of the Dangerous Drugs Act after she reportedly ingested several pellets of cocaine in Clarendon on Friday December 15.

Charged with possession of, dealing in and taking steps preparatory to export cocaine are Keisha Pitter of Campden District, Race Course, and Clarendon.

Reports from the CCN’s Clarendon Liaison Officer are that Pitter who was reportedly scheduled to leave the island for England, ingested about 50 pellets of cocaine prior to leaving for the airport.

She however complained of feeling ill and was taken to hospital where she reportedly passed out some of the pellets. She was subsequently arrested.

The Clarendon Police are investigating.

Kenisha Carter Crowned Mini Miss St. Elizabeth

Twelve year old Kenisha Deandra Carter, a student of Hampton High School, wearing the sash, Ms. Grant's Wholesale was crowned Mini Miss St. Elizabeth 2001 during the inaugural competition staged by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), St. Elizabeth on Saturday December 22 at the Coconut Grove Family Entertainment Centre in Santa Cruz.

The competition, which was hailed by many, who attended as a very organized and entertaining event saw eleven attractive geniuses vying for the prized title of Mini Miss St. Elizabeth.

Apparently well rehearsed, the contestants received much cheers from the audience during their performances of the respective talent pieces. Although the quality of presentations were almost similarly outstanding, Natanee Barrett's original poem entitled: "Why me so bad-lucky" seemed to be the favourite of all the talent pieces.

During the evening wear segment, the contestants made presentations on their research on the parish.

Seemingly relaxed, the contestants were escorted by smart gentlemen, Tray Collier and Darren Goss, proper pronunciations, excellent enunciations, impressive elocution and quite audible projections were identical features of each presentation informing of St. Elizabeth's history, culture and attractions.

At the announcement, 11 year old Ruthan Hart, Ms. G/K Distributors was awarded second runner up. Her prizes included a gift courtesy of Ms. Perdie Newman and $2,000 courtesy of Alumina partners of Jamaica (Alpart) while first runner-up Natanne Barrett who also won the sectional prize for the most talented contestant won prizes of $3,000 from Alpart, a gift, courtesy of Kay Dyzne and $1,000 courtesy of Burke's Dry Clean.

The Mini Miss St. Elizabeth who was also awarded for the contestant with the best poise and posture, won a cash prize of $5,000 courtesy of Alpart, weekend for four at Point Village Resort and a gift from Hind's Restaurant. In addition to a $1,000 cash from Smith Furniture for her sectional prize.

The other contestants were: Rochelle Fletcher, Ms. Central Electronics who was also the "most aware" contestant, Tiantia Murray, Ms. Eviction Bar, Shanique Wright, Ms. Middle Quarter Police Youth Club, Suzanne Rankine, Ms. Riverside Dock, Rasia Williams, Ms. Ace Wireless/Digicel, Nickeisha Bailey, Ms. Bennetts Garage, Shelly-Ann Wright, Ms. Tiny Tots and Tamar Mullings Ms. Waterloo Guest House.

Enfield Skills Training Centre Graduates Thirty

Some 30 young persons received certificates from the Enfield Skills Training Centre in Westmoreland at the graduation ceremony recently. The young men and women, who are ready to enter the world of work, received specialized training in housekeeping and food preparation.

According to the co-ordinator of the programme, Mrs. Joyce Buchanan, the trainees at Enfield also received instruction in related services such as: sewing, calculation / computation, language and communication, entrepreneurship, environmental studies, guidance and counseling.

As a true manifestation of their motto " Press on to excellence", many of the centre`s former students have been doing exceptionally well at their jobs not only in Jamaica but abroad as well. Near the end of their course, the trainees receive one month upgrading and work experience mainly from Sandals and Half Moon Hotel.

Recently, an evening institute was established under the tutorship of Mr. Michael Jackson, eight candidates were successful in completing a three month computer course. A computer was purchased through income generation projects. "Over the last five years Enfield Skills Training Centre has focussed on giving the community a vision of a better life by developing the ability of its people to perform skills effectively, efficiently and in a sustainable way', Mrs. Buchanan told the audience.

The Minister of Labour and Social Security Hon. Donald Buchanan who gave the keynote address disclosed that employment in the hotel programme in the year 2000 stood at 4,108, an increase of 67 percent over the previous year. Up to September of this year, the number of persons employed in the programme was 4,455 and is growing despite the attack on America.

Commencing the work of the Enfield Skills Training Centre, the Minister said programmes such as these will guarantee the safety of the overseas hotel employment drive. He noted a letter from the President and General Management of Crystal Enterprises, a resort in the United States congratulating Miss Velma Banton, a graduate of Enfield who has been giving exceptional service to that property.

Mr. Buchanan stressed that the Hospital/Tourism industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in the world and certainly, the most important contributor to the Jamaican economy. He urged the graduates to take a leaf from the book of Velma Banton and hold high the enviable traditions of the Enfield Skills Training Centre.

Senator Noel Monteith who brought greetings on behalf of the Member of Parliament for the area, Prime Minister P.J. Patterson, lauded the Enfield Skills Training Centre as a pace-setter that has been making a valuable contribution to the development of the community.

His Worship the Mayor of Savann La Mar, Councillor Ralph Anglin and the National Programme Director of HEART Trust/NTA, Mr. Donald Foster both extended best wishes to the graduates of the Centre. Valedictorian Terrian Warburton spoke in glowing terms about the training programme at Enfield, the tutors and the support staff also came in for lavish commendation.

The audience was entertained with cultural presentations from the graduates and other students at the centre. Executive officer of Sandals Royal Caribbean in Montego Bay, Ms. Joan Waite and the wife of the Mayor, Mrs. Rhona Anglin handed out the prizes and certificates.

Farm Queen Treats Manning Boys Home

The delightful smiles on the faces of the children at the Manning Boys Home in Southfield St. Elizabeth on Wed, Dec. 19 and the melodious tones in which they sang Christmas songs was enough to show their appreciation to 2001 St. Elizabeth Farm Queen, Vashnie Gayle who treated twenty eight boys at the home to pastries and other goodies as part of an outreach project as Farm Queen for the parish.

While eagerly anticipating the goodies, the boys were addressed by former principal at the Bethlehem Moravian College, Dr. Randolf Watson.

Making references to personal experiences, Dr. Watson told the boys that "there are times when the world will be against you and many will say nothing good is in di bwoy, but never let this stop you from achieving your goals,” he said. Dr. Watson urged the boys to make the best use of the opportunities at the faculty and specially appealed to them to grasp as much education as they possibly could.

With ice cream "decorating" his mouth Fabian Malcolm, a boy at the home said that he deeply appreciated the kind gesture. The young man who aspires to become a teacher, said "I learnt a lot from Dr. Watson's speech" adding that the address has inspired him to be a more industrious individual.

For the 2001 Farm Queen, the opportunity for her to share with the boys at the home was a memorable one. She noted that although she holds a title with agricultural origin, she prioritizes outreach projects, which gives her an opportunity to socialize with those less privileged individuals.

Director of the Home, Angeleita Brown said she was overwhelmed with the support of various service and corporate organizations as well as individuals who have assisted the institution over the years. Noting that financial resources remained limited, Mrs. Brown said that any assistance to the home is welcome.

Member of Parliament for Southeast St. Elizabeth, Mr. Derrick Rochester and Edwards Lyons, Captain of the Salvation Army, Top Hill Care also shared in the occasion.

Dear Andrea,

I think I am gay. When I made love to my girlfriend, I only wanted to insert my penis in her buttocks. She finally left me, and now I cannot perform with a woman. I am afraid of exposing my sexuality but I can't with-hold my sexual passion much longer, especially since I saw a young man I am attracted to. Give me some advice on how to approach him.

MIXED-Up, May Pen.

Dear Mixed-Up,

If you have been reading this column regularly, you would have known that I am not part of the gay scene and I would be the last person to feed you a line for use in luring another man into your bed.

There is some controversy in psychological circles about whether homosexual inclinations are unnatural and should be tolerated, encouraged and even indulged or should be treated as undesirable and an aberration to be resisted. Many advanced European Countries and some American States have legalized homosexual practice between consenting adults and marriage between persons of the same sex is even being touted among some members of the European Union.

It is despite all of this that I continue to believe heterosexual relationships are best for the society. Here are some of my reasons: (i) a stable relationship is not built on the heat of the fire when two persons blow up in bed. Most times what is done out of bed goes further towards fulfilling each other than a few hours of excitement and orgasms. Each partner should contribute to the happiness and development of the other, an experience rarely, if ever attained in a homosexual union. (ii) Most persons look forward to extensions of themselves in children. Gay couplings cannot promise this, and even where children are adopted, the youngsters often become confused and society misfits without the confidence bolster of orthodox family life. (iii) even where law permits homosexuality, majority opinion still weighs heavily against this practice and open flouting of the morals of a community usually requires either a lot of feeling of inferiority and shame, or a false show of "brassiness". It is difficult to live peacefully with either of these attitudes.

For these and other reasons I would strongly advise that if you are having no more than the gay urge now, you visit with a counsellor, preferably a trained clergyman-counsellor. There is the real danger that your craze could lead you to a proposition, the "wrong person who might refuse with public condemnation or even violence.