Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Barbados Regional Meeting a Huge Success

Heather Chin-Walker
OI-Caribbean District Secretary-Treasurer
KINGSTON, Jamaica:
THE THIRD quarter regional meeting in Barbados held on Saturday May 26, 2012 can only be described as a huge success. The team in Barbados absolutely out-did themselves with the planning of this meeting. From airport pick-up to the social at Lantern's Mall on Friday; hosting of a very engaging and productive meeting to the evening Lyme at President Marcel's home on Saturday; and Sunday's island tour the experience was not only on point but very refreshing and exciting.    
There were 57 registered members in attendance including 20 first timers and eight life members. Past International Vice President Adrian Elcock and Past Governor Carol Haynes provided strong leadership and were especially good at facilitating the very informative and interactive training session on Creative Problem Solving.  

Delegates were also thrilled by the performances of our young people: 15 year-old Jamal Slocombe rendered a song while  Deshon Griffith, the winner of the district essay competition, and Janeil Odle, second place in district oratorical competition presented their pieces to a very receiving audience which included other contestants and their teachers. The two contestants were also featured in an article published by the Nation News on the meeting along with special references to the keynote speaker, Kemar Saffrey and planning committee chair, Lieutenant Governor for Zone 12, Jo-Ann Jordan.

Saffrey, a young man of 23 years is making a name for himself with his charity, Barbados Vagrants and Homeless Society.  He started this charity on his own after seeing the need of the homeless and reaching out to help them with a meal, clothing and shelter.  His efforts demonstrate how the 'Power of One' can make a difference and underscores the theme for the 2011-2012 year. The power-of-one-Governor, Dwight Phillips also made a courtesy call on Acting Governor General Elliott Belgrave, who will be officially taking office on June 1, 2012. 
Governor Dwight and I were happy to attend the meeting and thank all delegates for making it Barbados. The planning committee led by LtG Jo-Ann was truly outstanding and deserving of our deep appreciation. Special mention to the Masters of ceremonies Michael Jules (Mike1) and Michael James (Mike2) who guided everything so smoothly; Optimist Margot Aquan and her team for the elegant and delicious lunch at 3Ws Oval on the UWI, Cave Hill campus; President Marcel for his "Taste of Barbados" home and Presidents Michael Jules and Richard Winckler along with S/T Darshani Workman for the tour; and GA Avon Carty and CP Nutilia Simon who represented Anguilla and Antigua respectively.
This year the third quarter regional meetings take place in Barbados and Jamaica and so now we move to the second round at Idler's Rest in Black River, Jamaica on Saturday, June 2, 2012.

L-R:OI Caribbean District Governor Dwight Phillips and Actg. Governor General of Barbados Elliott Belgrave

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Zone 4 Labour Day 2012 Pictorial

Let's see what we make of the parts of the story that these picture tell of the Zone 4 Labour Day 2012 project at Annotto Bay Hospital in St Mary. We believe it was a positively fulfilling day for both Optimists, their families and friends, and the hospital staff.

  Painting the conference room and making the grounds even more aesthetically appealing were our main tasks for the day. Embracing the natural lush beauty of the journey from Kingston via Castleton into Annotto Bay what better place to be than at a facility overlooking the azure of the Caribbean sea with its cool breeze soothing the muscles as we "put work in Labour Day".

Of course, whenever and wherever members of the power zone congregate there is going to be great fun and fellowship.  Indeed, that's the energy behind our work.

The OI-7804 Family doing their best " the belief that the giving of one’s self in service to others will advance the well-being of humankind, community life and the world".

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Zone 4 stepping forward on Labour day 2012

Zone 4 Optimists on Labour Day 2012 
The national labour day secretariat asked us as Jamaicans to "Step forward and Make Jamaica Beautiful" and so did the family of optimists from the Optimist International Caribbean District Zone 4 (OI-7804). With pride, energy, commitment and "in the belief that the giving of one’s self in service to others will advance the well-being of humankind, community life and the world" 20 members from the power Zone plus eight children and friends stepped out to beautify the Annotto Bay Hospital in St Mary on Labour Day 2012.
Making the place lighter
It was a tremendously successful day as the members of Kingston Breakfast, West St Andrew, Scenic Castleton, and Susnet Liguanea all got their shoulders in on the bushing and gardening necessary to make the grounds of the hospital even more lovely. Set against the lush mountain side and facing the cool Caribbean sea breeze is a health-service facility deserving of our time and energy in keeping it beautiful. The conference room was the place identified for a complete paint job and the team did a professional job in its transformation. CP Latoya and EdgeChem provided the paint.
Thank you say CEO Mighty & LtG Patrick
Of course, it was a wonderful experience to have Optimists and the hospital's team led by the ever-charming and hard-working CEO, Ms Arlene Mighty, working together for a good cause. "This was a good day.  We have achieved more than anticipated and we thank the Optimists for making it so" said the CEO at the end of the more than 8 hours work day.Overall there were just about 40 persons making the day a fulfilling one.
The partnership between the hospital and Zone 4 Optimists is shaping up quite nicely with a major fundraiser coming up on June 15.  Zone 4 will host a benefit performance of the internationally acclaimed University Singers in Concert at the Philip Sherlock Centre for the Creative Arts on the UWI, Mona campus starting at 8:00 p.m. Part proceeds from this effort will go towards a project development fund for the hospital's pediatric ward.
The OI-7804 family has done it again - one project at a time fulfilling its theme, One one coco full basket - Harnessing the power of one

Monday, May 21, 2012

Zone 4 goes to Annotto Bay for Labour Day 2012

THIS LABOUR Day,  Wednesday May 23, 2012 members of the Optimist International Caribbean District Zone Four (OI7804) family will journey to Annotto Bay in St Mary to do some beautification work at the Annotto Bay Hospital. The team of Optimists and members of the hospital's staff and surrounding communities led by their CEO Ms Arlene Mighty will be involved in well needed bushing, pruning, gardening and general beautification of the hospital grounds.  
According the Lieutenant Governor of Zone 4, Patrick Prendergast, this a timely intervention for the zone. "We have been working with the CEO and other members of the hospital leadership to see how we can help with improving the conditions at the paediatric ward and soon we will be launching the Annotto Bay Hospital Project Development Fund.  This labour day activity is therefore part of building that relationship as we all seek to find ways to improve the quality of health care to our children", says LtG Patrick.
The CEO is also expressing appreciation for the help coming the way of the hospital. "We are grateful for any help we can get.  It is a public holiday and those who come out to serve do so from their heart and so we must be thankful", declares an appreciative Ms Mighty.
There should also be some painting of a couple areas within the physical plant including the conference room and the children ward as part of the ongoing work to be done at the hospital by the Optimists. Club members expected to make the trek to Annotto Bay are from West Saint Andrew, Kingston Central, Sunset Liguanea, and Kingston Breakfast - the home club of Caribbean District Governor Dwight Phillips.The Optimist clubs of Scenic Castleton from St Mary and West Portland in Buff Bay, Portland are expected to join the other Kingston-based clubs in making a difference at this health facility which provides critical service to the parishes of St Mary, St Ann and Portland.
This year's Labour Day is being held under the theme "Step Forward... Make Jamaica Beautiful" and the Caribbean District Zone 4 Optimists are doing just that, stepping forward for the Annotto Bay hospital especially, for the children.

Friday, May 18, 2012

National Children's Day in Jamaica

Today Jamaica joins the more than 75 other countries around the world that have declared an official day in honour of children.  We know there is a United Nations declared Universal Children's Day on November 20; but many countries have found it necessary to have their own special days set aside to bring well needed focus and recognition to our children. 
As of today May 18, 2012 National Children's Day will be celebrated every third Friday in the month of May. We congratulate the National Child Month Committee and Governor General Sir Patrick Allen for their advocacy and official declaration respectively.
Now, let us continue to lift up our children and be the best wind beneath their wings helping them to soar to the many heights of their true potential. Our children are god's gift to remind us of our humanity. Let us love, care, guide and protect them as best we can.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Exciting Times for the OI-7804 Family

There is a lot unfolding in our clubs, zone and District.  Let us all support as much as we can and make "each one touch the lives of 30 children" real.
Submissions for Q3 Magazine must be made by Friday May 18.  The clubs in Zone 4 have a lot to show off and the magazine is another way to let evryone know the great work we are doing for and with the children. Send submissions to post haste!
It's BINGO! with OC Kingston Breakfast on Saturday May 19 starting at 7:00 p.m. at 27 Roswell Terrace, Kingston 8. Give President Camilla or ST Andrea a buzz ( or
Zone 4 Labour Day Project at Annotto Bay Hospital. Grab your work tool and come let's help to give the hospital grounds a well-needed facelift. Labour Day is Wednesday May 23.
Of course, the big fundraiser for the Zone is set for Friday, June 15 at 8:00 p.m. It's the University Singers in Concert at the Philip Sherlock Centre for the Creative Arts, UWI Mona campus. Purchasing at least one ticket will guarantee you two things: an evening of excellent entertainment and support for the children of our country. Give LtG Patrick a nudge for tickets at
Another of the annual Relay for Life all night vigil for cancer care is set for June 9 and 10. The proceeds from this event helps the Cancer Society to continue their programs that help cancer victims e.g screening. Support this event; share in the fun, fellowship, and the touching Luminaria Ceremony.  For more information contact Cp Pat at 361-4548 or
The Communication Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing - CCDHH is also scheduled for Saturday June 9 at the District Secretariat  361/2 Lyndhurst Road beginning at 9:00 am.  The topic is "How my Optimism helps me Overcome Obstacles".  
Wishing you all health, happiness and prosperity.
One one coco full basket - Harnessing the power of one

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Barbadian Student Captures District Essay Contest

Seventeen year old Barbadian, Deshon Griffith is the  2012 winner of the Optimist International Caribbean District Essay Contest.  Sponsored by the Optimist Club of Bridgetown Barbados from Zone 12, Deshon is  the first entrant from Barbados to capture the top spot. He beat Arielle Brown (Optimist Club of Barbican Pines) and Grace-Ann Samuels (Optimist Club of Kensington) into second and third places respectively and in the process received a scholarship valued at US$2,500 from Optimist International, a cash award of US$200 from the Caribbean District, and a district plaque. In addition, the essay will be sent to the international level to be judged along with winners from other Optimist districts.  One international winner will be chosen and will receive an engraved plaque and recognition in The Optimist magazine. 
Writing on the topic: How my positive outlook benefits my community, the entrants representing 11 of the 13 zones in the District gave the judges a difficult task in choosing a winner given the excellence of the essays.  According to Chief Judge, Patricia Donald, "It was a keenly contested competition with one limitation; there could only be one winner".
Young Griffith, who missed the presentation ceremony held on May 5 at the District Secretariat in Kingston, Jamaica, due to CAPE examinations, expressed his own delight at winning the competition.  He also expressed gratitude to the Optimist movement for opening yet another window of opportunity to pursue a tertiary education. In his essay, Deshon treated the term community as an embrace of geographical location, school, church, and communities of interest. He cited his own challenges and how his positive  approach impacted others around him, highlighting his God-given singing talent asa blessing to the various communities of which he is a part.
Optimists conduct positive service projects that reach more than six million young people around the world. According to the Optimist International website, the essay contest is designed to "give young people the opportunity to write about their own opinions regarding the world in which they live" and is one of several platforms supported by the movement aimed at "bringing out the best in kids".  
There are 61 clubs and over 1700 Optimists spread across the Caribbean District. To learn more about the Caribbean District you may visit: 
or the Optimist International website at:

Monday, May 7, 2012

More work to be done on behalf of our children

The members of the 7804 Optimist family who attended its Q3 Zone meeting on Sunday, May 6, 2012 is calling for greater collaborative effort at the zone and District levels in order to engage more Optimists as well as improve the chances of bringing well-needed publicity to the tremendous work being undertaken on behalf of the children.  
In their " From The Floor" feature, a sort of open-mic platform for members to speak their mind on burning concerns about Optimism, the members were sharp in recognizing the good work being done at the local club level but also critical about the need for translating the local success stories into wider knowledge among both the general membership of the Caribbean District and the public in general. The Zone is also calling for more systematic assessment and reporting on the impact of working with the children, especially at the broader District level.  The topic for discussion was: Optimism - Is it working for our children? 
Among the schools currently being engaged by the Zone 4 members are the Pembroke Hall Methodist and Arnold Road Basic Schools as well as the St Andrew Hostel for Girls, Mathew 25:40 in Kingston, and the Muirton Boys Home in Portland - all of which provide safe havens for marginalized children. The Zone is also developing a partnership with the Annotto Bay Hospital for which it will soon launch an Infratsructure Development Fund specifially to beneift the Pediatric Ward which is in dire need of expansion.
The meeting was held at the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority under the Chairmanship of Lieutenant Governor Patrick Prendergast and the watchful eyes of Governor Dwight Phillips and District Secretary-Treasurer Heather Chin-Walker who are both members of the zone.

Friday, May 4, 2012

June 15 is the Date

For tickets contact:
Lieutenant Governor Patrick
Tel: 1 876 833 8645

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Q3 Zone Meeting Sunday May 6

Q3 Zone Meeting
SUNDAY, MAY 6, 2012 @ 2:30 PM

4 Winchester Avenue, Kingston 10

Registration begins at 2:00 p.m.
Contribution $300.00

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Protect the children

It is not only our children's right to be protected; it is our duty.  There are many ways to make a difference. Here are a few:
Become a mentor
Adopt a child
Contribute to a children's fund
Join an organization that supports children
Embrace your duty and stand up for the future today.

Optimist International
Bringing out the best in kids