Thursday, June 28, 2012

Jamaica night without light still good

The vibes still flowed. The energy was still good (though I did not have much myself). But the lack of electricity did not stop the fun and laughter inside the Castleton United Church hall as the OC Scenic Castleton unveiled their scaled down Jamaica night on Wednesday evening. The kerosene lantern supplemented by cell-phone lights provided enough illumination for people to have a fairly good time. The mother-daughter improvisation duo came prepared to entertain and so they did.  Of course, visiting Optimists from Zones 4 and 2 also joined members of the club and community in presenting songs, poems, and jokes to the delight of all. Some were disappointed in not having the usual mackerel run-dung but potato pudding and coconut drops were in abundance. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Jamaica Night at OC Scenic Castleton

The OI-7804 family of Optimists is gearing up to spend a special time with President Barbara and the Optimist Club of Scenic Castleton this Wednesday evening, June 27, 2012 at the Castleton United Church.
Each year Scenic Castleton turns their June fellowship meeting into a fund-raiser of sorts with the Jamaica night concept.  This means extra fun and entertainment with real "country style concert" and a lot of traditional food such as sweet potato pudding, pepper-pot soup, mackerel run-dung with banana and dumplin', and coconut drops, ginger beer and lemonade.
The special get-together starts at 7:00 pm and if you are planning on joining the fun you are encouraged to wear Jamaican colours.

For more information contact:
President Barbara 879 5344 or ST Janice at 386 3276.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

GSAT Congrats

The Jamaican Ministry of Education has released the Grade Six Achievement Test - GSAT results and, as expected, there is some sadness; but overwhelmingly, there is joy all around. Members of the 7804 family of Optimists are all very proud of our own children and the support of their parents. We know that together they have done their best.
The family also extends its pride to the children of the other zones and as we  look forward to the greater achievements of the future we promise our love, care and guidance to all children and parents who will now take the educational journey to higher heights. High school, here we come!
Congratulations to the children; respect to the parents; do continue to be proud of what you have achieved so far and stand ready to embrace the new opportunities of the future. 
The future is in our children; let us all support them.

Monday, June 18, 2012

JOOI District Convention June 23

The Junior Optimist Octagon International (JOOI) Caribbean District Convention is set to take place on Saturday June 23 at the Stella Maris Auditorium, in St Andrew, Jamaica. Here is another wonderful opportunity for all our children to experience this great voluntary service movement of Optimism. 
District Chairperson Lisa-Gaye Anderson and her team are making sure that when the Caribbean arm of  "the world's most dynamic coalition of youth volunteers" get together there will be lots of activities for learning, entertainment, and fellowship. Adult clubs, and especially sponsors, are encouraged to not only participate but also to ensure that their JOOI clubs are out in full force.
With near 16,000 youth volunteers in more than 600 communities, JOOI members are constantly working to promote positive change through several programmes such as The JOOI of Reading which is designed to young people to "pick up a book and start reading" and Internet Safety which is designed to "encourage diligence, awareness and safe practices for teens while online". The youth confab starts at 9 in the morning at the 62 Shortwood Road location.

Friday, June 15, 2012

June 15 Zone 4 University Singers Benefit Concert

When the curtains go up at 8 o'clock this evening at the Philip Sherlock Centre for the Creative Arts, it will be for a special benefit. It is June 15 and the Optimist International Caribbean District Zone 4 presents the internationally acclaimed University Singers in Concert 2012.
This show is in support of the tremendous work being done by the Annotto Bay Hospital for the children of Portland, St Mary and St Ann.  The pediatric ward at the hospital is under severe stress for physical space to meet the health service needs of the children despite the availability of the best medical skills set in the region. This benefit show is part of efforts by Zone 4 to assist the hospital in its project development process as it seeks to expand the physical plant to better serve the communities.
Your support of this event will guarantee two things: an evening of excellence in musical entertainment and the improvement of health care to our children.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Childhood Cancer Chair Says Thanks

THE CURE Childhood Cancer Campaign, a major programme initiative of Optimist International has taken on a life of its own in the Caribbean District as it should.  Chairperson Pat McLean who has been leading the initiative for a number of years is expressing thanks to the District committee and all the organisations and individuals who continue to give full support to the events staged under the CCC  banner. The relationship with the Bustamante Hospital for Children is growing stronger each year and so too are the events staged by the committee.  The annual Brunch & Fashion Show comes to mind and, of course, participation in the Jamaica Cancer Society's Relay for Life which is an all-night fun and entertainment vigil aimed at increasing awareness about cancer while celebrating survivorship.

Here is an expression of appreciation from CP Pat coming after the Relay for Life 2012 edition:
Greetings fellow Optimists,
On behalf of the Childhood Cancer Committee, I would like to thank all who took part in the Jamaica Cancer Society's (JCC) Relay for Life.  It was a wonderful night of fellowship even as we honoured the survivors and remembered those who passed. 
The Junior Optimist Octagon International - JOOI Cancer Conquerors were out in their numbers.   There were about 50 members. WOW!!  They had a ball.  Special thanks to Optimist Clive Savage and CP Lisa-Gaye Anderson along with other members, family and friends who supervised and fed our young Optimists.
Thanks to CP Claudette who was early at the venue to begin the decoration of the tent and to LTG Hyacinth and PP Dottel who came along later. Thanks also to CP Latoya who dealt with our t-shirts; and all will agree they were quite nicely done. 
Last but not least, to the members of the Optimist Club of Sunset Kingston, who volunteer each year to work in the survivors tent making sure they are registered, fed and comfortable.  You  guys are AWESOME. The beautiful and informative posters in the tent were all done by CP Valerie. She was with me all the way giving advice and helping to coordinate.  Thank you CP Valerie you too are AWESOME.  Blessings.

CP Pat
District Chairperson
OI Childhood Cancer Campaign
Providing the care...Finding the cure.

Here is a video that is a must see:

Sunday, June 10, 2012

A Beautiful Week: From Q3 Regional to CCDHH and Relay for Life Saturday

When the curtains came down on the 10th anniversary edition of the Jamaica Cancer Society's June 9-10 all night vigil, Relay for Life 2012, many of our Caribbean Optimists would have been coming to the end of another awesomely hectic but fantastic week in Optimism.  The event held at the Police Officers Club in Kingston, Jamaica is designed as "a unique fun way to raise funds for the Jamaica Cancer Society while increasing cancer awareness and celebrating survivorship". Relay for Life has solid support from many in the corporate world but also from voluntary service organizations such as the Optimist International Caribbean District and specifically the Cure Childhood Cancer Campaign. Congratulations to Chairperson Patricia and all those who made the usual Optimist presence and contribution a significant one.
Cassandra Whyte
I had my first experience of the District Communication Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing - CCDHH at the Altamont Court Hotel in Kingston on Saturday June 9, 2012 and it was such a delightfully emotional and refreshingly fulfilling morning. Addressing the topic How my optimism helps me overcome obstacles, eight contestants delivered some very powerful presentations to the supportive audience of family, friends, teachers and Optimists and in the process reminded us that regardless of our disabilities and challenges, we are all human beings.  These young people not only deserve to be respected as such but to be given the opportunity to fulfill their true potentials as underscored by Miss Deaf International 2011, Cassandra Whyte in her brief address to the participants.
Congratulations to junior category winner, Miss Ashli Bailey who walked away with a District plaque and cash prize. Miss Kimberly Barnes of the Lister Mair/Gilby School for the Deaf took the top prize among the seniors and won for herself a District plaque, cash prize and a US$2500 scholarship towards her tertiary education. The CCDHH "offers an opportunity for children who are deaf or hard of hearing to present their thoughts in the community, gaining skills, which can only come from signing or speaking to a large audience" ( and is one of several programmes designed to bring meaning to the Optimist motto, "Bringing out the best in Kids".
On the weekend before just under 170 Caribbean Optimists gathered for the June 2 Q3 Regional meeting in Black River, St. Elizabeth and what a strong showing it was for Zone 4. Between West Saint Andrew, Scenic Castleton, Kingston Central, Breakfast Kingston, and Sunset Liguanea there were 26 members representing the zone. This was not enough to beat Zone 6 for the travelers trophy, but good enough to show that the power zone is indeed that and more. Sunset Liguanea with eleven members tied with Sunset Kingston in the club race with the winner's trophy going to Harbour View. 37 clubs answered the call for the Idlers Rest/Everglades Conference Centre south coast  gathering. From all indication, the OI-7804 family is getting ready to take all titles at the Q4 Convention scheduled for the north coast tourist resort town of Ocho Rios, Jamaica. The Sunset Jamaica Grande Hotel is set to host what is expected to be the largest confab for the "Power of One" year on the weekend of August 24-26, 2012.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Quotables from Q3 District Meeting

 “People are the centre of development – they are not just raw talent seeking identity fulfillment but human beings with a name, with a story, with a sense of purpose”.  

"We are more than how we feel, bigger than our past, greater than our socialization, and can rise to be more than our wildest dreams."  

"We must define ourselves by our accomplishments and not just our pains"

"By your practice, you are." 

Dr Lyndon Johnson is the Managing Director of Technosol, a pioneer in the Jamaican Agro-industry sector. He was guest speaker at the June 2, 2012 OI Caribbean District Q3 Regional Meeting, Everglades Conference Centre, St Elizabeth, Jamaica.