Thursday, August 23, 2012

Caribbean Optimists Meet in Ocho Rios, Jamaica

MORE THAN a hundred Optimists from across the Caribbean are expected to bring their special brand of positive living to the tourist town of Ocho Rios, Jamaica this weekend, August 24 – 26. The Optimists will be in town for the 21st Convention of the Caribbean District when delegates will, among other things, review the administrative year of Governor Dwight Phillips and install the 2012-2013 team of Lynden Buchanan.
The Caribbean District comprises Optimist clubs across the English-speaking Caribbean - from Bahamas in the north to Barbados in the south. The movement is known for its strong tradition in serving children of vulnerable communities.  Optimist programmes are focused on HIV-AIDS, Cancer, and the deaf and hard-of-hearing, as well as the creation of opportunities and services for young people to grow and develop in confidence through scholarship activities such as oratorical and essay contests. 
The weekend is filled with possibilities for delegates to not only grow in Optimism but also have great fun and fellowship.  The Governor's reception kicks off the weekend on Friday night with a celebratory Jamaica 50 package of entertainment; and among the highlights for Saturday are the training sessions to be carried out by internationally recognized trainers including Past International Vice President Jim Oliver. The convention will be held at the Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort & Spa. Optimists and friends who cannot make the Convention may join us for a live stream at Caribbean Optimists, thinking only of the best; working only for the best; and expecting only the best.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Excited and powered for District Convention - DST Heather

OPTIMIST INTERNATIONAL Caribbean District Secretary-Treasurer, Heather Chin-Walker is making it known that the up-coming District convention set for Ocho Rios this August 24 weekend is going to be nothing but "exciting, informative, and memorable". The convention is in fact shaping up be 100% that... and then some!  We should all be channeling our inner DST who says she is: excited and powered up! 
Here are a few reminders from the DST at this time:
The Governor's Reception on Friday evening (August 24) will be a an evening of Caribbean culture - Celebrating Jamaica 50.  All islands are expected to be on show.
On Saturday evening (August 25) it will be the Installation ceremony for the 2012-2013 administration. Come on out and cheer on GE Lynden and his team as they prepare to take the baton and lead this wonderful Caribbean District to higher heights.   

Remember you do not need a pass to attend either of these events if you are staying off property.
The Training Sessions are going to be definitively exciting and informative; please attend as many as possible. Lieutenant Governors, Presidents, and Secretary-Treasurers, please ensure that you are in attendance for the training that will equip you to be effective leaders.  
CPA Special: There is a new format to submit CPAs and as such a training session will be conducted on Saturday August 25, 2012 at 2-3:30pm.  We encourage all clubs to ensure that a representative attend this session so we are fully informed of the changes that are effective for this administrative year. 
The fabulous Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort and Spa  is still accepting bookings for this weekend; but note that this will be based on availability of rooms.

The Power of One Caribbean District Convention 2012 is all set and we are ready; so...  
See you there!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The JOOI of Success

This is the time of the year when all kinds of results are out - from GSAT to CSEC to OI competitions; and so it is also a time for celebrating especially with our junior optimists. Here are a few mentions from JOOI Chair Lisa-Gaye and DST Heather worth cheering about:
  • JOOI Caribbean District Governer, Tidjan Simpson at CAPE
  • JOOI International Board Committee Member from Anguilla, Cordane Richardson, received 15 Ones for CXC.
  • JOOI LtG, Jose Vanterpool - 15 Ones and 1 two
The JOOI Optimist International's Reading Competition
  • 1st place - Fortis Octagon Club of Kingston College (Sunset Optimist Club of Liguanea)
  • 2nd place - Octagon Club of Wolmer's Boys (Optimist Club of Harbour View)
  • 3rd place - Independence City Primary Junior Optimist (Optimist Club of Portmore North)
Heartiest congratulations to these clubs and individual members and we look forward to hearing the other success stories across the Caribbean.
Stories like these:
Sunset Liguanea sending out congratulations to 2011/2012 Essay Competition Entrant & Zone 4 Rep Paige Farquharson who aced the GSAT Examinations and will be attending Wolmers High School  for Girls come September!!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Zone 4 ready for Q4 meetings

THE OI-7804 family has been an awesome force over the last three quarters. As the family heads into the final zone and district meetings for the 2011-2012 year we are on a high. The members are indeed geared up and ready to do everything we can to ensure that our clubs, zone and district finish the Power of one hundred percent and then some year, stronger and better. One of the highlights of this last quarter is the Zone meeting.
The Q4 Zone meeting is on for Saturday, August 18, 2012 starting at 2:30 pm at the St Paul's Church Hall in  Cross Roads. Those of us who are yet to make a zone meeting are expected to make the special effort to join the regulars so our family gathering will be the strongest ever. The long-awaited Optimism Awareness Quiz should be fun and learning all rolled into one; and the special workshop on preparing for the Community Project Awards should auger well for the clubs in our zone. The Q4 Zone meeting is being hosted by Kingston Breakfast.
Also, coming up in this quarter is The Power of One District Convention 2012 from Friday August 24 to Sunday August 26 at Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort and Spa, Ocho Rios. We are ready for that too! All our clubs are working to field full strength delegations. The annual conventions are must-attend events for their excellence in fellowship and training as well as the always-exciting Governors reception which this year carries the Jamaica50 theme.  Of course, there is the high energy installation ceremony for the 2012-2013 admininistration to be led by Governor-designate Lynden Buchanan. Among the special guests for Convention 2012 are Jamaica's Minister of Youth and Culture, Lisa Hanna and Past International Vice President Jim Oliver.
It's a great time to be an Optimist.

Zone 4
One one coco full basket - Harnessing the power of one

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Training highlights for Q4 District Convention

THE SECOND call for Caribbean District Convention 2012 is out and so too are the training highlights. The quarterly district gatherings are great opportunities for personal growth and improvement, fellowship and networking; but the Q 4 conventions - as is customary in the Optimist movement - are specially designed for that and much more.
One of the special Q4 features is the training for incoming officers which is aimed at ensuring that the new team are well prepared for their special assignments in advancing the welfare of Caribbean children. This objective also means that the trainers who are selected are among those recognized by the movement as exceptional in their area; they are able to bring the kind of expertise that will  guarantee all delegates a meaningful and productive experience.
Among those set to take the training to a different level at the Power-of-One Convention 2012 are:
Past International Vice President and 2011-2012 New Club Building chair for Optimist International, James "Jim" Oliver (Optimist club of Van Nuys-Airport, California)

Past International Vice President  and 2011-2012 District Chair for Leadership & Development, Edwin Wint (Optimist club of Kingston Breakfast)
International Vice President Designate and Certified Club Trainer
Sonia Anderson (Optimist club of St Ann's Bay)

Past District Secretary-Treasurer and Certified District Trainer,
Barbara Arrindell (Optimist club of St. John's, Antigua)

Past Lieutenant Governor, Faith McFarquhar-Gordon (Optimist club of Sunset Kingston)

These facilitators are outstanding Optimists in their own right; but they also bring to the convention professional and academic qualification of the highest quality in leadership, management, and human resource development from both the public and private sectors. Together they make an awesome team whose sessions should not be missed. The conference planning committee is promising all delegates to the Caribbean District Convention 2012 "the best experience ever!".
Friday August 24
2:00 - 6:00 PM
Saturday August 25
8:00 - 9:15 AM

2:00 - 3:30 PM (Concurrent Sessions)
Sunday August 26
9:00 AM (General Session)

Governor's Jamaica50 Indepedence Message

August 6, 2012
Kingston, Jamaica

I hope that none of you were affected by the recent passing of Ernesto; that you are all safe and dry.
As we celebrate our 50th anniversary as an independent nation, we can look back on all the positive achievements that we have enjoyed. Yes, there are some negatives as well, but let us focus, let us shine our light on the positives, as Optimists do (to look on the sunny side of everything), to light a trail for the leaders of tomorrow, our youth.  We have a lot to thank God for: the gift of life, the ability to help others, the ability to dream and realize our dreams. It is my wish that you all enjoy this independence holiday and really feel liberated and empowered as optimists, and realize the tremendous influence that you wield.
If you observed both the 100 meters men & women finals, you would have noticed that the winners, Usain & Shelly-Ann, came from behind, pressed forward and became victorious, and achieved their objective. Likewise, the Caribbean District needs to emulate these two sprinting stars, to come from behind, press forward and finish STRONG. Yes, you have been hearing this phrase and rally cry for some time now (Finish Strong). What does it mean to finish strong?
To Finish Strong, we as clubs need to ensure that we recruit and admit like-minded individuals to our clubs to assist us in our optimist work; to ensure that all the paper works are done and reports sent in on time; that we are dues compliant - both OI & District; to expand the movement to areas where there are no clubs to serve the communities; and just to continue doing the wonderful projects in an effort to aid and encourage the development of Youth.
At this time I want to encourage you all to register for the convention in August, which promises to be an enjoyable and memorable one, so that as a district, we can truly Finish Strong.
All the best, and take care,
Gov. Dwight
The Power of One

Monday, August 6, 2012

National Pledge of Jamaica

Before God and all mankind, 
I pledge the love and loyalty of my heart, 
the wisdom and courage of my mind, 
the strength and vigour of my body 
in the service of my fellow citizens; 
I promise to stand up for Justice, 
Brotherhood and Peace, 
to work diligently and creatively, 
to think generously and honestly, 
so that Jamaica may, under God, 
increase in beauty, 
fellowship and prosperity, 
and play her part in advancing the welfare of the whole human race.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Friday, August 3, 2012

Sunset Jamaica Grande for Caribbean District Convention

THE OPTIMIST International Caribbean District Convention 2012 is set to unfold at the Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort and Spa this August 24 - 26.
My first District Convention in 2008 was actually at this same resort; and as Optimists we have been there many times before. Recently, it was the resort of choice for Past International Vice President Adrian Elcock to hold the Southeast region Parallel District Conference in November 2010. But the history notes also tell us that the first ever Jamaica Convention in August 1993 unfolded at the Jamaica Grande. To many, this property is the centre-piece of tourism in Ocho Rios, St Ann; and with justification.
For starters, the resort is a great weekend escape to a fantastic all-inclusive fare of enchanting comfort, exquisite dining, and fun-filled activities. From waterfalls to plunge pools and swim-up bars to sensational water sports, full-service spa, air conditioned fitness centre, and unparalleled night time entertainment, fun time and fellowship are easily covered. A choice of six restaurants and a couple grills provide a full range of gastronomic cuisines and flavours.   And guess what? You can take the children and not worry about their having a whale of a good time! 
Of course, the more than 30,000 square feet of indoor meeting space make it the largest in Jamaica. With all meeting rooms located on the same level and with the support of modern technology convention delegates can be guaranteed ease and convenience.  
District Conventions are always must-be-at events. Inspiring. Breath-taking. Stimulating. Empowering. Motivating. If that's the experience you are looking for this August then the Power of One Caribbean District Convention at Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort and Spa promises that and more - much more!
Book now and let there be no empty beds!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Freedom!... for the children too.

As Jamaica celebrates Emancipation Day this August 1, let us as Optimists remember children across the world who are enslaved. The historians tell us that the reading of the emancipation proclamation on the morning of August 1, 1834 ended slavery in the British colonies.  History also tells us that full free did not come until four years later August 1, 1838.  On this Augus mawnin 2012, let us not take our freedom of the last 174 years for granted. Neither should we ignore the evidence that millions of people around the world are still being enslaved; and among those in slavery most are children.  We have a responsibility, especially as Optimists, to use freedom as a platform for advancing the inherent right of every child to human dignity and harmonious development. When all is said and done, if all our children are not free then where are we as humanity? Freedom for the children; freedom for all.