Friday, September 26, 2014

Second Call for Q1 District Meeting

It's a Friends and Family Optimist Meeting
Sunday 5th October

8:45 am    
Praise and Worship

9:45 am    
1st General Session

10:15 am  
Workshop 1

11:15 am
Workshop 2

12:00 noon     Lunch

1:00 pm
District Olympics
Team BLUE - Zones 1 & 2 and all affiliated JOOI clubs
Team RED - Zones 3 & 4 and all affiliated JOOI clubs
Team YELLOW - Zones 5 & 6, and all affiliated JOOI clubs
Team WHITE - Zones 7, 8, 9, 10, 11,12 & 13 and all affiliated JOOI clubs              

Cricket: 2 overs-a-side cricket match... Each person is allowed to face no more than 4 balls. DominoesTrack & Field... and much more!

2:15 pm
NOW Programme

3:30 pm
Workshop 3

4:15 pm
Closing session

4:45 pm
Board Meeting

Registration (includes lunch and drinks throughout the day)
Early Bird Adult: US$30.00 (extended to September 29)
Early Bird JOOI & College: US$18.00 (extended to September 29)
Regular & Onsite Registration Adult: US$36.00 (after Sept 29th)
Regular & Onsite Registration JOOI: US$26.00 (after Sept 29th)

Friday, September 19, 2014

Caribbean Optimists set to plant 2015 trees by January 1

Governor designate Barbara Arrindell has challenged her team to kick start the year with a most exciting project dubbed Treez 2015. 
The aim is to kick start the 2014-2015 year with a project that is both symbolic (growth and future) and actionable (demonstrating care).
The expectations are that:
Every Caribbean Optimist will plant a tree on October 1 to signify the start of the new year. The Optimist year runs from October 1 to September 30.
Members will plant a tree anywhere - even in your own back yard - but in the company of a child. Optimist work primarily with children across Canada, the Caribbean and the United States of America.

The target is for two thousand and fifteen trees (2015) will be planted across the Caribbean by January 1 2015.

Why plant trees?
The environmental reasons are tremendously positive. The networking potential is also awesome. Optimists are encouraged to invite other groups and community leaders to join in the effort. It is a great opportunity to spread the word about Optimism.

A tree is also a great gift. It is a gift that keeps on giving - sometimes for generations. 

Having children involved is a demonstration of our commitment to the future; but it can also serve as a positive motivation for children to think about and be involved in the preservation of the environment. 
Planting a tree is action. Don't just say you care - show it; prove it! After all, action speaks louder than words. 

Kick start the Step by Step year planting a tree with the children and for the future. 
2015 trees by January 2015 is more than achievable, sop let's do it Caribbean Optimists.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

My Role as Caribbean Optimist Today...

This is the fourth and final part of the series Caribbean Optimism....Moving Forward. It extends on comments delivered by GE Patrick at Optimist International Caribbean District Convention, August 9, 2014 at Sunset Jamaica Grande, Ocho Rios. 

We pledge to be good citizens from now on
Casting away victimization
Corruption will cease
Nepotism decrease
Throughout the whole nation
Our country then will be
Not just a society
But a just society
(Extract from Antigua and Barbuda Pledge)

The national pledge of Barbados is a promise… To uphold and defend their honour; and by my living to do credit…

In Jamaica the promise includes... To stand up for justice, brotherhood and peace; to work diligently and creatively, to think generously and honestly...

Right across the Caribbean we have these really profound and worthy-to-live-by national promises. As Optimists we combine the pledge of our various member countries with a most profound set of tenets expressed in Christian D. Larson’s The Optimist Creed.  But neither the Optimist Creed nor our national pledge should be seen as merely a series of profound statements or promises strung together to be recited at the beginning or end of official activities. 
Both are rather commitments to a particular way of life that if lived to the fullest would demonstrate to the world that we Optimists know and do what is right. Both have deeper positive meanings beyond their words. Both speak to the core of our role as Optimists.
When we recite the Optimist Creed, it is a declared commitment, for example… to be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as we are about our own. The success of one Optimist is the success of all Optimists.
In the same way as nationals of the various countries across the Caribbean we have guiding principles in our national symbols, so too as Optimists we have a moral compass in the ten tenets of the Optimist Creed. One thing is sure, living by the creed is never going to be easy; but it starts with a promise. Promise yourself…
The creed is our compass to demonstrate integrity as well as character. When we serve we serve in the interest of our fellow human beings. We serve our children because we believe in the future A future of hope, promise, abundant joy and prosperity; a future of greater achievements! If we want a future of despair then we sow seeds of darkness; but if we want a future of prosperity then we must sow seeds of life. Our creed is a powerful source of life – a candle burning bright against the darkness faced by our children?
When we get on board to serve in our clubs, in our zones, in our district, region or at International level, do not serve for your Governor-elect or your club president. Do it for you. Do it because you believe in something that is fundamentally good. Do it because you believe that the giving of one’s self in service to others will advance the well-being of humankind, community life and the world. Do it for the children! If we do for the children then we do for Optimism.
So, serving in Optimism is not about Past International President Theo Golding, nor Governor Nutilia Simon. It is not about Governor-designate Barbara Arrindell, nor President-designate Ken Garner. Neither is serving about International President-elect Dave Bruns, and not about Governor-elect Patrick. 
Serving in Optimism is about the pledge that we have taken as nationals of societies striving each day to be just. Our volunteerism is a commitment to a pledge that is embedded in the Optimist creed and solidified in the mission of Optimism: By providing hope and positive vision, Optimists bring out the best in kids. Our service is a demonstration that we are, indeed, friends of youth.

Next August (August 10, 2015) will mark 35 years of Optimism in the Caribbean. No matter how we look at it, 35 years is a long history of triumph over many adversities. There have been many ups and many downs. Many a turbulent rivers we have crossed; and, we are still here. Our overcoming is a testament of a resolve and strength that run deep in our collective DNA.
Our overcoming must be celebrated not depreciated.  So, let us not condemn each other for what could have or should have been, but rather, let’s work with each other and do what we can to help. It is said that true volunteers give because they have already received. That is really our motive for service; our chief inducement. It is also said that there is only one way to demonstrate gratitude and that is to give in substance and self...Not one or the other; but both! Both what we have and what we are.
I close with a twist on words spoken by Martin Luther King Jnr. in that April 4, 1967 speech, the fierce urgency of now “Perhaps a new spirit is rising among us. If it is, let us trace its movement well and pray that our own inner being may be sensitive to its guidance, for we are deeply in need of a new way beyond the darkness that seems so close around us… We must move past indecision to action. We must find new ways to speak for the rights of our children…”

So let us move forward...
STEP BY STEP to building an organization that is a beacon of hope and a cradle of positive action...
STEP BY STEP to conquering lions and mountains....
STEP BY STEP to bringing our children home to a better life.

Fellow optimists of the great Caribbean District, I urge us all: instead of cursing the darkness, light a candle! The time has come for us to stand up, be positive, and make things happen.

Optimist Patrick
Optimist International Caribbean District

Monday, September 1, 2014

Step by Step First Call for October 5 Meeting

The first meeting of the Step by Step Year with Governor Barbara and DST Jason is scheduled for 
Sunday, October 5, 2014
starting at 8:45 a.m. 
Hope Botanical Gardens and Zoo 
in St Andrew, Jamaica.

This meeting promises to be a humdinger of creativity and energy taking Caribbean Optimists to new places and spaces...

Praise & Thanksgiving
General Sessions 
Planning and execution of an actual NOW programme
Optimists Olympics Competition

includes lunch and drinks throughout the day:
Early Bird: Adult US$30.00 (by September 26th) 
Early Bird: JOOI US$18.00 (by September 26th) 
Regular & Onsite Registration Adult: US$36.00 (after Sept 26th) 
Regular & Onsite Registration JOOI: US$26.00 (after Sept 26th)

The first 75 fully paid, registered members will be entered into a raffle that just might take you to new places.

Hope Gardens...
The Royal Botanical Gardens, commonly called "Hope Gardens", occupies 200 acres of land in the Ligunaea Plains of urban St Andrew. The gardens were established in 1873 on a section of land from the estate of Major Richard Hope, one of the original English colonisers who arrived with the invading force of Penn and Venables. 

Today the gardens are the largest public green space in the Kingston metropolitan region, and are home to Jamaica's most popular collection of endemic and exotic botanical collections. Of particular interest is the Cassia siamea grove by the main entrance, which was planted in 1907, and the other mini-gardens within the park - notably the cacti garden, with its rare varietals; the bougainvillea walk with its magnificent explosions of tropical colours; the annual gardens, with numerous species of exotic flowers; the sunken gardens and the lily pond. -