Archive for the ‘Jason Walker’ Category

Usain Bolt Statue

SPORTS LEGEND USAIN BOLT STANDS BEFORE STATUE IN KINGSTON, JAMAICA

The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, had said that “rain or shine, we will be unveiling the Usain Bolt statue” on Sunday, December 3. Without the rain the unveiling did occur on time

The Minister made the declaration on Wednesday after visiting the site on Statue Road in Independence Park where the sculpture will be mounted.

Usain Bolt & Statue

The Minister went to the Independence Park complex (which houses the National Stadium) to observe work on the pedestal on which the bronze statue — to the scale of one and quarter life size — will be mounted. Minister Grange said: “The base is now ready for mounting of the statue. The statue will be mounted and will be in place for Sunday, December 3.”

The statue — a lasting tribute to the world’s greatest sprinter — was due to be unveiled during Heritage Week in October, but the unveiling ceremony was postponed because of rain. Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Andrew Holness, unveiled the statue in a special ceremony scheduled at 5:30 on Sunday afternoon.

The ceremony was be attended by several notable figures in local and international sports.

Statue of Usain Bolt

The sculpture was designed by renowned Jamaican sculptor Basil Watson. It is the first of four statues of national sports stars that were commissioned by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport under the Jamaica 55 Legacy Programme. Watson is also working on sculptures of Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce, Veronica Campbell Brown and Asafa Powell. The Minister invited the public to attend the unveiling ceremony.

Immediately following the unveiling of the statue, there was a special Reception of Appreciation for Jamaican athletes (a private event). Minister Grange said the Reception was for members of the Jamaican team that participated at the IAAF World Championship in London earlier this year as well as for “our Olympians in general – just to say thank you for how they’ve represented Jamaica over the years and for being good ambassadors.”

Courtesy of JIS

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Jamaica vs USA in the Gold Cup Final 2017

 

United States vs. Jamaica
2017 Gold Cup Final
Levi’s Stadium – Santa Clara, Calif.
Wednesday, July 26 – 9:30 p.m. ET
WATCH: FS1, Univision, UDN (USA) | TSN 1/3/4/5 (CAN)

 

This was the final that was not expected by any of the media pundits. They did not expect Jamaica to be in the final. That is understandable though, Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz came into the final with none of their established leaders or stars and had a starting team that mainly had either been on the bench that last Gold Cup run or had not even been on the team. Whereas Mexico and USA who have been the longstanding giants of Concacaf were expected to be the finalist. The two giant countries; more resourced, experienced and with decorated players had been the script and narrative to be the finalists.

Jamaica has shocked the football world by making it to the finals, again. We will see who comes out as the victor tonight!

 

 

JA vCAN

Jamaica defeated Canada 2-1  to advance to the semi-finals of the 2017 Gold Cup Football competition. In a game that was filled with energy and Jamaicans bringing a fast pace streaking to Balls at any opportunity, Jamaica won the entertaining match to advance.

Jamaica goalie Andre Blake did a magnificent job of keeping the northern rivals at bay. The Reggae Boyz got a great start when Shaun Francis (pictured above) received a perfect pass from Darren Mattocks to convert for the 1st goal. At the beginning of the 2nd half prolific scorer Romario Williams put Jamaica in a comfortable lead after Mattocks sent him a pass that he capitalized on and put Jamaica up by 2 goals.

Jamaican-Canadian Junior Hoilett scored a goal for Canada with 30 minutes remaining in the game. That gave Canada new energy as they stepped up the attacks. The Jamaican defense anchored by goalie Andre Blake would not allow any more goals.

Jamaica will face regional giant Mexico in the semifinal of the Football Gold Cup 2017 competition. Canada has been eliminated.

photo courtesy of ESPN FC

  
JOY

Prayer group in the mad rush to get ready today stop for a second and look at nature around you, even the sun rising and take in the awesome power of GOD to make such strong masterpieces! 

Go to a mirror, look at how you are powerfully & wonderfully made and try to think of how JESUS sees you. 

If you have a spouse look at them or a picture of them and try to imagine how JESUS sees & loves them.

If you have children look at them or a picture of them and try to imagine how JESUS sees & loves them.

Look at your parents or a picture of them and try to imagine how JESUS sees & loves them.

Look at your siblings or a picture of them and try to imagine how JESUS sees & loves them.

I did that this morning with #GOD’s creation of nature around me, myself, my spouse, my children, my siblings and my parents and I felt such a charge filled joy that I will do my best to carry through the day.

Jason Walker

Nalu, Mosiah & Daddy on Daddy Birthday

 

First I want to thank all of those who reached out to me by email, text, WhatsApp, calls, FB posts and messages, voicemails,
IG etc etc. I will do my best to respond to as many of you as I can, it is very humbling and well appreciated, I feel
the love.
As I enter a new year of my life, I have truly learned lot. With my children I have learned the great joys of life, with all 4 children and with marriage I have learnt more about life than I could have ever imagined. During the past couple years I have experienced the greatest pain I have ever felt in my life, I have also experienced the greatest spiritual growth in my life. I have seen friends my age and younger pass away.
I’ve also seen that emotions like happiness, sadness, depression, ecstacy and all such emotions are temporary sometimes even fleeting. I have also seen that on the ability to love and the execution of that love is the greatest thing that one can do on this planet (especially unconditional). More importantly true joy comes from living in GOD’s purpose which comes from living a life of commitment. I have definitely seen that being committed to GOD, myself, my wife, my children (all 4), my parents, my sisters and brother, my greater family and my friends.
Commitment has to start with GOD and all the other commitments have to filter through that commitment with GOD. It it is through commitment to God and living in God’s purpose that one will find true joy. This shed’s light on when Deion Sanders had won his 2nd NFL Championship ring and had had success as an MLB player he said he did not feel true joy. I have also learnt that the aforementioned emotions (all of them) become catalysts for nurturing, lessons through pain and ultimately growth.
As such they should be used as such, tools, not goals, the goal should be growth and fulfilling GOD’s purpose for you (I believe) I have great family and friends and I have wonderful and amazing children who do and will support me and I have a God who really opens up the world to my existence and to me when I trust HIM. This birthday is about growing in the purpose of GOD and being the best I can be in that process while I do the best in my commitments to all the aforementioned.
Thank you for acknowledging my earthstrong,
thank you for the love, nuff love.
Jason SkyWalker Walker
Leaning on GOD

 

JAMAICA FLAG

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JAMAICA LAND OF MY BIRTH
 
BY Jason Walker
 
Today JAMAICA is 53. It is a moment of blessing and happiness for those of us born in, descendant of and love Jamaica. It is also a time to share that happiness with those who love Jamaica although not born in the land of wood and water. There are many reasons to be proud of our young small nation and the peoples who have been brought forth from this nation that have put a stamp on human history. All this has been done while facing seemingly insurmountable odds from the first moment Europeans destroyed the aboriginal people in Jamaica, to the Africans fighting against slavery and having limited success against the most far-reaching holocaust in human history, to the influencing of PAn African thought through Marcus Garvey & Rastafarians and the infectuous Reggae music and powerful contirbutions in the areas of human rights, progressive thought, academia, Christian service, athletics and so much more.
 
We have done all this while dealing with challenges from both outside and inside of our communities and creating a Diaspora that by all estimates doubles our population on the island. I would like to see as a present on this 53rd year, all Jamaicans really coming together with a mindset of always supporting people and things Jamaican in positive realms and to use all these areas of GODly anointing that we show so successfully to truly make us advance in every area so that we not only benefit ourselves, but the whole human race.
 
Happy Birthday Jamaica to all Jamaicans, those of Jamaican descent and those who love Jamaica
 
National Pledge
 
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.

 

Miami Broward One Carnival Celebrate 30 years of Carnival in South Florida

By Jason Walker

MIAMI BROWARD CARNIVAL CELEBRATES 30 YEARS

MIAMI BROWARD ONE CARNIVAL CELEBRATES 30 YEARS. PHOTO COURTESY OF MIAMI BROWARD ONE CARNIVAL

Miami Broward One Carnival reaches a major milestone in 2014. Three decades is a long time for any area not based in the Caribbean to host the largest physical manifestation of Caribbean culture: Carnival. The name Miami Broward One Carnival reflects the historic unification of two Carnivals that were staged for several years in close proximity in South Florida, on the same day at the same time. Both events drew thousands of people and had stage shows and bands.  The people, however, wanted one Carnival for the sake of unity, – everyone could partake in all that Carnival has to offer.

The vision of Carnival in South Florida 30 years ago has manifested itself into one of the most popular Caribbean events in North America. The Carnival even has hit songs that are about that Carnival, such as Alison Hind’s “Never Too Late For Carnival” featuring Trevor Offkey.

Joan Hickson is the chair of the organizing committee. Hickson thought back to “the first Carnival on NW 183rd Street.  I was a member of the St. Lucia Association of South Florida.  We became a band in the Carnival.  I was actually the Queen of the Band one year.  Since that time I have been involved in other bands – D’ Untouchables and D’ First Dimension.  I was on the Board of the South Florida Bandleaders Association and Caribbean American Carnival, which later became Miami Carnival Inc.  I have loved almost every minute of the last 30 years.  It is an accomplishment that we were able to overcome everything and all come together to continue this beautiful event”.

YOUNG ONE IN COSTUME FOR JUNIOR CARNIVAL

YOUNG ONE IN COSTUME FOR JUNIOR CARNIVAL

Hickson also demonstrated the importance of joining both Miami and Broward Carnivals; “it is very important for us to have only one Carnival in this region”, she cited.  “History has proven that we cannot afford more than one – financially, culturally or socially.  It was hard for both organizations; we were accustomed to our independence, but as leaders of our community it was the only choice and it was the right choice.”

Kathryn D’arcy is a director on the organizing committee. D’arcy shared that this year the “theme is a celebration of the 30th Annual Miami Carnival.  The first Miami Carnival was in 1985 in what is now the City of Miami Gardens.”

The late Selman Lewis took the helm of leadership in 1990 and with great fortitude, cunning, will power and strong support helped to guide the Carnival to be one of the most recognized in the world.

Miami Broward One Carnival by Walter Drayton

IMAGES FROM CARNIVAL IN SOUTH FLORIDA BY WALTER DRAYTON

Getting to the milestone of 30 years is very important and has been very difficult. The Carnival organizing committee has to make sure all facets of the very large event are taken care of, that there is buy in from the non-Caribbean community, the governing municipalities of South Florida, and the other Carnivals to avoid conflicting schedules. D’arcy shared that doing this “is a personal triumph because of my history with Miami Carnival.  I was not there in 1985, but I was in 1986 and every year since.  I’ve been a bandleader, a mas player, a competitor, an onlooker and an organizer of Miami Carnival.  I have seen and been a part of different facets of Carnival and from an organizational perspective I’ve seen every problem, every triumph over adversity – and there have been a lot of them.”

The Director of Marketing, John Beckford (formerly part of the Broward Carnival organizing committee), states that the Carnival means to him “embracing heritage and celebration of Caribbean arts and culture. It means food, drinks and music indigenous to the Caribbean. It means, getting together with friends and family if not for this one time each year…it means old man Winter is about to set in….” Hickson declares that, “I have loved almost every minute of the last 30 years.  It is an accomplishment that we were able to overcome everything and all come together to continue this beautiful event.”

For it to last this long and still grow and be relevant is admirable, the question as to how it has lasted so long was posed to Hickson.  She responded by saying “Our community loves Carnival.  No matter where we are from, we all had Carnival at home, so it’s natural to want to show our kids and teach them our culture.  Every year another thousand people discover Carnival and will bring their friends the following year.”

Broward Canrival

IMAGES FROM BROWARD CARNIVAL

Miami Broward One Carnival has left enduring memories for all, memories that have seared into people’s subconscious to become lasting life images. Board members shared some of their memories; Beckford shared his most enduring memory which was a “A quiet conversation with Selman Lewis two days before he died, about how unity of Miami & Broward carnivals was the right thing to do…. Selman….miss him….”; Hickson adds, “… the memories of Selman Lewis are there. We called him “The Runner” because the rest of the Board had specific responsibilities but he was, overall, responsible for everything.  Plus, Selman was too elegant to ever run. The name was our private joke.  I always loved seeing the Kings, Queens and Individuals on stage, especially when we did the show at the Coconut Grove Convention Center and they had a big stage to perform on.  The Junior Carnivals are good memories.  I loved it when the steelbands came from T&T and people just chipped along smiling and happy.” D’arcy remembers “Wet Mih Down” playing while masqueraders jumped up on stage in pouring rain in Miami Beach; sitting on the wall of Hialeah Park watching the masqueraders pass; the heat at  carnival parties in Studio 183 and Travelodge; Sherman Helmsley (“Mr. Jefferson”) jumping up on stage at the Convention Center; a City of Miami Policeman pushing pan on stage at Bicentennial Park; TanTan and Saga Boy at Pier 1 in Miami Beach; the perfection of D’ First Dimension Mas Band; all mas bands, steelbands, Junior bands and J’Ouvert bands that make up Carnival.”

The Carnival brings thousands of persons to South Florida consistently from across North and South America, the Caribbean, Africa and even Europe. It is a huge boost to the South Florida economy, a great plug for Florida tourism and a fantastic display of Caribbean Culture. Caribbean and Non-Caribbean people get engaged in the Carnival in diverse ways. They are not just standing on the sides and grooving to music anymore, they are becoming a part of the show joining bands, putting on costumes and fully becoming part of the Carnival. There are Caribbean and non-Caribbean people volunteering to help with the organizing of the Carnival. According to Beckford, “some embrace carnival and are curious of the diversity. Thanks to TV, Internet and World Travel, more non-Caribbean folks explore and embrace Carnival. Each year I see non-Caribbean numbers grow in attendance”

Kia Hidspire representing Grenada & St Lucia along with Nicole Williams representing Jamaica in Tribal Mas Band in the 2013 Miami Broward Carnival

Kia Hidspire representing Grenada & St Lucia along with Nicole Williams representing Jamaica in Tribal Mas Band in the 2013 Miami Broward Carnival

There are many aspects for people to enjoy and be engaged in. Patron and Reveller Nicole Williams who makes the trek from New York City states that “my favourite part would be the beginning when we start to march”; Miami Native Rhavi Bharath eloquently points out that “the Carnival bliss in that moment of sweet soca, alcohol, stunning women and scenic ecstasy was a time forever etched in my subconscious.” There are also masquerade bands that will travel thousands of miles to partake of Miami Broward One Carnival. Garth George and his Fusion Karnival Band out of New York is such band. According to Trinidad & Tobago born George Fusion Karnival masquerade band is one of the largest to come out of New York and he states that “Miami Broward (One) Carnival is the last bacchanal getaway of the summer before the main event in T&T to get ready again for another year”.

The Carnival engages various people in many areas. When asked about this phenomenon D’arcy expounds that “there are cashiers, Marshalls to direct the parade, people to work with the vendors, marketing needs people to service the sponsors, we have PR volunteers tweeting and instagramming at every event.  These are just some of the people who work with Carnival.  From an attendance point-of-view, it’s exciting to see the promise of diversity play out on our stage.  Every color, creed and race is on the road, but in addition the age differential is amazing in that nobody is too young or too old to play mas.  We have masqueraders in wheelchairs; we have LGBT masqueraders; anyone and everyone is welcome as a masquerader or attendee.  We are truly diverse and that is the true pageantry and spectacle of Carnival.”

Looking back at the three decades it is hard to separate Selman Lewis from the memories. Hickson shared that “Selman Lewis is the cerebral founder of Carnival.  The WIADCA Committee founded Carnival in 1985.  In 1990 Selman Lewis took the Carnival and dragged it to a higher level.  He formed alliances which brought Brooklyn and other cities to Miami in record numbers.  He started the Coconut Grove Convention Center parties.  He started doing a Carnival Launch.  He then started doing an Official Launch of Miami Carnival in T&T.  He was the brainchild behind the beautiful brochures which many Carnival produce.  He had a unique mind and the ability to communicate which allowed him to dominate every meeting and every group, and to get people to agree with his viewpoints.  He formed the first “Junior Board” with the intent of having a group of younger people to take over Carnival.  His policies and procedures are still used today.  He was a Carnival Genius.”

Miami Broward One Carnival celebrating 30 years should be a powerful display of Caribbean culture, expression and, yes, unity. The Carnival will be in two parts the Miami Broward Junior Carnival will be held on Sunday, October 5, 2014 at the Central Broward Regional Park & Cricket Stadium (3700 NW 11th Pl, Lauderhill, FL 33311) and on Sunday, October 12, 2014 there will be the staging of the Miami Broward Parade of Bands, 30 Years Celebration at the Miami-Dade County Fairgrounds, 10901 Coral Way, Miami, Fl 33165. For more information visit www.miamibrowardcarnival.com.

Jason Walker is a freelance writer for Caribbean Today Magazine who has had an award winning journalism career that spans 20 years. He can be followed on twitter at www.twitter.com/jasonwalker_ or emailed at jasonarticle@gmail.com

BwH1-LBIEAAYdBb

Trinidadian Born Miami Native Rhavi Bharath with fellow Masquerader overlooking Biscayne Bay in Miami