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JAMAICA: Thousands Bid Farewell to the Late Ian Boyne

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#Jamaica, January 15, 2018 – Kingston – Late Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Jamaica Information Service (JIS), Ian Anthony Boyne, CD, was eulogised p17in song, dance and glowing tributes on Sunday (January 14) as an exceptional and extraordinary man of integrity and excellence, who epitomized the beauty and diversity of a life well-lived.   Such were the superlatives flowing from speakers and performers during the colourful yet dignified larger than life Service of Thanksgiving at the National Indoor Sports Centre in Kingston, which celebrated the life of the man who was a household name for over 30 years.

Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen; and Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, headed the dignitaries attending the service.  Also in attendance were former Prime Ministers, Bruce Golding and the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller; Finance and Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw; and State Minister, Hon. Fayval Williams; Education, Youth and Information Minister, Senator Hon. Ruel Reid; Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Minister, Hon. Olivia Grange; National Security State Minister, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr.; and Opposition Leader, Dr. Peter Phillips, among other parliamentarians; members of the judiciary; and scores of well-wishers from the wider society.

The Governor-General, in his tribute, said Mr. Boyne was a true patriot who stimulated generations of people to think for and believe in themselves while underpinning these with high aspirations.   Additionally, he said the late Chief State Liaison’s boundless energy and ease of manner imbued admiration and emulation.

“His intellectual rigour along with his genuine interests in individual achievements at all levels of society combined to make him a truly unique symbol of Jamaican genius.

“We have all, in one way or another, benefitted from the contributions of this scholarly dignified gentleman whose life was built on the foundation of personal faith and Christian witness. His passing has left a void in this country that may not be filled (for now),” the Governor-General said.

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Prime Minister Holness hailed Mr. Boyne as a man with incredible knowledge who had the ability to eloquently articulate a wide range of topics and issues and, in the process, distinguish himself as fair, balanced and factual.

“Simply put, Ian Boyne was really first class.  He approached every subject matter, personal interview and written piece with the same fervour and balance, regardless of potential controversy and public opinion.  He was beyond compromise and possibly the greatest example of a man who ‘did it for the love and not for the likes’,” he said.

Mr. Holness described Mr. Boyne as the consummate communicator and scholar, who worked with several Administrations and approached his work, to this end, with sharp analytical and intellectual fervour.

p26“Ian rose to a (high) level of esteem and regard…clearly he was in a class by himself.  The ‘Union of (current and former) Prime Ministers would also agree that Ian was the only civil servant (who) we know (who) could criticise the Government and get away with it.  But that (indicated his) speaking the truth, and when you do it with respect, honour, and dignity, no one can question the truth,” he said.

Ms. Grange said Mr. Boyne loved and cared about his family and all Jamaicans.   “His love for his country could be demonstrated in no better way than the (manner in which) he put his heart and soul in the profession of journalism,” she said.

Dr. Peter Phillips described him as an outstanding individual who touched the consciousness of Jamaicans worldwide.

In her tribute, Mrs. Simpson Miller said Mr. Boyne was more than a journalist, noting that he was a lifelong scholar and a man on a mission to unearth, expose and celebrate the passions, aspirations and achievements of the Jamaican people.

“He will undoubtedly go down in history as one of Jamaica’s most talented, celebrated and accomplished journalists.  This remarkable Jamaican has left us a proud legacy of discipline, professional excellence, hard work, determination, wholesome values and healthy attitudes,” she said.

In an emotional tribute, the JIS’ Chief Executive Officer, Donna-Marie Rowe said her late Deputy wore many hats and “meant so much to all of us”.   “He was always by my side (and was) a reliable sounding board…the balanced ‘Mister’ on the other hand.  I will miss our spontaneous checking in with each other, our wordsmithing and consulting, the ribbing which only he could endure and the hilarity which punctuated our meetings.

“Ours was an enviable working relationship, characterised by grace and wit.  The camaraderie, debate and eventual consensus was all in a day’s work with Mr. B.,” she said, adding that his legacy will be maintained.

Mrs. Rowe’s tribute was capped off by a voice recorded message from Mr, Boyne to JIS staff that was played, during which he encouraged persons to cherish each other.

“We do not know when it might be the last opportunity we are together…so let us, from now, move on.  Whatever good we have to say to one another, say it.  Don’t wait until when you hear that a person is sick or has died, you say ‘I wish I had said that’.  Let us treat each other with great love,” he implored.

​Widow, Margaret Boyne, in a tribute read by lecturer, Fae Ellington, said Mr. Boyne’s faith meant everything to him, adding that he tried to be the best husband.

“He was incredibly forgiving, he was hilarious (and) people would often wonder what would keep us laughing as if we were newlyweds,” she said.

In her tribute, daughter, Kelly-Ann, described her father as the consummate statesman who spent a lot of time reading publications on philosophy and theology, “not only because he was a devout Christian, but because he, in very practical terms, understood the importance of the undefeatable mind and was often times heard to say ‘likeability is more important than intellect’”.

“He was always concerned about the social deficit rather than the economic deficit as he understood the importance of the effect of purpose on profit.  He was a holistic B-eing,” she said.

“Dad, you said I was the star of your TV show…but you were the star of my universe.  My humble request of you (wider Jamaica) is that you continue to honour my father by B-eing. Live your B-est life…love in your B-est way…and laugh from your B-elly like dad did and I do,” she added.

There were also tributes from other family members, representatives of the clergy, media, and close friends.

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The legacy of Ian Boyne’s work as a journalist, communication specialist, Minister of Religion, author and broadcaster has been immortalised in an impressive body of work that serves to inspire the nation and resonates globally.   He was a highly respected media practitioner, who was driven and passionate about his work, and endeavoured to maintain a hallmark of excellence following his entry entering the profession in 1975.  He had a long career with the JIS which he joined as a features writer and television broadcaster in 1976 when it was known as the Agency for Public Information.

In 1983 he was appointed Press Secretary/Speech Writer for the then Minister of Industry and Commerce, Douglas Vaz.  From then to 2002, he worked with every Minister of Industry appointed under successive administrations as Speech Writer/Public Relations Consultant, before re-joining the JIS several years later.   As Deputy CEO, Mr. Boyne provided oversight for the JIS’ Research, Print and Production (Editorial and Photo) Division.

Additionally, he hosted the Agency’s flagship current affairs interview programme, ‘Issues and Answers’, through which he furthered the JIS’ public education thrust via his incisive range of riveting questions.  These served to elucidate the Government’s response to national issues of the day.  Mr. Boyne also served as Chief State Liaison to the Office of the Prime Minister, Office of the Governor-General and Office of the Leader of the Opposition.   He was best known as host of the 30-year-old TVJ programme – ‘Profile’.  He also hosted ‘Religious Hardtalk’ and was a columnist for the Sunday Gleaner.

Mr. Boyne authored the books – ‘Ideas Matter: Journey into the Mind of a Veteran Journalist’ and ‘Profile of Excellence’.   He wrote extensively for many magazines, including ‘Skywritings’ and ‘The Jamaican’.   In 2009, the Government of Jamaica recognized his outstanding contribution to journalism with the Commander of the Order of Distinction (CD).

Mr. Boyne was the recipient of several journalism awards for distinguished work in print and television broadcasting.   These include: the Jamaica Broilers Fairplay Award for Profile in 2005; and the Morris Cargill Award for Opinion Journalism in 2006.

Mr. Boyne is also survived by son, André, and daughter, Brianna.

 

By: Chris Patterson (JIS0

 

 

 

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Bahamas News

Bahamian Para-Athlete Erin Brown to Become Godmother of RC’s Odyssey of The Seas

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#TheBahamas, November 24, 2021 – A Bahamian woman who lost her leg to cancer and went on to defy odds and inspire thousands will be named godmother of Royal Caribbean International’s Odyssey of the Seas. Erin Brown, a 41-year-old mother of two and a para-triathlete who cycles, runs, swims and competes at an international level, will accept the honour at a special ceremony in Florida later this week.

“From the moment we heard the story of Erin, how her courage and determination in the face of adversity inspired others and led to a more inclusive consciousness about succeeding with disabilities, we were moved and knew she was a great candidate for godmother of our newest ship, Odyssey of the Seas,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “A godmother serves as the guiding spirit of the ship and brings good luck and safe travels to its crew and guests.”

While she was in college participating as a track and field athlete, Brown was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer called osteosarcoma after suffering a fall that resulted in a broken leg. After more than a year of chemotherapy, her tumor showed no signs of shrinking, and Brown made the difficult decision to amputate her limb above the knee. Brown, who watched her own mother struggle for five years before losing her battle with lupus linked to cancer, knew she had to keep going because her child depended on her. She underwent surgery and woke up to one less leg. “Mind over matter,” she repeated. And then, she re-invented herself.

She said she recognizes now that her disability was a signal to start over. The first time she completed the 100-mile cycling event, Ride for Hope, raising money for cancer research, education and prevention, she led a group of adaptive athletes who heard the thunderous applause and cheers from the crowd that had witnessed the one-legged cyclist achieve what few with two legs could on the hilly terrain.

“A sudden change like the one I experienced is just an opportunity to rebrand yourself to yourself and to society. All those skills you had before – you still have them,” said Brown who has gone on to become an advocate for rights for the disabled and works at the University of The Bahamas as the compliance officer and counselor for the physically challenged.

“Having Erin as our godmother is a fitting way for us to pay tribute to The Bahamas,” said Bayley. “Our company’s very first port of call outside the U. S. was to The Bahamas more than 50 years ago. To this day, Nassau remains one of our most popular ports of call and Perfect Day at CocoCay remains our top pick by our guests. We are excited about this ceremony and honouring our long-time partners, as well as the newest Bahamian flagged ship in our fleet.”

 

Photo Caption: Erin Brown, who calls herself a limb-difference individual, will be named the first Bahamian Godmother of a Royal Caribbean International vessel when she presides over the naming of Odyssey of the Seas.

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Caribbean News

Affordable Housing Solutions a Priority for Government

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#Jamaica, November 24, 2021 – Prime Minister the Most Hon. Andrew Holness says the thrust to provide innovative and affordable housing solutions for Jamaicans continues to be a priority for the government.

“The government has a role to stimulate the emergence of a community of thought around building and design in Jamaica,” he said.

Emphasising the importance of the collaboration of stakeholders in the construction industry in the development of innovative, cost-effective and affordable housing solution for Jamaicans, the Prime Minister noted that the initiative is intended to stimulate discussions on innovative building design technologies with a view to incorporating these in future developments.

“We are hoping that with these designs, we could use them to influence persons when they are making their construction decisions…When government is going to build, we will have these designs as templates that we can use,” he informed.

The Prime Minister was addressing the Low-Cost Housing Design competition virtual award ceremony on Tuesday (November 23).

Launched on May 7, the design competition aimed to encourage professionals in related fields to produce feasible solutions.  The competition solicited the participation of local architects, engineers, builders and students of the built environment, to identify cost effective, sustainable, climate resilient designs for the housing solutions to be built under the New Social Housing Programme.

There were over 300 submissions from individuals and teams.  Winners as well as second and third placed runners up were awarded with cash prizes of $1 million; $500,000 and $250,000 respectively for each of the competition’s four design categories: one bedroom, two bedrooms, three bedrooms and multi-family units.

In addition, a cash prize of $50,000 was presented to honorary mentions for their innovative designs. All finalists also received plaques and special recognition certificates.  The winners for each category are: Richard Gazader for the one bedroom design; Zane Finnikin for the two bedroom design; Fitzroy McIntosh for the three bedroom; and Matandara Clarke Architects for the multi-family unit.

The winning entries from the competition will be utilised to inform the design of future housing solutions under the New Social Housing Programme.

Chair of the nine-member panel of judges for the Low-Cost Housing Design Competition Janet Thompson who presented the judges report, said the competition harnessed the talents of persons from a broad cross-section of the Jamaican population – professionals and amateurs alike.

“Coming out of the work that we did, it is clear that we have a wealth of ideas out there to address this challenge that we are trying to solve…There certainly are elements from many of the entries we received which can be taken forward into formulating a design solution that can address the … housing problem in Jamaica,” she said.

Outlining the judging criteria, Ms. Thompson said entries for each category which were compliant with the requirements were individually evaluated and the winner selected based on majority vote.

Entries were assessed on cost of the unit, innovation, climate resilience, functionality and materials.

Local Government and Rural Development Minister Hon. Desmond McKenzie, who noted that the competition promoted active engagement between citizens and the government in the design of affordable housing solutions, commended the private sector for its support of the initiative and urged buy-in of all Jamaicans.

“For every single Jamaican that we are able to provide a housing solution…, it will enhance and build the capacity of that single Jamaican,” he said.

The initiative forms part of the National Social Housing Programme (NSHP), an extension of the Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) which aims to improve the housing conditions of the country’s indigent.  It also supports affordable housing solutions for home ownership for persons from a low socioeconomic background.

 

Contact: Rochelle Williams

Release: JIS

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Caribbean News

U.S. Virgin Islands Governor Thanks American Airlines for Partnership

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#November 24, 2021 – After a remarkable tourism performance over the past 12 months, the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) is getting back to basics and strengthening its relationship with its airline partners.

During a visit to American Airlines’ newly minted headquarters in Dallas last week, U.S. Virgin Islands Governor Albert Bryan Jr. thanked the carrier for its strong commitment to the Territory during the COVID pandemic, which helped the destination register robust arrivals throughout the year.

Airports in both St. Thomas and St. Croix were hubs of activity as the airlines honored the Governor’s clear approach to managing the pandemic by keeping the Territory’s airports open and protecting lives and livelihoods through smart public health safety protocols.

Over the summer, American served St. Thomas with daily flights from New York and Philadelphia, twice daily flights from Dallas, and thrice daily service from Charlotte and Miami. On Croix, Charlotte flights arrived daily, while Miami service operated twice a day.

“Traditional seasonality was disrupted in the U.S. Virgin Islands,” said Governor Bryan, who highlighted that summer air arrivals rivaled and surpassed traditional winter statistics.

The governor underscored the Territory’s business-minded approach to route development, the work currently taking place to improve the islands’ infrastructure – including enhancements to airports, downtown and waterfront areas – and the rebuilding of hotels and resorts that were impacted by the 2017 hurricanes.

“We are undergoing a transformation for the better, and intend to not only lead the region across multiple tourism indicators, but also to work with our neighbors to help position the entire Caribbean as a first class location for vacationers and business travelers,” he said.

Commissioner of Tourism Joseph Boschulte, who also attended the meeting, said the Department of Tourism had begun amplifying its messaging in the marketplace. “As the world opens up, the availability of aircraft has become a challenge for small states and territories such as ours, so it is critically important to remain visible and strengthen our relationships across the sector,” he explained.

He added that the Territory will continue to communicate its value proposition and ensure that travelers have a seamless travel experience through its custom-built Travel Screening Portal. “Ease of access will continue to be our mantra as we position the Territory and prepare for upcoming challenges and opportunities in travel and tourism.”

During their visit to Dallas, the Governor interviewed with two-time Emmy award-winning journalist Vince Sims of NBC 5, while Commissioner Boschulte appeared on ABC’s daybreak show anchored by Cleo Greene, who got her first gig as a feature reporter on the island of St. Croix.

The USVI Commissioner of Tourism also met with representatives from Southwest Airlines to explore possibilities for new service into the Territory.

 

Photo Captions: 

Header: The USVI and American Airlines teams meet in Dallas: From left: AA’s Lindsey Hanbidge, Henning Greiser, Michael Eng and Brandon Norman; USVI Governor Albert Bryan Jr., Commissioner of Tourism Joseph Boschulte and Special Assistant to the Governor Dave E. Davis; and Haley Finkenbinder and Liz Plunkett of American Airlines.

Insert: USVI Commissioner of Tourism Joseph Boschulte (right) speaks with WFAA (ABC 8) morning anchor Cleo Greene on Sunday.

 

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