My Life 50 Years From Now Essay Contest

"To educate is to emancipate,” a quote credited to Eric Williams, Trinidad and Tobago’s first prime minister, fittingly describes the 2013 theme of a Caribbean students’ essay contest bearing his name.

Accessing the successes and failures of Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica – which are celebrating their 50th anniversary of independence this year – is the subject of the Eric Williams “School Bags” Essay Competition.

Know a student in the Caribbean who might be interested in the essay contest? There’s still time to participate – essays will be accepted through Jan. 31, 2013 and winners will be announced on April 30.

The contest is open to lower and upper Sixth Form (Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination or equivalent) students in Anguilla, Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turks and Caicos

Prizes for the first-place winner include a four-day trip for two to Trinidad and Tobago (with airfare, hotel accommodations and per diem allowance), a tour of The Eric Williams Memorial Collection and University and a $1,000 educational voucher.

And the winning essay will be published in CARICOM’s Newsletter, the Miami Herald Newspaper’s online edition and UWI’s Pelican magazine.

If the winner hails from Trinidad and Tobago, a trip to another Caribbean territory will be substituted.

The competition is presented annually by the Eric Williams Memorial Collection Research Library, Archives and Museum at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago.

For more information, contact Erica Williams Connell at or call(305) 905-9999.

Judah Tribe’s ‘Nu Day Dawnin’ ’

As the title aptly proclaims, there’s a “Nu Day Dawnin’ ” for the soul-reggae band Judah Tribe, which will be launching its debut album Friday Manhattan concert/release party at DROM, 85 Ave. A (between Fifth and Sixth Sts.), from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Presented by New African Productions, the concert also features hip-hop artist/activist Toni Blackman and reggae’s Nando Griffiths as special guests.

The release marks a turning point for the unique Judah Tribe band, powered by the founders Josh David and Eric Toussaint and band members who hail from the Caribbean, Latin America and Africa

The “Nu Day Dawnin’ ” features popular Judah Tribe tunes such as “Sometimes Luv” and “Go Tell It” in addition to “Bright Sunny Day (Hard Life),” the band’s first single.

Currently, Judah Tribe has been spreading its musical messages of love, spirituality and social consciousness at the Williamsburg Music Center, 367 Bedford Ave. (at S. Fifth St.) on Sundays through Jan. 13.

The band has been around since 2005. Why now for the debut album? Band leader Josh David summed it up.

“Why this message now? Well, it’s really the condition of mankind in these times make me feel we all must look at our present situation again. Wars, strife, poverty, innocent bloodshed, these things have been a part of everyday life here and many other places for so long, people become numb to it,” he said.

“Nu Day Dawnin’ ” is our way of giving ones and ones hope through word, sound, and power, thru the teachings and example of Emperor Haile Sellassie I of Ethiopia ... For those who would listen to His words, even in these times, the leaders of the world would find solutions to the present perils that threaten mankind’s very existence.”

Tickets for the album release party can be purchased through Ticketfly at

For the latest on the band, visit and

For more information on the guest performers, please visit their websites: Toni Blackman — and Nando Griffiths —

Montserrat Festival 50’s underway

Jubilation is ruling in Montserrat as visitors and residents celebrate Montserrat's Festival 50 — the island territory’s 50th annual cultural celebrations, which kicked off last week and runs through Jan. 2.

The festival culminates with New Year’s Eve dinner-dance, a street parade a Festival 50 prize-giving ceremony and a banquet and awards event.

ZJB Radio Montserrat is one of the island institutions helping celebrate the 50 years of culture.

For more on Montserrat’s Festival 50, visit

Jamaica consul general’s healing holiday greetings
A heartfelt holiday wishes and hopes – for Superstorm Sandy victims and the residents of Newtown, Conn. in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre – were part of the Christmas message from Herman LaMont, Jamaica’s Consul General in New York.

“Let us not forget those less fortunate. We call special attention to those who suffered and continue to suffer from the impact of Super Storm Sandy and the recently bereaved citizens of Newtown, Connecticut. Let us resolve to do what we can so they too can enjoy the season of Christmas,” said LaMont, who also directed holiday wishes and Jamaica’s overseas, who “continue to play a meaningful role in the development of your adopted community and Jamaica!”

Read the consul general’s entire message:

As we gather to celebrate Christmas let us reflect on the deeper significance of the season. Let us not forget that Christmas represents a new beginning, a start over, if you will, because it reminds us that God sent his only Son into the world to give humankind a new start. It is not just the decorating of trees, the exchange of gifts, the singing of beautiful carols, but it is a time to think creatively on what is God’s message for our lives.

Our world today is not dissimilar to the time of Jesus’ birth. Tensions mount daily, reports of the needless taking of lives – young and old – fill our television screens and newspapers. But the season of Christmas offers us hope. Hope to renew our faith; hope to examine our lives to find ways to improve not only our lives but the lives of others. This hope is symbolized in the giving and receiving of gifts. It is also a time to renew our pledge to God to live a more meaningful life.

So, as we go about celebrating the joyous season of Christmas, let us rededicate ourselves to renew our faith; renew our bonds with our fellow-man and do whatever little we can to make the world a better and safer place. Let us not forget those less fortunate. We call special attention to those who suffered and continue to suffer from the impact of Super Storm Sandy and the recently bereaved citizens of Newtown, Connecticut. Let us resolve to do what we can so they too can enjoy the season of Christmas.

Jamaicans overseas continue to play a meaningful role in the development of your adopted community and Jamaica! I urge fellow-Jamaicans in the Diaspora to continue to reach out to our homeland, as we help to contribute to the improvement of our beloved Jamaica.

I hope that Christmas for everyone will be enjoyable and may the essence of Christmas remains always with each and every one of us.

On behalf of my family, the staff at the Consulate, and staff of other Jamaican Agencies,   I wish my fellow Jamaicans a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

God’s blessings on you all!

Cash cards for Sandy victims

On a first-come, first-serve basis, $600 cash cards are being distributed to Sandy storm victims by the Tzu Chi Foundation, according to state Sen. Eric Adams (D-Brooklyn).

The foundation is giving out $10 million worth of $600 cash cards to qualified New Yorkers affected by the storm.

Card requests can be sent to and must include applicants name, sex, complete address, phone number FEMA ID number (if available) and mention the referral came from Sen. Adams.

Households which have already received donations from Tzu Chi Foundation are not eligible for the cash card offer. For information, call Sen. Adams office at (718) 284-4700.

Trinidad and Tobago consulate's holiday message & holiday hours

Trinidad and Tobago Consul General Rudrawatee Nan Ramgoolam had a pair of holiday messages for nationals – a traditional Christmas message and special update on the consulate’s office hours.

The consulate will be opening an hour later than normal on Christmas Eve, said officials, says a message from the consul general.

The consulate, at 125 Maiden Lane in lower Manhattan, will open for business at 8 a.m. on Monday (instead of 7 a.m.). The offices will be closed on Tuesday, Christmas Day, on Wednesday (Dec. 26) and on Jan. 1, New Year’s Day.

Trinidad and Tobago Consulate will be opening an hour later than normal on Christmas Eve, said officials, says a message from Consul General Rudrawatee Nan Ramgoolam

The consulate, at 125 Maiden Lane in lower Manhattan, will open for business at 8 a.m. on Monday (instead of 7 a.m.). The offices will be closed on Tuesday, Christmas Day, on Wednesday (Dec. 26) and on Jan. 1, New Year’s Day.

Read the consul general’s Christmas message:

It is with great joy that I bring Christmas greetings to each and every member of our nationals here in New York and the Eastern seaboard United States on behalf of the people and government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

This year has been an extremely busy year at the Consulate General in New York as we extended the reach of our services via online and social media and community outreach programs and events in collaboration with diaspora organizations.

These diaspora organizations comprising Trinidad and Tobago and Caribbean nationals who promote our culture and keep our identity alive in our adopted homeland are deserving of sincere congratulations. I encourage our Trinidad and Tobago nationals to join or form organizations in your neighborhood. In unity there is strength and you stand to benefit from consolidating resources to have a voice which can be heard at the local and at the State level.

This year was an auspicious one as our beloved nation celebrated 50 years of Independence. Our programme of activities was dedicated to commemorating this occasion including an interfaith service, a party cruise, and a sports weekend and a gala dinner.

In keeping with our mandate to promote Trinidad and Tobago’s culture and foster positive relations in our community, the major festivals and holidays were observed at the Consulate General and in the community including but not limited to Black History month, Spiritual Shouter Baptist, Phagwa, Indian Arrival Day, Eid-ul-Fitr, Divali, and Christmas.

Hurricane Sandy shut down operations temporarily for the month of November as the building at Maiden Lane lost power and communications for over a month. This was a challenge to our community, many of whom in New York and New Jersey suffered losses and are still seeking to recover. We are now safely back in place, and although the lower Manhattan neighborhood still has many closed businesses, we are at 100% of service to the public.

We give thanks to the Almighty for bringing us all safely through this year and we look forward to deepening our ties with the Diaspora in 2013. On behalf of my staff and myself, I thank you for your support of the Consulate General and its activities and wish you and your families “Merry Christmas” and “Happy New Year”.

Caribbean Fever concert honors for ‘super achievers’

Before the music started at last week’s Caribbean Fever concert at the Barclays Center, a reception was held to pay special tribute to some super achievers.

Barbados-born Dr. Velma Skantleberry-White, America’s first black female transplant surgeon; Henry Lowe, the pioneering chronic disease researcher; city Councilmember Jumaane Williams, and New York radio greats Gil and Pat Bailey, Jeff Barnes, Francine Chin, DJ Roy, Bobby Konders and Jabba were recognized at the pre-show event. WBLS- FM (107.5) Caribbean Fever host Dahved Levy was the driving force behind the reception and the concert, which starred

Xoom & Golden Krust boast money transfer special

A partnership between the Xoom money transfer company and Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill has produced a special promotion for people sending money to Jamaica for the first time.

First-time Xoom customers who send money to Jamaica through March 1, 2013 from will receive a free $25 Golden Krust Visa Prepaid Card, which can be used in any of Golden Krust's 120 locations in the United States.

The promotion kickoff, which took place at Golden Krust Bakery, 998 Flatbush Ave. in Flatbush, Brooklyn, New York recently, was attended by Julian King, Xoom’s senior vice president of marketing and corporate development, Golden Krust founder and CEO Lowell Hawthorne,  Andrea Bullens of Bullzi Marketing, actor David Heron (who appears in the Xoom/Golden Krust TV commercial) and Golden Krust marketing executive Candice Richards.

 ‘Business Visionaries’ saluted by at holiday bash

Continuing its tradition, the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry used its annual Caribbean Christmas Business Networking Reception and Dinner to honor the group’s  2013 Small Business Visionaries.

CACCI uses the event to recognize its newest members’ contributions and commitment to economic and community development, and visionary leadership. 

"We commend this year's small business visionaries who have taken the risk and accepted the challenge of entrepreneurship,” said CACCI President Roy Hastick. “We are proud to salute them as CACCI's 2013 Business Visionaries and look forward to assisting them in furthering their business growth and development."

The event was held at the Tropical Paradise Ballroom on Dec. 13.

CACCI's 2013 Business Visionaries include:

Ferris Adams, president, and Julius Ware, vice President, AdWare Creative Solutions; Patrick Albarano, owner, Flatbush Copy Center; Deborah Ballard, salesperson, Century 21 Achievers Realty; Samantha Champagnie partner in  Champagnie Dawkins CPA's PLLC; Brian Lilly and John Christianson, principals of One Caribbean Television USA; Lucina Clarke, executive director  of My Time Inc.; James Coward owner of the After Dark Nightclub; Kenneth and Beverly Cushnie, founder and co-founder of  Ideas-Manifest LLC; Isra Gordon, president of Deliciousendings Catering; Oliver Huie, president/CEO of Travel Wire Global; Guliana Jacobs, owner of Jacobs Tax Services; Pearl Jones, owner of Cockpit Travel LTD; Charles Kearse, president of the Charles Kearse Company; Ray Knight, executive director of Elmy's Special Services; Farida Laurie, president of Trini Treats LLC; Rhea Lewis-Charles, President/CEO, D&R Superior Contractor Corp.; Linval Martin, president of Clone Copies NY; Roy McKenzie, owner of Law Office of Roy A. McKenzie; James Mosie, owner of DaCave Radio; Sandra Morrison-Allen, owner of Cheerz Mealz Therapy Club; Harry Perryman, president and founder of World Synergies LLC; Donny Pyle, CEO of; Rodney Ramlochan, vice president of Hudson Allied LLC; Shaun Reid, principal in Reid Kelly, P.C.D., Sadeaqua Scott, doctor of molecular and cellular biology; Mark Smith, president and CEO of Caribbean Business Network Inc.; and Andrea Watson-James, president and CEO of Roraima Consulting. 

This year's Salute to Small Business Visionaries supported CACCI’s annual Toy Distribution drive for disadvantaged children. 

For more on the chamber and its many programs, visit

Send a Letter to the Editor
Join the Conversation:

Deadline: February 15, 2015

Entries are now being accepted for the International Essay Competition organized by Bid4Papers. Anyone who is interested in showcasing their creativity and writing skills should take part in writing the essay themed:  “Education In 50 Years: A Futurist’s Perspective


Participants must be 25 years and younger.


  • 1st place prize – $500
  • 2nd place prize – $200
  • The most interesting and creative essays will be published on our Facebook for you to have a chance of winning our special 3rd prize! An author of the essay with more likes will become the owner of 3Doodler 3D Printing Pen!

Winners will be announced on February, 25, and they will be notified via email. Plus, we will publish their works in our blog and share them via our social media profiles.

Guidelines for Entry

  • Write an essay “Education In 50 Years: A Futurist’s Perspective” How do you imagine education of the future? What will it look like? Will technologies play an important role to education process? What will the role of a teacher be? What will a student of the future look like?
  • Be creative, use your imagination, and try to cover some of the following questions in your essay:
  •  Formatting:
    • Language: English
    • Style: academic, non-academic
    • Length: 750 to 1,500 words
    • Format: PDF or Word document
  •  email your submission, including your full name and “Education In 50 Years Contest” in the email subject line, to [email protected]. One submission per person!

For more information, visit Bid4Papers or [email protected]

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