Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Greeting from President Philbert

Fellow Optimists,

Seasons Greetings Sunsetters of Liguanea, I do hope everyone enjoyed the recent Christmas and Boxing holidays. Whether it was filled with party going or just hanging out with family members I am sure it has gone done as cherished memories. As we come to the close of 2008 let me take this opportunity to say thanks for the support given by every single member of the club. The first quarter has had its share of ups and downs, and this forever will be the nature of things. What is important is to appreciate the ups and learn from the downs.

As is customary we will ring in the new year with our usual pot party. I do look forward to seeing as many members as possible, let Dare to Care look like a joke and come out in your numbers. It will be an excellent way to start the year in unison and comradry ie real sunset style.

Looking forward to some great cooking. Start seasoning those goat heads and curry goat etc etc etc.

Haaappy New Yearrrr!!!!!!!!!

President Phil

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sunset brings Santa to Spanish Town

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It doesn’t matter if you believe in Santa Clause or not, the effect he has on children is definitely real and as the old saying goes...its the thought that counts. Santa doesn't have to be real for his magic to work; the thought of something good happening is a wonderful thing. On Sunday December 14th 2008, Sunset Liguanea members, guests and Santa visited the Dare to Care Children's Home in Spanish Town to find that smiles and laughter was in abundance.

The "Dare to Care" Children’s home is a part of the Mustard Seed Outreach projects in Jamaica. Dare to Care is a particularly special home because they care for orphans infected with HIV/AIDS. Over the years, The Optimist Club of Sunset Liguanea has visited the home and many members have bonded with the children.

On Sunday the club members arrived just in time to see the children saying grace and a few members assisted the aunties with serving dinner. It was obvious the children could not contain their excitement and rushed to finish their meals to give us or take from us all attention. After a brief introduction by their caretaker for the evening, affectionately called Aunty, the club members immediately starting serving the treats brought for the kids.... ice cream and cake!!!

The children were quite respectful; they addressed each adult member of the club as Aunty or Uncle. They were not without the usual distractions you see in kids their age but they all did as they were told and even volunteered to stand in a line when asking for a second or third serving of ice cream. After singing a few Christmas Carols and ice cream for some club members, it was time for the guest of honour to make his entrance. President Philbert tried to convince them that Santa Clause (played this year by Optimist Lance) got stuck in traffic but the kids were not having it, the excitement was boiling over and most of them could not keep still.

So, without further delay, Santa Clause came strutting around the corner carrying his usual bag of goodies. His many “tall” elves that very closely resembled a few club members also accompanied him, but the kids hardly noticed. Not long after he sat down, the kids started singing "Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells " and all their eyes were gleaming at the presents at his feet. One by One, they were called up to sit on his lap and receive their presents. As is tradition with the club's visits: the name and age of each child is given to a club member who volunteers to purchase that child a gift, allowing no one to feel left out. It was truly amazing to see their reactions as they immediately started opening their presents. Those brief moments of joy alone made it all worth it.

On behalf of the club, President Philbert presented the aunties with a few needed supplies such as detergent, treats such as batteries for the toys and fruitcakes. Approximately 22 club members and guests participated in the activities for the day and all agreed that efforts to bring joy into the lives of these children were successful.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Sunset Optimistic about "Love Games"


It was the 22nd of October ....2008, the day for the first fundraiser of the "High Five Year".

The Board and its Members agreed to host the returning Play "Love Games".......Whoa! they had no idea what they were getting themselves into. With ten minutes to go before start time; President Philbert settled his financial obligations. Center stage staff with an almost full house was preparing to get started; lights dimmed and cast members; Camille Davis (Gina) and Glen Campbell (Rocky) were rearing to go.....the lights go up and Glen says two words and raucous laughter filled the room!

"Wait no stop.....mek mi ketch mi breth", whoa....mi caan stop laugh" ...."mi belly " the room is filled with comments like these. And so it goes on...for sometime......then its forty minutes and we break for half time. Nuff Saltfish and breadfruit....and Sunsetters get together to say hi and thank their supporters for attending the Play.

Time to go back in.....

Just like the first half the second starts with "nuff more jokes" Now inna di middle a laughing and enjoying the play" Mi si Camille start act stiff .....a wah do da character deh? Any how mi a gwaan watch! Mi seh....mi caan tell yuh wah happen "cause dem swear mi to secrecy" but all mi know seh is dat mi si a certain Club Member inna a pink suit inna di Isle ready fi run out a di playhouse!

Mi excitement!! All mi can seh is if yuh nuh si di play yet......gwane now! We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support and ask that you continue to do so as we strive to do our best to help our children.....

Friday, May 16, 2008

Boys urged to be responsible

Rudolph Brown/Chief Photographer

Gender socialisation, especially among boys, has been criticised for the marginalisation of Jamaica's males in society.
Facilitator, Patrick Prendergast, assistant lecturer of social marketing at the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication, said that women continue to hold positions of power.
"Although the emphasis for the day was on respect for the law and building a non-violent community, we have discussed with the children the way our society is suffering from the marginalisation of our boys," Prendergast noted during the celebration of Boys' Day on Friday, May 9.
He further stated, "The idea is to get them as early as now so that they begin to understand that they are in fact being socialised to think certain things about their female friends and teachers. It is very important in the wider context of our society, when our young males grow up, to recognise their responsibilities."
The Optimist Club of Sunset Liguanea (OCSL) organised the seminar held at the Boy Scouts headquarters in Kingston, for students of Rousseau Primary School. The boys, aged nine to 12 years old, participated in a range of activities and discussions, which explored themes of manhood, non-violence as a lifestyle, among others.
Prendergast considered the day a success.
Feeling Empowered
"The idea is for the boys to go back to their schools, homes and communities feeling empowered and to share with not just their classmates, but family and friends," he said.
Litigation attorney Adley Duncan, 23, who was a guest speaker, explained to The Gleaner the importance of male role models.
"A lot of boys grow up leading less than honest lives and I think it is important to get the message in from early, do the right thing," said Duncan. "I grew up in a family where I had two parents in the home and many young boys in Jamaica do not have that privilege."
President of the OCSL, Latoya Wade, emphasised that her aim was to make a difference.
"At this age, they learn all the ground values and core necessities for life and this is where they decide what they want to do and how they are influenced. This is when the impression is being made and it is up to us to influence them to stick to their direction."
Guidance counsellor at Rousseau Primary, Patricia Howell, agreed with Prendergast that the day's activities were insightful.
"I hope to get information so it will help me to plan and organise Boys' Day so that they benefit. Most of the motivators are male and most of our boys are from single-parent homes, so it is very important for the boys to get this exposure to role models."

Tendai Franklyn-Brown, Gleaner Staff Reporter