By the time you read this, we would have
already said goodbye to 2015 and welcomed 2016, but it will not be too
late for me to wish for you a Happy New Year, one that will be filled with
new opportunities to allow you to find more joys in life. Let us also try
to banish fears and doubts and make room for dreams and aspirations on a
personal level as well as a Club. Every New Year we dream of a better
world especially for our children. I would therefore like to challenge us
all to be their advocates and carry out the mandate from Governor Patrick
to mentor at least one child. This we can do even as we mobilise those
eligible to participate in the upcoming Essay Competition.
We have already started the journey of
Unleashing our Optimism and I urge you to continue and not grow weary because
we still have programmes and activities to complete. Some of these are:
Restart of the Homework Programme at Cumberland High School, Oratorical
Contests and our well needed Fundraisers. All hands are needed. With your
commitment and support I have every confidence that we will achieve our
goals. I therefore encourage you to remain focussed.
Again, best wishes for a wonderful New
Year. Let us talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person
By the time you read this, we would have already said goodbye to 2015 and welcomed 2016, but it will not be too late for me to wish for you a Happy New Year, one that will be filled with new opportunities to allow you to find more joys in life. Let us also try to banish fears and doubts and make room for dreams and aspirations on a personal level as well as a Club. Every New Year we dream of a better world especially for our children. I would therefore like to challenge us all to be their advocates and carry out the mandate from Governor Patrick to mentor at least one child. This we can do even as we mobilise those eligible to participate in the upcoming Essay Competition.
We have already started the journey of Unleashing our Optimism and I urge you to continue and not grow weary because we still have programmes and activities to complete. Some of these are: Restart of the Homework Programme at Cumberland High School, Oratorical Contests and our well needed Fundraisers. All hands are needed. With your commitment and support I have every confidence that we will achieve our goals. I therefore encourage you to remain focussed.
Again, best wishes for a wonderful New Year. Let us talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person we meet.
Caribbean District Governor Patrick Prendergast addressed Caribbean Optimists at the District Church Service held on Sunday, October 11, 2015 at the Coke Methodist Church in Morant Bay, St. Thomas (below).
Optimists and friends of Optimists seen at the District Church Service held to kick off the 2015/16 Optimist Year (above).
Governor Patrick Prendergast is seen with President Dahlia and her two Vice Presidents, Joan and Doreen.
Governor Patrick and his family are all members of Sunset Liguanea! (left to right - VP Doreen, Gov. Patrick, Jordis and Director Tetrice)
1st Quarter Caribbean District Conference
The Q1 District Conference was held from October 3o to November 1, 2015 at the Knutsford Court hotel under the theme, UNLEASH YOUR OPTIMISM.
The guest speakers were Dr. Orville Taylor from UWI MONA and Dr. Pauline Grant from McCam Child Care & Development Centre. Optimists got to meet International Vice President James Adams and were entertained by Master of Ceremonies, Fae Ellington.
|IVP James Adams|
|Dr. Pauline Grant|
Members of the SOCoL in attendance at the Q1 Dstrict Conference. (L-R back row) District Conference Chair, Latoya; District Governor Patrick; Director Glaister; President Dahlia; (L-R front row) Director Tetrice; Optimist Jordis; Vice President Doreen; and Director Horace.
HOW OPTIMISM CAN MAKE A BETTER WORLD
by Doreen Prendergast (VP)
I preface my presentation by reading an excerpt from “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou.
“Out of the huts of history's shame
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
Maya Angelou has always been one of my favourite poets because she epitomized optimism as a way of life. The capturing of her life lessons through her writing and advocacy continues to inspire and to transpose minds and bodies into better and brighter places and spaces. This speaks to strength of character and inspires self -hope.
Today, I address the topic of “How Optimism Can Make a Better World” from the point of view of an individual with self-hope whose life has been impacted by the words and kind deeds of many, like Maya Angelou, who consciously or un-consciously invested in me through their positive way of life. I am sure that all of us here can share similar sentiments of even one individual whose investment, whatever form it took, played a key role in who we are today.
|Dr. Orville Taylor|
As the song writer says, “it only takes a spark to get the fire going and soon all those around will warm up in its glowing.” Essentially, making a better world starts with us recognizing that we are the seeds of an investment and that we must not sit upon this investment like the man who hid his talent, but we must invest – in self and others to make a difference. This investment may be a smile shared with a stranger or co-worker; a hug given to a child; an enquiry as to the well-being of neighbour; accepting our differences; not gossiping about someone who our spirit ‘don’t tek’; taking the time out of our busy schedules to participate in a community project; mentoring a child from a broken home; participating in a homework programme, as we are doing at Cumberland High; and sincerely responding to the diverse needs of the children at Matthew 25:40, just to name a few.
As the bankers amongst us will tell you, different individuals have different propensity for risks and as such, the slate of investments will vary from one individual to the next. There is no one size fit all solution, however, the overall intention is to yield positive returns, some of which will mature in the short run, and others in the long run. In essence, Optimism Can Make a Better World by changing lives in a meaningful way and having our lives changed for the better over a continuum.
I think it was Past President Marc-Maurice Frankson in his address to the participants in the Homework Programme at Cumberland High that aptly said “we cannot change lives without our lives being impacted for the better”. Warren Buffett, a world renowned investor himself, also underscored the benefits of investing in others when he stated “Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” Fellow optimists, let’s plant a tree in self, in our children, in our communities and nation. Imagine, what a beautiful world this would be.
In closing, I leave the last verse of Christian D Larson’s poem which has become the creed of this noble Optimist movement, which states:
“To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world,
not in loud words but great deeds.
To live in faith that the whole world is on your side
so long as you are true to the best that is in you.”
Youth Appreciation Day at Cumberland High School
Students pose with their certificates from the Sunset Optimist Club of Liguanea Homework Programme.
VP Doreen and President Dahlia seen with some of he Cumberland High School Students and their Guidance Councillor, Miss James.
Above Optimist Marc-Maurice Frankson encouraged the students with words of motivation.
Friday, November 20, 2015 was chosen by the members of the Sunset Optimist Club of Liguanea to show appreciation to a select group of students after a short, but rewarding home work programme at the Cumberland High School during the 2014/15 club year. This ceremony coincided with the celebration of Youth Appreciation Month which is marked annually during the month of November.
The proceedings commenced shortly after 9:00 a.m. with the participation of the Principal, Mr. Michael Brydson, Guidance Counsellor Miss James, President Dahlia, Vice President Doreen, Guest Speaker, Past President Marc Maurice and 20 plus eager and excited students. Following devotion and other preliminaries the floor was handed over to Past President Marc Maurice, and AWEsome was he.
Focusing on the topic “Success” he was quick to grab the attention of the students by obtaining their understanding of what it meant. Subsequently, through his interactive context setting stories spanning television and the real world he was able to illustrate success in various forms, thus capturing the imagination of everyone present.
Success, as he defined it, is about attaining the goals that you set for yourself. Determining what is it that you need to be comfortable in life and accomplishing it. He was quick to point out that one was not too young to start thinking about success. He then canvassed the room to determine what is it that each student wanted to become and why. This provided the perfect segue into his charge to the students not to focus only on the glamourous jobs and the things that are shiny and new, but to strive to be the best at whatever you do and not to think of what you do only in singular mode. The Bars To Go, Designs by Marc and the Kenneth Cole stories all provided the perfect backdrop of what success can look like in the real world.
The students were also encouraged to be focussed and not be distracted in their pursuit of success. Grasping opportunities even when they do not appear glamorous and making them successful. They were further encouraged to have a vision of where they want to be and think strategically backwards of what needs to be done to get there. Critical to all this are the choices that are made and the setting of self-markers and milestones.
In wrapping up, it was underscored that success is determined by the way you think about life; the manner in which you embrace failure; as well as, your education and experience. Essentially, success is of your own making.
The ceremony was closed out with the students receiving their certificates of appreciation, followed by the partaking of cakes provided by the club.
|Diahann Gordon-Harrison, |
the Children's Advocate
On November 12, 2015 SOCoL installed a new board of directors. Present were President Dahlia, Vice Presidents Doreen and Joan, Treasurer Kevin, Secretary Calise and Directors Ken Jr., Tetrice, Glaister and Horace. The Guest Speaker, Diahann Gordon-Harrison from the Children's Advocate gave a compelling speech. The installation was also attended by the Zone 4 Lieutenant Governor Janette Lawrence.
The Optimist Writes by Governor Patrick
This morning I wrote of joy
For seeing a new day
Filled with possibilities…
At noon I wrote of the heat
Melting away human flesh
But threats are opportunities…
This evening I will sit
On the hot day for which I was happy
And in peace and words
Verses and meaning
Craft expressions of my reflections…
Matthew 25:40 Christmas Treat
The experience at Matthew 25:40 Boys’ Home by Tamara Beecher
A few boys greeted us with welcoming faces as we drove into the Matthew 25:40 Boys’ Home on December 20, 2015 for the Christmas treat. As fellow Optimists decorated the area and played Christmas chorals, the boys sat around a table with questionable look in their eyes; perhaps they were all wondering what was about to happen. We opened what was going to be a cheery afternoon with ice cream and cake, which got the boys giggling, chatting and getting more and more excited. We started with a prayer, followed by a “getting-to-know-each-other” session where everyone introduced themselves. Some of the boys seemed shy and quiet and others were very outspoken. While President Vanriel, or should I say, Santa, tried to convince them that Santa Claus brought gifts for them, the strong minded young boys refused to accept the Santa Claus story.
Nevertheless they graciously accepted their gifts with bright eyes and wide smiles stretching from cheek to cheek. All were looking at their own gifts as well as their brothers’ and we could all sense that spirit of joy and happiness filling the air. The evening became even more touching when they all gave us big heart-warming hugs. With bravery and courage marked across the face of one youngster, he delivered the Vote of Thanks. He handed us a card which was read out loud and greatly appreciated by us all. As we said our goodbyes and were getting ready to depart, the boys were strolling back inside. Some stood on the verandah looking out with a bittersweet but pleased looks on their faces, while others were too busy checking out the interior of my fellow Optimist’s vehicle. While I drove out, I glanced at the name of the home, “Matthew 25:40” which I later learnt read:
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ ’’ - NIV
And I then said to myself, God bless these adorable boys, the persons who established this home, and those who work consistently and diligently to take care of these children every day.
Upcoming Dates to Watch
- MARCH 4 - 6, 2016 - Caribbean District 2nd Quarter Conference - Golf View Hotel, Mandeville
- MARCH (date to be confirmed) - SOCoL Anniversary Celebration!
- MAY 26, 2016 - SOCoL Benefit Play 'Duppy Whisperer'