Sun | Feb 28, 2021

Toyota impresses club members again

Published:Friday | June 1, 2018 | 12:00 AMKareem Latouche
Tom Connor, managing director, and his wife, Rowena, came packed with goodies to share with everyone.
Ensuring that no one starved, Toyota staff showed that they were not just good at selling vehicles as they cooked A-class jerk and barbecue chicken for all. Seated (from left): Kelvin Knight (logistics manager), Paul Samuels, Natasha Nash, Garcia Thomas (sales manager), Aldaine France, and Howard Foster (general sales and marketing manager).
The Tenn family used the day as an opportunity to relax with friends. In back row (from left): Sasha Tenn, Lauren Tenn, Cathy Sampson. (Front row, from left): Chloe Cunningham, Gabrielle Williams, Adam Tenn, Leah Millwood, and Zoey Belnavis.
Laurence ‘Atai’ Tenn (left) came prepared to enjoy the day to its fullest. At right is Stephen ‘Chungy’ Chung.
The route to Thatch Hill River Park taken by the TJAM 4 x 4 club.
Toyota Jamaica seized this opportunity to showcase the power of its models like the Fortuner, Prado, and Hilux.
Toyota Jamaica was fully represented by its employees (from left): Teresa Coley, Clinton Bishop, Rosetta Spencer-Bryan, Kymone Bryan and Paul Doyle, who enjoyed the day immensely.

After having a highly successful excursion to Holly Mount Great House, Mount Rosser in February, Toyota Jamaica decided to host another one last Sunday. This was met with great enthusiasm by its TJAM 4 x 4 club members, who turned out in huge numbers to show their support.

"After the last one, everybody kept asking via cell phone or email, 'when are we going to keep another event?' Ideally, it should have been quarterly, but because of high demands, we had to plan this one quickly," revealed Howard Foster, general sales and marketing manager, Toyota Jamaica.

This time, the club ventured to the Thatch Hill River Park in St Ann, where the overall drive was much smoother than the previous one. This delighted of some passengers, who liked viewing the rural landscape of Jamaica but didn't want the rugged experience.


Moving in unison


At about 10 a.m., more than 80 club members met at Juici Patties, Bog Walk, for a quick driver's meeting and morning prayers, after which the journey began. The convoy of 26 Toyota 4 x 4 vehicles started the off-road trek by turning off the Bog Walk main road into an adjoining community. For many, this route was a new experience as they bypassed Ewarton, Mt Rosser, and Fern Gully to get to Thatch Hill, which borders on St Ann and St Mary.

"I chose the destination first, then I tried to find a route that would give the vehicles somewhat of a challenge. Unlike routes in the past, this one was more passive, but the view is lovely," Foster said.

The first thing that stood out about Thatch Hill River Park was the lush vegetation and the tall bamboo trees that cascade over sections of the property. Half of the park is surrounded by White River, with open land space with well-manicured grass that can be used as a play area. Other things that can be found on the property are a cooking pit, a restroom, bamboo seats along the river bank, a washing area, and a gazebo.

The Toyota cooking team, which travelled with multiple igloos and a jerk pan, quickly set up shop to get the food prepared in the fastest possible time. Others prepared in a different way, like Laurence 'Atai' Tenn, who came with all the water accessories to enjoy White River with his grandkids, who were present.

"I have been here before with my family, so I knew what to bring, like this water tube, which I bought on Amazon. The grandkids are going to love it," stated Tenn.

Still in awe of the beauty of the place, most persons were seen walking around looking at the river, while others perched on the bamboo seats along the perimeter. After some of the allure wore off, persons began to unpack their goods and set up gaming tables.


Spirit of camaraderie


Everyone was eager to share. This was most evident with the river tubes, which brought out the playful side in both the adults and kids. Even persons who were initially timid decided to go tubing in the river. A surprising participant was Rowena Connor, who went tubing several times before convincing her husband, Tim Connor, managing director, Toyota Jamaica, to take a try.

This joyous vibe captivated the overall atmosphere until the event started to wind down at around 4 p.m. and some persons started leaving. However, a bus about 40 minutes away was stuck on the narrow road. Consequently, many persons decided to stay on the premised a bit longer.

The free-spirited individuals among the group seized this opportunity to unpack their food and liquor, and started another party for about an hour until everyone decided to drive home.

In the end, it was clear that the momentum from the previous excursion was not lost, as persons enjoyed themselves immensely. The only question on the attendants' minds is 'when is the next trip?'

"We are planning something really big in August, can't say anything more now but club members must be on the lookout," disclosed Foster.

Venue: Thatch Hill River Park

Cost for entry: $1,000 per person

Ideal for: Big family

Other options: Overnight camping