Fri | Nov 22, 2019

Fun In The Son links with JCF recruitment drives

Published:Friday | September 20, 2019 | 12:21 AMKimberley Small / Staff Reporter
Carlene Davis performing at Fun in the Son 2018.
Carlene Davis performing at Fun in the Son 2018.

Biennial concert Fun In The Son (FITS), Jamaica’s largest gospel music concert, will not come around again until 2020. However, organisers have put their heads together to fill the gap year with a new community-engagement initiative. Maintaining the mandate to win as many souls as possible and to do their part to ending the scourge of crime in Jamaica, the engagements will feature performances from beloved local gospel stars as well as facilitate recruitment drives for the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).

The Fun In The Son Movement Concerts will be mini-versions of the major concert event, visiting various communities and towns around the country, starting with Port Antonio, at the Folly Oval on Saturday, September 28 and moving to the Mandeville Primary, on September 29. “Fun in the Son is more than an event. It’s a movement that fosters national unity, strengthens families, and changes lives. Our ultimate goal is to play a significant role in reducing crime in Jamaica for the benefit of all its people,” organiser Tommy Cowan said.

Putting action to words, Cowan and his team have partnered with the Jamaica Constabulary Force, which will host recruitment drives at both events. Supt. Enid Ross-Stewart, recruiting officer for the JCF, said that the partnership with Fun In The Son was meant to be. During an expo in the summertime, Tommy noticed the recruitment action and surmised that a partnership would be beneficial to both entities. “I readily accepted the offer because we are saying that such community outreach will bring out young, bright minds. I readily accepted the offer.”

Ross-Stewart seems excited to demonstrate that young people don’t necessarily have to visit the recruitment offices to present themselves as candidates for the job. At a recent drive (September 7), she reports that recruiters administered examinations to approximately 1,000 persons. Fun In The Son’s Movement Concerts they are aiming for similar numbers. “We plan to examine as many as we can – at least 600 person on the day. For those who don’t have bus fare, we’ll go into Area 2. We’ll take the exam to you,” she assured.

SMALLER STAGING

Fun in the Son has held smaller events outside of the standard biennial stagings. “We have done it in New York, where it goes very well. This year, on August 3, we did the Bronx. Over 84,000 pounds of food was given away,” Tommy told The Gleaner. The Fun In The Son crew worked alongside an organisation called Good Neighbours.

“One year, we did a Fun In The Son school tour. Some other year, we did Fun In The Son in Jamaica, then Fun In The Son in Haiti. “But we decided after we spoke with our friends at The Best Dressed Chicken, we thought to ourselves that we’d love to bring the experience beyond the borders of Kingston, reason being each year we may have 80,000 people, where you might have 200 people from Port Antonio. But with us going to Port Antonio, 5,000 or 6,000 might come. From that, we’re looking to get 500 people saved,” he continued. The Fun in the Son Movement Concert 2019 will feature top gospel performers, including Rondell Positive, Kevin Downswell, Carlene Davis, Alaine, and Marq Johnson. Also featured on the shows are JCDC Gospel Winners, the Youth Reaching Youth Drama team, the Jamaica Constabulary Force Band, and the word by internationally renowned pastor, Sara Cowan-Conner.

kimberley.small@gleanerjm.com