Tue | Mar 20, 2018

Alpha Institute benefits from Burns Night

Published:Friday | April 7, 2017 | 12:00 AMKeisha Hill

The Alpha Institute has benefitted from a $150,000 donation courtesy of the Scottish Dance Society and the Caledonia Society of Jamaica, following the successful staging of the traditional Scottish celebration of Burns Night.

The effort was initiated by The Caledonian Society of Jamaica and the Scottish Country Dance Society of Jamaica. The Andrew Mill Band from Scotland was on its second visit to Jamaica to support fundraising efforts of the two societies.

In January, two successful events were held for Scottish-Jamaican cultural exchange and to raise funds for the Alpha Institute. The first was a free music and dance workshop in Scottish-Ceilidh genre of music at Emancipation Park, while the second event was Burns Night 2017, held in the St Andrew hills with a picturesque backdrop of Kingston city lights.




The Andrew Mill Band and the Alpha Institute Band took turns entertaining and also performed four collaborative pieces. Several men were resplendent in their kilts, while some women wore tartan sashes.

The repast included Scottish traditions of cock o'leeky (chicken and leek) soup, the infamous haggis (sheep lungs, heart and liver) and trifle (sponge cake, fruit, custard, topped with cream), along with Jamaican jerk chicken and fish in coconut on pineapple.

Pat Gooden, president of the Caledonia Society of Jamaica, said they were happy to have assisted the Alpha Institute.

"We have existed as a society for close to 102 years. We always give to charities. Last year, we gave to the Worthley Home, and this year, we saw that the Alpha Institute needed help with their infrastructure, and we decided to donate to them this year," Gooden said.

Meanwhile, Fiona Black, president of the Scottish Dance Society, said the Alpha Institute having its focus on music was a perfect fit for the organisation.

"Music and dance fit in nicely with our objectives, and sharing with them was so rewarding."