Sat | Dec 10, 2016

CARIMAC: A grand family reunion

Published:Sunday | November 2, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Professor Hopeton Dunn accepts a CARIMAC register from Cameron Mock Yen on behalf of his grandmother, retired lecturer Alma Mock Yen.
Guest speaker Obediah Wilchcombe, minister of tourism - The Bahamas, and Alma Mock Yen are all smiles at CARIMAC's 40th Anniversary Gala Banquet.
Sir Kenneth Hall (left) greets Information Minister Sandrea Falconer with a kiss as Professor Hopeton Dunn looks on.
Fae Ellington and Dr Marcia Forbes looking lovely at CARIMAC's 40th Anniversary Gala Banquet.
Minister of Youth and Culture Lisa Hanna and Corporate Communications Manager at Lime Elon Parkinson catching up.
Elizabeth Buchanan receives an award from Professor Hopeton Dunn, on behalf of the late Professor Ralston 'Rex' Nettleford.
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Jody-Anne Lawrence, Gleaner Writer

IT WAS a night to celebrate the history of the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication (CARIMAC), and it was done in fine style. CARIMAC, which started in 1974 offering only diplomas, has now blossomed into a household name to media practitioners in the region.

Held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel on Saturday, October 25, the masters of ceremonies for the institute's 40th anniversary gala were none other than graduates Fae Ellington and Errol Lee. The candid banter between the two kept the night alive and running smoothly.

Director of CARIMAC Professor Hopeton Dunn gave a brief welcome, and like a well-trained reporter, he stuck to the time limit allotted. The event was more like a reunion of old friends and lecturers who were like parents.

Minister Sandrea Falconer spoke proudly about the institution that played a part in making her into the woman that she has become. "CARIMAC has prepared hundreds of media and communication practitioners to serve not only media entities, but many institutions of government and the private sector within the region and the world. Perhaps, most important, CARIMAC has helped to sow the seed and has nurtured the quest for true freedom of the press," she said. She added, "CARIMAC is no longer a fledgling institution, but a mature, tried and tested place of higher learning, preparing students to begin, or return to, the practice of journalism."

Journalists love to have a good time, and entertainment provided by The Bare Essentials Band during dinner had guests singing and rocking along to the band's rendition of Linstead Market and Over the Rainbow. The band was later joined by Judi Emanuel, who gave a great rendition of We Are Family.

However, the speech by
the keynote speaker minister of tourism in The Bahamas Obediah
Wilchcombe, was arguably the highlight of the night. Not reading from a
pre-prepared script, the charismatic minister left the entire room
feeling motivated and encouraged. He spoke of his time as a student and
all that he learnt from Alma Mock Yen and the late Professor Aggrey
Brown. He encouraged the youth in the room to make a difference and a
change. "Do not think small, think big. Do not limit yourself to
regional borders. Usain Bolt and Bob Marley changed the world and we
have the ability to do so, too," he noted.

At the end
of his presentation, he got a standing ovation.

Then
it was time to award the journalists who have really excelled in the
field. There were awards in two categories - anniversary honourees and
founding awardees. The anniversary awardees for individuals who have
impacted the field of media and assisted the institution, as well as the
founding awardees, which were institutions or persons from exemplary
institutions that have supported the institution. The Gleaner Company's
former editor-in-chief, the late Theodore Sealy, was listed among the
founding awardees.

Retired lecturer Alma Mock Yen gave
the response on behalf of the awardees and, with this, had her
grandson, Cameron Mock Yen, present Professor Hopeton Dunn her register
of the lessons she has taught over the years.

The
night ended with music, greetings and farewells to the classmates that
were once family, but who will soon meet
again.

Photos by Brian McCalla/Freelance Photographer