Europe Day, what a party!
Published: Sunday | May 24, 2009
Head of Delegation of the European Union Ambassador Marco Mazzocchi Alemanni and wife, Fiela (left), are intrigued with the shawl worn by South African High Commissioner Faith Radebe. - Winston Sill/Freelance Photographer
My darling dears, on Wednesday, May 13, Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation, His Excellency Ambassador Marco Mazzocchi Alemanni and his wife, Fiela, hosted what was truly a fabulous reception at their official residence in St Andrew. It was to commemorate the historic Schuman Declaration, which led to the creation of the EU. And my dears, without a question, it proved to be the social outing of the season and then some!
The Schuman Declaration was made on May 9, 1950, and thus Europe Day is actually celebrated on that day each year. Here in Jamaica, the commemorative celebrations were hosted on May 13 and dears, it was all that and then some!
Anticipated by socialites
Nadine Steens moves to the beat.
My dears, Europe Day is not only a calendar social event much anticipated by socialites, the powerful, politicos and European nationals residing here, it is one of the premier social events of the season. It takes on much more significance with each passing year with the EU emerging as not only among the largest creditors/ benefactors in recent years, but a major partner in our infrastructural development.
In this respect, Jamaica has been blessed by the quality of the EU's envoys posted here. Like his predecessors, Ambassador Mazzocchi Alemanni has been a proactive envoy, representing the EU brilliantly, if in stoic mode; while at the same time, providing real time assistance and support to the Government and people of Jamaica. His frankness of manner has earned him the grudging respect of those with whom he interacts in the course of his duties.
An Italian national known for his imperial bearing, he and his wife, a regal and very charming Algerian national, are known and celebrated as the consummate hosts. Their dinner parties and soirées make for coveted invitations. But it was their raising the bar at the annual EU commemorative reception that has earned them near national acclaim. And luvs, this year, they simply took the annual shindig to another stratosphere!
'We're here!' seems to be what Beverly Levy and husband, Earl (left), along with friend Charles Hanna are saying upon arrival at Wednesday's Europe Day celebration.
To begin with, inclement weather dominated the day so the lawns of the EU official residence was appropriately decorated with a number of marquees for the eventuality of rain. The gods were kind, however, and it made for one fab outing!
Dears, the reception got under way at 7 p.m., and from the very first guests arrived and were greeted by the hosts, it was clear that this was going to be a celebration with a difference.
The official interlude saw various dignitaries offering greetings and salutations, following on the rendition of the Jamaican and EU anthems, respectively. And with the ceremonial requirements attended to, the august gathering of dignitaries needed no prodding to slip into cocktail mode and simply enjoy the outing!
Caterer Lorraine Fung and her staff served up multi-ethnic/ Continental fare; an army of waiters and waitresses moved with military precision and champagne flowed as the fountain of youth.
Well my dears, it was like that and then some, as Fab Five band entertained and early into their performance, guests simply followed their dancing feet and partied up a storm to some hot Caribbean music.
Dears, talk about hot! Well this one was a total scorcher and nothing but, and a most fitting mode to celebrate 60 years of peace and prosperity in Europe. They have exported that peace and prosperity through aid, grants and partnership, particularly here in Jamaica.
Among those out were: Governor General Dr Patrick Allen; and his wife, Patricia Allen; Acting head of Government Dr Horace Chang; President of the Senate Dr Oswald Harding and wife, Marigold; House Speaker Delroy Chuck and Pat Chuck; Security Minister Senator Dwight Nelson; Transport Minister Mike Henry and wife, Dawn Chambers Henry; Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Olivia Grange; Justice Minister Senator Dorothy Lightbourne; Mining Minister James Robertson; Information Minister Daryl Vaz and wife, Ann Marie; Senator Dr Ronald Robinson; Senator Tom Tavares-Finson and wife Rose.
We saw Opposition MP Dr Peter Phillips; Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn; Contractor General Greg and Jan Christie; Honourable Maurice and Valerie Facey; Honourable Dennis and Mrs Lalor; Pokar and Gitu Chandiram; Chris Bovell; Joe Matalon and wife, Bernadette McKinley; Charles Hanna; Earl Levy and wife, Beverly Junor Levy; artist Susan Alexander; Col Trevor MacMillan and wife, Dr Olivia McDonald; Father Peter Espeut and wife, Velia.
Members of the diplomatic and consular communities spotted were British High Commissioner Jeremy Cresswell and his fiancée, Dr Barbara Munske; Spanish Ambassador Jesús Silva; German Ambassador Jurgen Engel; Ambassador Marc-Olivier Genrey of France; Belgian Ambassador Frederic and Mrs Lydie Meurice; Russian Ambassador Viktor Zotin and his wife, Olga; Chinese Ambassador Chen Jinghua and Madam Jinghua; South African High Commissioner Advocate Faith Radebe; High Commissioner Mohinder Grover and Mrs Grover of India; Mexican Ambassador Leonora Rueda; Venezuelan Ambassador Mario Pino; Ambassador of the Dominican Republic Filomena Navarro; Cuban Ambassador Gisela Garcia Rivera and her husband, Gorge Crespo.
Also seen were High Commissioner of Trinidad and Tobago Yvonne Gittens-Josephs; Her Grace the Senegalese Ambassador Dr Nafissatou Diagne; Head of the International Seabed Authority, Ambassador Nii Allotey Odunton; Acting Head of Mission US Embassy James and Janet Heg; Deputy Chief of Mission German Embassy Maria Friedrich Borger and husband, Antoine; Honorary Consul of Iceland Robert MacMillan and companion, Candy Depass; Honorary Consul of Ukraine Kenny Benjamin; Honorary Consul of Ecuador Clelia Barreto de Hunter; Honorary Consul of Lithuania Lois Lake Sherwood; Honorary Consul of Poland Irena Cousins.
Also out were head of the JCC, Milton Samuda; Dr Michael Banbury; Mr and Mrs Morin Seymour; Peta Gay MacMillan Wong; the lovely Carol MacMillan; Kingsley Cooper and his companion, Romae Gordon; Professor Dr Carolyn Cooper; Rear Admiral (Ret) Peter Brady and Carol Brady; Oliver Magnus and Sonita Morin Abrahams; Barbara Blake Hannah and son Makonnen Hannah and his companion Sade Rose; Scarlett Gillings; the charming Eva Myers of Evita's in Ocho Rios; the oh-so-fabulous Joan MacDonald; the ultra-fab Sandra Kennedy; Dr Jonathan Greenland and wife, Dr Rebecca Tortello.
Also seen at the party were EU Official Alex Dropinski and wife, Dr Saphire Longmore; Andrea Bickhoff-Benjamin; Pierre and Karlene Lemaire; Dr Neil Lowe; Jodi Brown Lindo; designer Juliette Dyke; Pulse models Reshema Hemmings; Vogue model Rochelle Watson; Crystal Patterson; Raquel Smith, now signed to Select Model of London; Dewight Peters and a bevy of Saint models; plus a number of others!