Chester Francis-Jackson, Outlook Writer
Luvs, there's nothing like a balmy Sunday afternoon in the nation's Capital. On Sundays, Kingston assumes that unique, tranquil, almost-reverential mode that makes for a very special day, one which lends itself to the full and total appreciation of the beauty all around, but more so commends itself to picnics, beach outings, garden-parties and or simply lavish soirées!
And so it was, that with the imminent advent of the Jamaica Military Tattoo and the visit to these shores of many military bands for the extravaganza to take place under the auspices of the Jamaica Defence Force, one of the military bands participating in the Tattoo is the The Royal Marines Band, a first for this historic band, with a musical tradition and history that date back over the centuries.
Well, to welcome the band to our shores, British high commissioner to Jamaica, Howard Drake, hosted a shortlist of specially invited guests on the lawns of his official residence on Trafalgar Road for High Tea. And luv, what a charmer it was.
With high commissioner being a suave and urbane diplomat, in the very best of British traditions, invites to his dos are indeed not only coveted, but prized.
Well my dears, High Tea with Commissioner Drake was the perfect outing for snob society last Sunday. Not that this was a snobby outing or anything like that. It proved a charming family event, and a musical bonanza for those in attendance as the Royal Marines Band was to prove.
Tea got under way at the appointed hour of 5, with the women in attendance, all dolled up (for the most part), in their best and most fashionable hats, while their male companions opted for haute leisure sans the frills of the English dandy; their children, smartly outfitted for a Sunday afternoon play.
Play however, was restricted to the Royal Marines, but before their timely interlude and masterful display and musical eloquence, guests were treated to a simply marvellous fare befitting the occasion - iced and hot tea; natural juices; scones, cucumber sandwiches; egg-mayonnaise sandwich with shallots; chocolate-covered giant strawberries, plus an assortment of other fruits and pastries and other goodies.
Dears, no pinkie alert here, as it really was not that kind of a crowd. We are talking haute elegance here as guests, simply and elegantly not only opted to enjoy each other's society, but basked resplendently in the occasion.
And it only got better, as following the social intercourse that was de rigueur, the Royal Marines Band made its musical appearance and Jamaican debut. Looking smart, elegantly crisp and ceremonially flawless, the band with their musical entrance caused all in attendance to pause, in mid-stride and/or conversation, to fully focus on the marching band. And talk about a thing of beauty and a joy to behold! This, my dears, was indeed true of this moment, and the band's entire performance!
Dears, there's something to be said about a military band, keeping in step and in tune, as they maintained perfect musical harmony under the critical and appreciative gaze of the audience. That this was a 'command performance' that made their feat that much more spellbinding.
Dears, the musical offering was absolutely flawless and then some. It included selections from popular musical culture; the classical and the traditional; but for the Jamaicans in attendance, their rendition of the national anthem was goose-pimply fabulous!!
My darlings, truly a musical encounter of the awesome kind, and dears, the performance taking place against the background of Jamaica's Golden Jubilee anniversary, we are talking pomp and circumstance of the finest nationalistic order and nothing but!
Oh, and talk about a fabulous afternoon! My darling dears, this was it and nothing but!
Among those enjoying the afternoon were Junior Minister Julian Robinson; Delroy Chuck and his wife Patricia; Kamina Johnson-Smith; Steadman Fuller; Justice Howard Cooke and his wife Heather. Also out were United States Ambassador Pamela Bridgewater; high commissioner of St Kitts and Nevis Cedric Harper; Anthony Johnson; Ambassador Maxine Roberts and her sister the charming Valerie Roberts; honorary consul of Iceland, Robert MacMillan; the esteemed Dr Graham and Beryl Sargeant; Mike Fennell and his wife, Peggy; Errol Greene; ACP Les and Annette Green; Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin and wife Tessa. Graham Glover and his wife Jo; Ted Meinhover; Yolanda Kearney; Joe and Bernadette Matalon; Richard and Diana Stewart; the charming Jo Page; the Legendary Ken Boothe; Anthony and Jeannie Watson and their son James; Brian and Lisa-May Pengelley; Georgie Simmonds; Barbara Sasso; Ed and Joyce Hewett; David and Indira Couch. Sancia Bennett-Templer; Dr Laura Tanna; the fab Sandra Glasgow; the charming Nicola Crosswell-Mair; Commander John McFarlane and his wife, Deanna; the lovely Dollis Campbell; the fabulous Kimala Bennett; the charming Caroline Grant and her daughters Phoebe and Poppi, in from Ocho Rios for the event; Bruce James and wife Pascal; Gavin Goffe ; Tom and Rowena Connor; the lovely Juliette Wight; and the charmingly lovely Samara South; among a number of others.