Chester Francis-Jackson, Contributor
My dears, it's all eyes on London, as the Games have begun. Luvs, Jamaica and her athletes are in the cross hairs of the international media and sporting pundits everywhere.
But, it's all good pumpkins, as not only are Jamaica and Jamaicans the world over celebrating and supporting our athletes, we do so on the verge of our Golden Independence Jubilee.
Irrespective of the medal haul, London is Jamaica's coming-out party, meaning it's all about the black, green and gold, so let the partying begin!
And speaking of parties, the NDTC winds down its partying this Sunday with its final show in celebration of it's 50th anniversary.
And speaking of Independence, one of the rare but much-sought-after unofficial souvenirs for Jamaica 50 are the hand-painted sneakers created by visual artist Winston Gayle of Hedonism II in Negril.
The very colourful and eye-catching sneakers have been named Jamaica 50 Flash Dash by Gayle, who hails from Mandeville, but relocated to Negril years ago, and has been making a name for himself as an artist on the white sands of the north coast.
Gayle said the name embodies hope for Jamaica's dominance in the upcoming 100-metre dash at the Olympics.
Here is how it works: You take a pair of white sneakers preferably to the artist and he remixes it with a design that reflects your personal style.
Gayle mostly paints landscapes on canvass for a living, but he seized the opportunity earlier this year to create something special for Jamaica 50. Since debuting, the hand-painted sneakers' popularity has soared, becoming a hit with visitors as well as locals.
And, so we say, in saluting the creativity and ingenuity of another Jamaican, we toast his hand-painted sneakers.
Dears, it's shaping up to be a summer of diplomatic comings and goings, as a number of ambassadors and high commissioners that have formed a part of the social and diplomatic fabric here in Jamaica, in recent years, are set to take their leave this summer.
And as is the custom, when diplomats who have distinguished themselves during their tour of duty take their leave of our shores, they are celebrated in parties. So parties there are aplenty this season and many of those parties are being thrown in honour of out-going Belgian ambassador, Frederic Meurice and his wife, Lydie, who take their leave on Monday!
Other heads of missions also bidding us adieu include India's High Commissioner Mohinder Grover, Canada's High Commissioner Steven Hallihan, and Chile's Ambassador Alfredo Garcia. There is also a new Argentinean ambassador in town, so it promises to be a summer of diplomatic and social changes, so naturally, more anon!
The place to brunch last Saturday was definitely the Pelican in the second city of Montego Bay. It was buzzing with such notables as: celebrated musician Cat Coore; the fab Marguerite Watson; her niece, the ultra-gorgeous Sophia MaxBrown; Don Smith; the fab Pauline V. Archer; Leslie Chang and daughter Zoe; and the dapper Nicholas Chuck.
Dears, the Pelican was cooking and then some, serving up fab fare and attracting the fab crowd like everybody's business.
And mon congrats to Eddie DePass and wife Viktorija on the birth of their daughter, Scarlett, on Wednesday.
The age of Leo
And it's time to celebrate the Age of Leo, my dears. Among those celebrating this season are: the lovely Karlene Lemaire; the fab Kim-Marie Spence; the lovely Shantelle Carpenter; Marlon T. Morris, in Mandeville; Garfield Collins, formerly of Hedonism III, now in Atlanta Georgia - who all celebrate today.
Celebrating tomorrow, Saturday, the 28th, will be: entertainer Michael Sean Harris; Norval Thompson, in Kitson Town, St Catherine; and the fabulous Michele Henney, in Miami, Florida.
On Sunday, the 29th, the birthday boys and girls will include mayor of Spanish Town and current head of the NSWMA, the charming Jennifer Edwards; the JSPCA's Pamela Neita-Lawson; the lovely Marcia Frith-Kohler; Horatio Bennett, formerly of Linstead, St Catherine, now in McDonough, Georgia; Akil Campbell, formerly of Kingston, now in Atlanta, Georgia; and the lovely Zipporah Watts-Weir, in Brooklyn, New York.
Come Monday, the 30th, the partying continues as: the fab Tracy Ann Hamilton Johnson; the beautiful Marvalene Jack; the lovely Betty McEntire, in Naples, Florida; and Canadian resident and Hedonism II aficionado, Darlene Rhoden, celebrate their birthday.
On Tuesday, the 31st: the elegant Beverley Sutherland-Lewis; The dapper William Massias; The charmingly fan Julia Lowe; DJ Neilton Ringo Lee, in Burtonsville Maryland; Ted Conlon in Hampstead, Maryland, celebrated the Big Four-O; and George Rattary, now in Freeport New York, will be among those celebrating.
And on Wednesday, August 1: noted attorney at law and JLP powerbroker Harold Brady; the charmingly lovely Alexandra Ghisays of Couples Resorts, businessman Richard Parchment and the elegant Pat Williams Bignall. The general manager of Kingston's finest hotel, The Spanish Court, the fab, Lee-Ann Godfrey-Porter; Simon Thompson; Massana Lake; the lovely Marie Holland, the fab Stephanie Stephens, in Tampa, Florida; North Coast habitué Rick Saager; and Matt Gross, from Johns Hopkins University, will be blowing out candles on their birthday cakes.
Come next Thursday, August 2: former head of the JLP Youth arm G2K Delano Sieveright; the fab Pauline Edie; radio personality, the fab DJ Sunshine; the lovely Andrea Davis; Rayhand Fowler, and the happening Melissa Merlo, north coast habitué in Washington DC, will lead the celebrations.
Belated wishes to Opposition Leader Andrew Holness, who celebrated his birthday on Sunday, the 22nd.
And the acclaimed Damian 'Junior Gong' Marley, who celebrated his special day, on Saturday, the 21st.
And a special belated birthday greeting, to the tres fab Sheryn Hylton Parker, proud daughter of this here fertile land, who now resides in Montreal, Quebec, who celebrated earlier this month.
Many happy returns all around with champagne toasts and beluga treats!