Mon | Feb 17, 2020

Vintage fiesta

Published:Friday | June 21, 2013 | 12:00 AM
Donna Marie Archer from England could not get enough of Ernie Smith while he sang Pitta Patta during the Victoria Mutual Diaspora Party at the Montego Bay Convention Centre on Tuesday night. - Photo by Janet Silvera
From left, Victoria Mutual's Chairman Michael McMorris, Vice-president Group Marketing Vivienne Bayley-Hay, and Jamaica's consul general in Miami Sandra Grant Griffiths. - Photos by Janet Silvera
Dr Sue Davis and Patrick Beckford dancing up a storm at the Victoria Mutual Diaspora Party at the Montego Bay Convention Centre on Tuesday night.
Jamaica's high commissioner to the United Kingdom, Aloun Assamba (right), and Victoria Mutual's vice-president, Joan Walters, in a jovial mood as they partied the night away.

Janet Silvera, Senior Gleaner Writer


Not only did Victoria Mutual fête the members of the diaspora, but they also partnered with Jamaica National, Appleton Estate and Wray & Nephew in taking care of the 120 media personnel in attendance at the 5th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference which ended in Montego Bay on Wednesday.

Three days of deliberations and three nights of celebration were an endorsement to what has become the most famous quote of the conference, "Most Jamaicans living overseas walk around with a piece of the homeland in their hearts, most Jamaicans have not really left, we just don't sleep here on a regular basis" - Valarie Steele, Jamaica Diaspora Advisory Board member, Canada.

On Tuesday, Victoria Mutual capitalised on that fact, taking those who still had legs left to dance down memory lane, at what Clover Moore has tagged A Vintage Party.

Vintage it was indeed, when Ernie Smith, Ken Boothe and Leroy Sibbles proved again and again why original reggae music remains one of the most revered genres of music worldwide.

From Smith's Pitta Patta to Booth's Journey, from his latest album, to Sibbles' I Wanna Get Next to You, the Canadians, Americans and UK Jamaicans who had spent hours deliberating at one meeting after another, could now let down their hair and enjoy the rich cultural heritage of their country.

Today brings you highlights of this fabulous event.