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Tyrone Blake remembered ... during launch of Merritone 62nd anniversary

Published:Monday | September 17, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Winston Blake
Jamaica Tourist Board's Jason Hall recounts his memories of Merritone Disco during the launch of the Merritone 62nd anniversary, held at Waterfalls in St Andrew, recently. - Contributed

Sadeke Brooks, Staff Reporter

Honoured at the Merritone Family Fun Day in Connecticut, United States, in July, tribute will again be paid to Tyrone Blake at the Merritone Family Reunion and Homecoming that will be held between October 10 and 15.

Following his passing in April, it was announced that Tyrone Blake would have been the focus at their family fun day. This time around, under the theme 'Tyrone, This One Is For You', he will be remembered at the Family Reunion and Homecoming that will kick off with a pre-reunion event, 'Merritone Gives Thanks', that will be held at Christ Church on September 23. There will also be the Merritone Family Fun Day at Swimmers Bay, Lyssons, St Thomas, on September 30. And, on October 5, there will be 'Touch Of Class' at Curphey Place in St Andrew.

But the big event will be the reunion that will start with a 'Merritone Meet and Greet' at Chaser's Cafe in New Kingston on October 10. This will be followed by the 'Merritone Turntable Thursdays' at Waterfalls in St Andrew on October 11. By October 12, they will head to Sunset Beach Resort in Montego Bay for a weekend of fun and frolic, before returning to Kingston for the 'Merritone Las Lik' at The Deck on Trafalgar Road, on October 15.

Excited about the event, especially the weekend in Montego Bay, Monte Blake said: "The bookings are very good so far, considering so many of the people came out for the holidays, but some of them are coming back."

But based on the last-minute nature of most Jamaicans, Blake says when the radio advertisements are aired, he expects to see a spike in hotel bookings for the event.

Apart from the event that was held in Connecticut, Monte Blake says this year's staging of the Merritone Reunion and Homecoming will be special.

"It's different because of Tyrone, it is his 70th birthday this year. We are also celebrating Jamaica's 50th and it is the regular reunion. It is just so much more feeling into it because of him and because of Jamaica 50th," he told The Gleaner, noting that the event started in Montego Bay in 1990 and has made its way to several parishes since.

Memories of Merritone

Earlier in the launch that was held at Waterfalls in St Andrew, Jamaica Tourist Board's Jason Hall recounted his memories of Merritone Disco. He also wished the family success and added that he hopes they will continue the legacy.

Member of Parliament Derrick Smith, also made mention of Tyrone, saying: "I would like to record the tremendous loss we have suffered and belated condolences to the family."

After going at lengths about his association with the family and their history, Smith said "full time now for the Merritone story to be written. Never allow Val Blake's legacy to die."

Norma Brown-Bell also spoke about him. "Tyrone is extra special to me, we were always in touch. We had very fun memories," she said, before inviting his daughter Racquel on stage.

Wray and Nephew's Gary Dixon also gave his remarks, ahead of Monte Blake's overview of the event.