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Supporting development.

301 Main Street Wasaga Beach Ontario


30 45th Street S. Wasaga Beach Ontario

Palaver 2015


Introduction 2 Goodwill messages 4 Caribbean Literature – Unique and pervasive 6 Why Wasaga Beach 7 LITERATURE 8 Ewart Walters 8 Olive Senior 9 Dwayne Morgan 10 Pamela Mordecai 11 Rachel Manley 12 Owen ‘Blakka’ Ellis 13 To Wasaga Beach with Love ... and more 14 Rita Cox 21 Paradise in Jeopardy 22 MUSIC – intro 23 A Debt of Gratitude - Olive Lewin 23 Caribbean Contribution to Global Jazz 24 Ernie Smith 25 Sombrero Club 26 My Painted Skirt by Lorna Goodison 28 Palaver supports Wasaga Beach Public Library 30 PALAVER SONGBOOK 31 CUISINE 39 The Caribbean Flavours the World 40 Palaver Brunch Menu 40 Selwyn Richards – master chef 42


EDITOR: Mike Jarrett COVER DESIGNS: Maria Papaefstathiou PRINTERS: Kwik Kopy Printing - Barrie August 8, 2015 CHAPTER

• Dr. Pamela Appelt - patron • The Mayor and Staff - Wasaga Beach Town Hall • TD Canada Trust • Jamaica National - TRO • Ontario Parks • Margaret Jarrett • Michael Patrick Jarrett • Nick Caruso • Ewart Walters • Olive Senior • Carlos Malcolm • Dr. Rita Cox • 97.7TheBeach Radio • Wasaga Beach Public Library • A Different Booklist • Diane Frans • The Art of Catering • John and Susan Morton • Ben Cassidy • Wasaga Beach Theatre Company



aribbean culture is unique for its diversity and vibrancy. The perimeter lands of the Caribbean Sea and the islands within cradled a diaspora of world cultures and nationalities for more than 500 years. African, Andean, Arab, Chinese, Dutch, English, French, Hindu, Jewish and Spanish retentions in art, literature, music and religion have been woven by time into an enchanting tapestry of colour, sound, ethnicity and shared experiences. Caribbean societies have produced some of the world’s finest athletes, artistes, scientists, scholars and statesmen and Palaver celebrates this vibrant, complex Caribbean culture, offering each year, in a morsel, but a taste of its richness and tantalising flavours. BOOKS & AUTHORS The titles that have appeared over recent years have collectively deepened and expanded the range of Caribbean literature, bringing new meaning, enlightenment and a plethora of poems, stories and anecdotes that


capture and encapsulate for posterity all that we are. Talented writers, essayists and lyricists, have given us much for which to be thankful. But this feast and bounty, nurturing and enriching soul and spirit have only served to stoke the appetite. For such are the nature of literature and the mission of writers. Books by Caribbean writers that have been nominated for the 2015 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean literature, include ‘Sounding Ground’ by Vladimir Lucien; ‘A Brief History of Seven Killings’ a novel by Marlon James and ‘Dying To Better Themselves’ by Olive Senior. This latter work, the definitive account of the role of the Caribbean people in the building of the Panama Canal, is special to Palaver. Olive Senior, a guest at the genesis event in July 2014, was kind enough to read passages from what was still then an unpublished work Writers such as Pamela Mordecai (‘Red Jacket’), Monique Roffey (‘House of Ashes’), Owen Ellis (‘Riddim & Riddles’), have been among those placing fresh

material on the shelves in the past year. These new works, alongside volumes and compilations that continue through the years to entertain and enlighten are collectively more important and valuable than the time, effort and sacrifice it took to research, compile, write and publish. Their value lies not in the accolades and awards but because together they define and describe our world and time; our humanity and our aspirations; our failures and accomplishments. By these books and their patient, long-suffering authors, we are made immortal. STORY-TELLING The art of story-telling is as ancient as mankind. The story-teller is a performer and entertainer. Storytelling is considered fun and entertainment and humour is what the storyteller brings. But, with all the fun and laughter, comes history and empowerment. Through the tales and recollections of the story-teller, mores and traditions are kept alive to be passed to the next generation. Palaver provides a stage Palaver 2015

Celebrating Caribbean cultures for the story-teller. MUSIC The musical event at the inaugural Palaver presents authentic Jamaican folk songs. Jamaica has a great wealth of folk songs dating back centuries. With the largest population of the Anglophone Caribbean, Jamaica’s culture is woven of threads resilient and strong, holding fast many and distant civilizations. This diversity, itself a cultural characteristic, found expression in many forms, music being but one. Jamaica’s folk songs preserve philosophies and attitudes which survived centuries of dehumanization. Humorous or sad; songs of work or songs of love; songs of mischief or games that are songs, Jamaica’s folk music captures the spirit of all its people. Many of these melodies were a balm for downtrodden slaves, toiling in sugar cane fields under a whip and a blazing, unrelenting tropical sun. Some of these songs survived to become a part of the foundation of modern popular Jamaican music. CHAPTER

Others were left behind, abandoned and forgotten except by those, like the late Dr. Olive Lewin, Jamaican anthropologist and cultural historian, whose academic pursuits retrieved and preserved them for posterity. Palaver recalls these songs in a tribute to Olive Lewin by engaging the talented Ernie Smith to present them in the Palaver Sing-along on Saturday August 8, 2015. FOOD When Europeans arrived in the Caribbean in late 15th century, they found some of the larger Caribbean islands inhabited by an agrarian people. Those people were not allowed to last long enough for the survival of their culture. However the Europeans did record that the native people farmed cassava and made a flat cassava bread. Jamaicans still make and consume a flat cassava bread. Known for centuries as ‘bammy’, it’s a natural partner with fish, steamed or fried, to be consumed in bliss in the shade of a spreading seagrape, on an idyllic Caribbean beach somewhere. Cassava is one of the few food crops

• Literature • Music • Cuisine to have survived five centuries of European occupation. European presence in the Caribbean was supported by plantations worked by forced labour. The slaves brought to the fireside sub-Saharan cooking methods and the organic root crops they managed to cultivate on their tiny plots to make a delight of the protein stock – salted cod, pickled mackerel, red herring and pigtail – imported from Europe and Canada. Subsequently, Indian and Chinese immigrants enriched the mix with their own ancient culinary traditions and spices. The aromas of the Caribbean are unique for this rich mix of cultures over centuries and Palaver celebrates this aspect of Caribbean life with Aromas From The Great House, a brunch buffet at Beach Area 4. Welcome. Let’s palaver.



Palaver 2015



Caribbean Literature

Unique and pervasive T

By Ewart Walters

he people of the West Indies were forged in the cauldron of slavery on plantations in the Caribbean Sea. A slavery which tore them from their homelands, language and culture. In their new surroundings, out of the toil and depravation of daily life, in a place where Europe met Africa and Asia on foreign soil, as the late UWI Professor Rex Nettleford described it, they wove a tapestry of extraordinary texture that was part European, part African, part Asian, but totally Caribbean. Theirs was a slavery in which they were transported, bound, to new lands and forced to take orders in a language they could not understand. Whether in Dutch, Spanish or English, it was all Greek to them. And yet these men and women so mastered the language of the slave masters that three Caribbean writers, V.S. Naipaul of Trinidad, Guadeloupe’s Saint-John Perse and St. Lucia’s Derek Walcott, became Nobel Laureates for Literature. Walcott was recognized by the Swedish Academy with the 1992 Prize for creating “a poetic oeuvre of great luminosity, sustained by a historical vision, the outcome of a multicultural commitment,” In tribute, the poet Robert Graves said he “handles the English language with a closer understanding of its inner magic than any of its Englishborn contemporaries.” But Walcott’s triumph may be seen as merely the Mount Everest of that imposing body of work known as Caribbean or West Indian literature. As a literary descriptive, the term “West Indian” first began to achieve currency in the 1950s, when writers such as George Lamming of Barbados, British Guyana’s Edgar Mittelholzer, Trinidad’s Samuel Selvon and V.S. Naipaul, Jamaica’s Vic Reid, Una Marson, Andrew Salkey, Louise Bennett, and John Hearne, began to be published in Britain. A sense of a single literature across the islands was also encouraged in the 1940s


by the BBC radio programme Caribbean Voices, which featured stories and poems written by West Indian authors, and broadcast back to the islands. Magazines such as Kyk-Over-Al in Guyana, Bim in Barbados, and Edna Manley’s Focus as well as Marson’s Pioneer Press in Jamaica, which published work by writers across the region, helped encourage writers and built an audience. Other notable names in Caribbean literature include Edward Kamau Brathwaite, Earl Lovelace, Austin Clarke, Claude McKay, Orlando Patterson, Philip Sherlock, Andrew Salkey, Neville Dawes, Kwame Dawes, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Edwidge Danticat, Anthony Kellman, Andrea Levy, Jamaicans Anthony C. Winkler, Colin Channer, Marlon James, Olive Senior, Rachel Manley, Marie-Elena John, and Lasana M. Sekou. One unique and pervasive characteristic of Caribbean literature is the use of dialect forms of the national language, often termed “creole.” The various local variations in the colonizer’s language, have been modified with time within each country and each has developed a blend unique to its country. Happily, Canada has not remained immune to the Caribbean literary spirit for among its citizens it can count literary giants Samuel Selvon, Louise Bennett Coverley, Olive Senior, Rachel Manley, and Austin Clarke. Torontonians Senior and Manley are both resplendent in the firmament of literary appraisal, Palaver 2015

Senior having won the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize, and Manley the GovernorGeneral’s Award for English language non-fiction. Other Canadian-Caribbean literary exponents include Dionne Brand, Horane Smith, Jacqueline Lawrence, Pamela Hickling, Mark Lee, and Ewart Walters. A decade ago the Calabash International Literary Festival was launched on the south shores of Jamaica by authors Colin Channer and Kwame Dawes along with

producer Justine Henzell, and has drawn wide acclaim. In 2003 the Caribbean-Canadian Literary Expo was launched to expose, develop and preserve in Toronto the work of writers, poets, storytellers and other literary artists of Caribbean heritage. Now, with Palaver, Mike Jarrett has planted a world-class literary festival with Caribbean roots right here on the sparkling shores of Georgian Bay, in word, song and cuisine.

Why Wasaga Beach


hy is Wasaga Beach an ideal setting for a major Caribbean literary festival? The answers are many and may be discussed from perspectives of history, geography and even demographics. CANADA The relationships between Canada and the Caribbean are traced over 300 years. Even before the British gained control of the lands now called Canada, the people of what was then New France had a vigorous trading relationship with the French colonies in the Caribbean. That was in the early 18th century, 300 years ago. Since then, the Canadian economy through brands like Royal Bank of Canada, Bank of Nova Scotia, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, New Brunswick Sardines and many others have been associated with growth of both Canada and the Caribbean. The first Caribbean people to live in Canada arrived from Jamaica in Halifax, Nova Scotia about 220 years ago (in 1796). They were the first large group of Caribbean people (according to some records) to enter British North America. ONTARIO Caribbean influences in Canada are perhaps strongest in Ontario. Whereas most Haitians settle in Quebec, most others from the Caribbean settle in Ontario. The population of Canadians of CHAPTER

By Mike Jarrett

Caribbean origin has grown more quickly than the Canadian population as a whole. Between 1996 and 2001, the Canadian population grew by four per cent while the Canadian-Caribbean population rose by 11 per cent. Caribbean-Canadians are concentrated overwhelmingly in the major urban centres of Quebec and Ontario. In 2001, more than 90 per cent of Caribbean-Canadians lived in one of these two provinces. WASAGA BEACH The town of Wasaga Beach is located on one of the most beautiful stretches of beach on the planet outside of the Caribbean. Similarities and parallels between this town and many in the Caribbean are worthy of note. After mentally substituting evergreen for palm fronds and coconut trees, the vistas are remarkably similar. Wasaga Beach is said to be the longest fresh water beach in the world. The longest salt water beaches in the world are in the Caribbean. Forming a backdrop to the town of Wasaga Beach are the majestic Blue Mountains to the west. The majestic Blue Mountain range in Jamaica is the backdrop to the beaches in the east. With these similarities and parallels, Wasaga Beach qualifies as the perfect venue for the Palaver International Literary festival, a Canadian event to celebrate Caribbean literature, music and cuisine.



EWART Walters


ven before Ewart Walters’ last book came off the press, it was causing a sensation. Three former Jamaican Prime Ministers made negative comments about this book which they hadn’t yet read. The ex-Prime Ministers were not the only ones. Many were the comments among Jamaicans in Jamaica, Canada, the United Kingdom and the USA, about a book of which all that was known at the time was a sensational news story in a Jamaican newspaper. One year later, the critics have been silenced in the face of Walter’s truths. Now his book is being touted as a ‘must read’ for anyone wanting a full understanding of the individuals, philosophies and the political energy that guided and inspired the formation and emergence of what has been described as the “greatest little nation on the planet.” We Come From Jamaica: The National Movement 1937-1962 caused quite a stir. Walters’ previous book, “To Follow Right – A Journalist’s Journey” gained immediate endorsement and was quickly placed on the reading list of the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communications. His first book, ‘Sugar Boy, was launched in 2010. A former diplomat, dramatist and senior public servant, Ewart Walters has been a writer for much of his life. He is a prize-winning journalist and published a monthly newspaper in Ottawa – The Spectrum – for 29 years while fully employed as a Federal


public servant. A graduate of Carleton University’s journalism programme, he gained Bachelors and Masters degrees from the same institution. Ewart Walters has now settled down to write books. In striking contrast to the early comments, We Come From Jamaica: The National Movement 19371962, published in 2014, has now been hailed as a gem in the documentation of Jamaica’s national movement. University of Toronto’s professor emeritus, Dr. Keith Ellis wants it to be translated and published in Spanish. Referring to Walters as “an outstanding essayist in the mould of Ruben Dario, Nicolas Guillen and Jose Marti,” Dr. Ellis described the book as “a masterpiece…a magnificent literary and historical body of work.” Palaver 2015



elebrated poet, novelist and short story writer, Olive Senior won the inaugural Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book with her short story collection Summer Lightning (Longman, 1986). Her book of poetry, Over the Roofs of the World (Insomniac, 2005) was a finalist for the 2005 Canadian Governor General’s Literary Award for poetry. A graduate of Carleton University in Canada’s capital city, Olive Senior’s 16 books of fiction, poetry, non-fiction and children’s literature have inspired and entertained thousands the world over. Dying to Better Themselves: West Indians and the Building of the Panama Canal published by UWI Press in September 2014,is regarded by many as the seminal work about the contribution of Caribbean peoples to the building of the Panama Railroad and the Panama Canal. This book has already gained world-wide attention and is a finalist for the 2015 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature and the Foreword Reviews INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards. Dying to Better Themselves tells a gripping, heart-rending story of triumph as Senior juxtaposes the harrowing firsthand experiences of those who were involved with the impersonal official records. “The story of the building of the Canal—an incredible engineering triumph—is very much a Caribbean story: the great majority of the workers were men from the islands. This book is a fine model of how to blend oral history with documentary or archival research to produce an integrated narrative—one which is always enriched by the voices CHAPTER


Caroline Forbes photo

of the men and women who were there making history. … Senior shows that it was West Indian labour which essentially built this waterway. They were called the “Silver Men” because all non-white workers were paid in silver coins, while white Americans were paid in gold.” (Bridget Brereton, Trinidad Express Newspapers, December 31, 2014) Olive Senior’s new collection of stories, The Pain Tree (Cormorant Books 2015) is a fascinating collection of stories exhibiting reverence, wit and wisdom, satire and humour with a range of characters that are ‘universally recognisable as people in crisis or on the cusp of transformation’. Olive Senior’s friendly encouragement and support, dating back to January 2014, helped to make Palaver in Wasaga Beach a reality.




spoken word artist for more than 20 years, Dwayne Morgan brings his work to the inaugural Palaver International Literary Festival in Wasaga Beach on August 8, 2015. Dwayne’s work and rapidly expanding appreciation have had him performing across Canada and outside of his homeland as well. He has performed in the United States, Jamaica, Barbados, England, Scotland, Belgium, Budapest, Germany, France, Norway, and Holland. In 1994, Dwayne founded Up From The Roots entertainment. His stated mission then was ‘to promote the positive artistic contributions of African Canadian and urban influenced artists’. Twenty years later, he had produced some 100 events, the largest of which are the annual spoken word concerts When Brothers Speak and When Sisters Speak; and, had received the Renaissance Planet Africa Award for Career Achievement. 
He is a member of the Writers’ Union of Canada. A 2012 National Team Poetry Slam Champion and four-time runner up, he holds both the African Canadian Achievement Award and the Harry Jerome Award for Excellence in the Arts. He is the winner of three Canadian Urban Music Awards (2001, 2003, 2005). In 2005 he was recognized as Poet of Honour at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word in Vancouver. He has published 8 books, most recently his first children’s book, Before I was Born. Before that he published his memoir, Everyday Excellence (2013), Her Favourite Shoes (2011), The Sensual Musings of Dwayne Morgan (2010),


The Making of A Man (2005), The Man Behind The Mic (2002), Long Overdue (1999), and chapbooks, The Revolution Starts Within (1996), and Straight From The Roots (1995). In 2009, Morgan’s work was translated into French for the book, Le Making of d’un Homme. His recorded albums include, Another Level (1997), The Evolution (2001), Soul Searching (2003), A Decade in the Making (2004), Mellow Mood: The End of the Beginning (2007), and Idle Hands (2011). In 2008, Morgan released a commemorative DVD entitled, Dwayne Morgan The First Fifteen. Palaver 2015


fter working on the publication of some 20 textbooks, producing five collections of poetry, five children’s books, an anthology of short stories, and a reference work on Jamaica (with her husband Martin), in addition to writing a play, El Numero Uno, which had its world premiere at the Lorraine Kimsa Theatre in February 2010, Dr. Pamela Mordecai published her first novel, Red Jacket, in 2015. Publishers Weekly (US) called Red Jacket an “exceptional story” while Dana Hansen, writing in Canada’s Quill and Quire, described the book as, “an accomplished and intelligent novel… to be savoured for its multiple layers of meaning and – especially – its richness of language”. Canadian Novelist Will Ferguson described Red Jacket as “A compelling tale of faith and family, ranging from the dusty landscapes of West Africa to the rich flavours of the Caribbean.” Toronto’s third Poet Laureate, Dionne Brand expressed this view: “If there is a smelting room of the English language, if there is an iron table where syntax and breath are shone, here is where Pam Mordecai works her glittering materials.” Rachel Manley, like Ferguson, found Red Jacket compelling: “A rich and compelling tale about the agony of being made to feel different and the elusiveness of belonging.” George Elliott Clarke, currently Poet Laureate of Toronto, sees her as “…a fearsomely ingenious writer, whose ear for language is equalled by her huge heart’s humanity.” Her poems have been shortlisted for the Canada Writes CBC Poetry Prize and the Bridport Prize in the UK and her CHAPTER

PAMELA Mordecai

short fiction for the James Tiptree Junior Award. She has read at universities in Canada and abroad, and at major festivals including the International Festival of Authors in Toronto and the Miami International Bookfair. In spring 2014, she was a Fellow at the prestigious Yaddo artists’ community ( in New York. Pamela Mordecai relishes the iconoclastic. Subversive Sonnets, published in 2012, is described as “overhauling the traditional sonnet form to address a range of subjects, from the tenderness of love to the terror of rape, punishment, torture, and murder”. Red Jacket is further evidence of Mordecai’s intrepid nature as she explores and lays bare uncomfortable truths in Caribbean society. Julie Najjar, in her critique of this novel, describes the turmoil of its main character, Grace. She can’t understand why all the other members of her large, extended family are black, while she is a redibo, having copper-coloured skin, red hair and grey eyes.”



ot many people will ever get close to a national hero. Larger than life figures whose selfless and brave deeds are generally accepted as foundational in the formation of a nation are not many. Few therefore are those who can claim direct lineage to a national hero and fewer yet who can claim being the offspring of both a national hero and a three-time prime minister. Rachel Manley’s paternal grandfather was The Right Excellent Norman Washington Manley, National Hero. Her father was Jamaica’s visionary prime minister with a global reputation, Michael Manley. Her grandmother, Edna Manley, was never in the shadow of her great husband, Norman. Indeed, Edna Manley, regarded by many as the mother of the Jamaican nation, was forefront in establishing the Jamaica School of Art and was on the front lines in the workers struggles on the Kingston waterfront and elsewhere which marked the violent start of Jamaica’s modern political history. With heroes and nation-builders for parents and grandparents, Rachel the child would have missed out on many hours, perhaps days on end, of real quality time with the most important people in her life. In that regard, her life was not normal. However, Rachel the woman, now an outstanding author and “her own Manley”, came to a point where she understood and accepted her destiny. By understanding and appreciating the monumental achievements of her grandparents in leading the Jamaican national movement; and, recalling the endless toil, selfless sacrifices and visionary zeal of her father Michael, Rachel was able to put her own life in perspective. Hers was the awesome task of telling the story of her forebears and to bring her compatriots and the world to an intimate understanding of the birth of the Jamaican nation. This she did in a trilogy of memoirs: Drumblair: Memories of a Jamaican Childhood, Slipsteam and



Photo: Cookie Kincaid

Horses in her Hair. Drumblair: Memories of a Jamaican Childhood, published in 1996, won the Canadian Governor General’s Award for non-fiction and is listed on school and university syllabuses in Canada where she lives. In ‘Drumblair’, Rachel brings her grandparents, Norman and Edna Manley, into sharp focus. This work is special not just for the fact that it creates a personal relationship between the reader and her distinguished grandparents but because it captures the thoughts, ideas and discussions which brought Jamaica from colonial status to nationhood. Drumblair, the home of her grandparents, was the setting. The second memoir in the trilogy, Slipstream: A Daughter Remembers, is about the amazing political career of her larger-than-life father and the personal and private realities which were a part of his very public world. The final book in her fascinating trilogy, Horses in Her Hair, is all about her dear grandmother, Edna Swithenbank Manley. Edna Manley, a white woman from England, endeared herself to the Jamaican people in more ways than one. And her art, honest and unapologetic, inspired Jamaicans who had been dehumanised through centuries of colonialism.

Palaver 2015



s Jamaica approached that

significant moment in history, when it would end 450 years of European control that had left the majority in servitude and dependence, the people gathered renewed hope. They were however soon to learn that those who now controlled the means of production treasured maintenance of the status quo far more than empowerment of people. The people of West Kingston and their compatriots realised that, despite the promises of a new day, a flag, national symbols and the posturing of their politicians, the solutions for breaking the grip of crippling poverty were within. The programmes and projects for improving their lot fell way short. Their only way out, given a system of education inadequate for an emerging independent state, was to lift themselves up by their own efforts and initiatives. From this realisation sprung a determination to break free and to succeed. The solutions within – talent, skill and fierce determination – were all there was to fabricate ladders to success. Regardless, within a short time, the first of a new generation bent on escaping started to appear, among them Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Jimmy Cliff et al. Just behind were the younger children. They watched, keenly, the struggle to break free and to gain self-respect in their communities. Among these younger ones, playing barefooted in the dust, was Owen Ellis. Called ‘Blakka’ by his friends and fans, Ellis is a graduate of York University in Toronto, Ontario where he earned a Masters (M.E.S) degree in Environmental Studies. A writer, actor and educator, his CHAPTER

OWEN Ellis

book Riddim and Riddles, published in November 2014, has presented another side of this talented Jamaican. Indeed this book, for those who knew nothing of his previous work, a chapbook Gateman (Calabash International Literary Festival Trust, 2005). came as a surprise to his thousands of fans who honour him for his comedy. ‘Blakka’ is famous in Jamaica as a humourist (for his thoughtfully written newspaper columns) and as a comedian (for his hilarious stage performances, especially as a member of the comedy duo (with Winston Bell) Bello and Blakka. His comedic talents, quick wit and originality often belie a more serious philosophical perspective on life honed in the deprived communities of West Kingston where the first thoughts that come with the dawn were not about what to do or where to go but from where the day’s meals would come.


To Wasaga Beach with love … and more “We are what we are That’s the way it’s going to be.” Babylon System, Bob Marley [Survival]


ho are we and what do we want “to be”? “We come from Jamaica,” states journalist writer Ewart Walters in his book tracing the country’s 20th century national movement … and we come from Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua, Grenada, Guyana, Montserrat, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Suriname, Martinique, Guadeloupe … we come from the Caribbean. What we want is peace and love and to add spice to where we are. It might not at first be the sound you hear. Marley was urging rebellion against the Babylon system, the metaphorical vampire sucking the blood of the sufferer. His lyrics might sound violent at first but the destruction of evil brings a noble goal: peace and love. It’s what we bring. Similarly, when Claude McKay brought the Jamaican voice to the Harlem Renaissance in the


1910s and 20s, there was heat in his words: If we must die, let it not be like hogs Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot, While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs, Making their mock at our accursed lot. If we must die, O let us nobly die, So that our precious blood may not be shed In vain; then even the monsters we defy Shall be constrained to honor us though dead!

While the poet and novelist was adding his voice to the call for human rights for all, his words were more the purifying fire than the destroyer of souls. And Sir Winston Churchill made them his battle cry in mobilizing England to resist the evil Nazi adventure to sink half of humanity into its hell. So we have been and are adding to and playing a role in global and Canadian diversity and multi-culturalism. It’s likely that after the First Nations, the French and the English, Jamaicans were the next big wave of immigrants to Canada. When the marooned and other escaped enslaved

Africans fought the British for their freedom in 18th century Jamaica, a large group was deported to West Africa via Nova Scotia, where many stayed becoming the first Afro Canadian enclave. We bring the piquancy of jerk meats, a specialty developed by the Maroons, and Jamaica and Caribbean are now sought-after brands as the supermarket sells “Jamaica style” thyme from Colombia and “Caribbean” sweet potatoes from Central America. Plurality and cultural diversity are desired goals as the world’s population explodes and is condensed onto our palms as smart phones and other mobile devices. The world is not becoming one kingdom of Western or eastern cultural hegemony but, rather, a quilt or a mosaic with each piece bringing its distinctiveness; adding value to the whole that becomes only fragments stitched together when one piece is subtracted. Our governments in Ottawa and the Caribbean and global bodies such as UNESCO share the view that the myriad of cultures, of those living Palaver 2015

By Mark Lee in metropolises and those in traditional societies, have equal human value in contribution to our civilization. Just this past May 28 – 30, in Québec City, UNESCO held an International Conference

to flourish and to freely interact in a mutually beneficial manner; to encourage dialogue among cultures with a view to ensuring wider and balanced cultural exchanges in the world in favour of intercultural respect and a culture of peace; to develop cultural interaction in the spirit of building bridges among peoples; to promote respect for the diversity of cultural expressions and raise awareness of its value at the local, national and international levels; and to strengthen international cooperation

... cultural diversity is valued not merely for the arts which most of us traditionally view as “culture”, but has impacts on science and technology and economics ... to celebrate 10 years of the 2005 Convention on Cultural Diversity. The full title is the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions and it has been signed by 139 nations and the European Union. Among its aims is protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions; to create the conditions for cultures CHAPTER

and solidarity in a spirit of partnership. All of this against the backdrop of principles of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; international solidarity and cooperation and of the complementarity of economic and cultural aspects of development The Quebec conference in its main themes, like the Convention itself, set out to show that cultural

diversity is valued not merely for the arts which most of us traditionally view as “culture”, but has impacts on science and technology and economics, as well as other areas. The themes discussed took into account” the cross-cutting issues of digitization and of economic development”. These included rethinking the role of cultural policies for the protection and the promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions; culture as a lever for the development and strengthening of societies, and the linkages between the Convention and trade agreements. All those fancy words and ideas are to say Palaver and Wasaga Beach are expanding Canada’s leading edge role in living cultural diversity, the value of which will be multiplied through touristic, trade and other benefits beyond satisfaction of the soul. Let’s look at some of the outcomes from cultural cross-fertilization globally and historically. We’ve seen how McKay’s rallying cry was used to inspire Britons in the face of bewildering adversity. In the 1920s, a young Miss Love from the tiny village of Aboukir in St Ann parish, Jamaica, migrated to Harlem where she married another Jamaican, a Mr. Belinfanti and they had a son Harold. While


dodging immigration, they changed their name to Belafonte. Because of hard times in New York, they sent young Harry to spend time growing up with family in Jamaica where he did up to a part of his high school education.

producers went to see the source of all this good music, leading to job creation in the hotels sector, entertainment and attractions.

Back in New York in the 1950s, Harry and a group of ‘Caribbeans’ like Louise Bennet (Miss Lou) and first generation Caribbean nationals like his lyric-writing partner, Barbadian American Irving Burgie, were involved in a performing arts group. Harry’s singing traditional Caribbean melodies and new take offs by Burgie, landed them a contract that resulted in the publishing of “Calypso”, the first ever record album to sell a million copies.

Here at home in Canada, the Caribbean contingent of creatives included Barbadian Canadian novelist Austin Clarke and Jamaican dramatist Trevor Rhone, two of those whose work crossed the ethno cultural boundaries and whose impact crossed both societies in which they were anchored.

The economic and other benefits did not redound only to Belafonte and Burgie but to their American community where the music was published and distributed, the theatre and cinematic segment and attendant jobs created and stimulated a popular interest in Caribbean music and touristic travel outside of the traditional jet set— or more accurately, the “yacht set” of those prop engine days. Caribbean artists got gigs in the USA with demand for the genre, while tourists and Hollywood



Importantly, cultural impacts are not limited to the arts. There are those like Jamaica-born Dr. Herbert Ho Ping Kong, internist, who the Toronto Star described as “a giant in world of medicine” for his revolutionary approach in diagnosis that combines high tech investigation with plain old talking with his patients. His method led to new teaching methods in Canada, as he won awards for his work in the classroom and in the hospital. There’s no need to emphasise the health, social and economic benefits that were derived from his work. There are even times when the cultural impact of those abroad reverts to their country of origin. Take the area of

Jamaican language and linguistics. Jamaican language in particular via the influence of reggae music, has become a big part of urban youth culture in many countries, including Canada. Courts find it necessary to have interpreters for those who have crossed the line and some institutions, such as York University, offer courses in Jamaican. However, in Jamaica debate rages between linguists, who acknowledge the Jamaican creole as a distinct language and some educators who attribute failure in English language arts to the prevalence of the use of Jamaican. The latter group shuns the idea that Jamaican should be seen as a language and be used as a language of instruction. The acceptance abroad tends to weigh on the side of those who accept Jamaican as a language of equal value to English. Maybe the question will never be fully answered about who we are, but like the food products that have taken their place as sought-after delicacies worthy of emulation and imitation in new lands, in Wasaga Beach, far away from the warm seashores of the Caribbean, we and Palaver are what we are— bringing people together by facilitating a culture of understanding. Palaver 2015

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t Ackee and Salt Fish t Jerk Chicken t Vegetarian Fare t Oxtail t Curry Chicken t Curry Goat t Jerk Pork t Rice and Peas t Jamaican Beef Patties t Rum Cake

5968 27/28 Sideroad, Stayner, ON. L0M 1S0 Telephone: 705 428 0591, 866 777 0862



A Different Booklist 746 Bathurst Street Toronto, ON. M5S 2R6 Telephone: 416 538 0889 Fax: 416 538 6914


e’re commited to providing 5-star hospitality, excellence, world standard presentation, the best quality, the highest levels of professionalism. great food, artistic presentation, friendly, efficient, service. e y chanc It’s not b e rated ar that we he best. t g amon


Palaver 2015

Private property management in southern Georgian Bay

Contact: Nick Caruso (705) 351 0961 CHAPTER

19 ‌ creating opportunities and supporting film makers in Southern Georgian Bay.

Wasaga Beach Public Library


‌ where all can connect, learn and explore in an atmosphere of openness and acceptance. Palaver 2015


nown internationally as a gifted storyteller, Rita M. Cox, D. Litt.C.M. , story-teller par excellence is an educator, activist, pioneer, a leader and a patriot.


She was is a member of the Order of Canada and, in 2000, was appointed a Citizenship Court Judge by the Government of Canada. Widely recognised and celebrated for her pioneering accomplishments, she has held board and committee memberships in many arts and community organizations and is widely recognized for her accomplishments. She was appointed to the Board of the Ontario Arts Council in 2004 . She holds two honorary doctoral degrees, conferred by Wilfrid Laurier University and York University and is recipient of many achievement awards including the Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of Confederation awarded by the Canadian Governor General. She served as Head Librarian at the Parkdale branch of the Toronto Public Library for more than 20 years, pioneering several arts and literacy programs. She established Cumbayah, a festival of black heritage and storytelling and her life’s work has enlightened, educated and empowered Canadians and citizens of the world. She has performed across North America, in Europe, Brazil and the Caribbean, on stage, radio and television. A number of her stories have been published, including her own children’s book entitled How Trouble Made the Monkey Eat Pepper. In 1973, Dr. Cox pioneered the Black Heritage and West Indian Resource CHAPTER

Collection, which was renamed the Black and Caribbean Heritage Collection in 1998. It soon became one of the most comprehensive collections of its kind in Canada with over 16,000 titles. During her tenure, Dr. Cox launched literacy programmes and other initiatives that promoted multiculturalism and literacy throughout Toronto. She has also maintained the Library’s storytelling legacy by training a whole new generation of storytellers, many of whom are current library staff. In this regard, she has won numerous awards, including the 1996 Canadian Library Association Public Service Award and the Black Achievement Award. Dr. Cox teaches courses, leads workshops and seminars and performs for adults and children. She has been on the Board of the Storytellers School of Toronto and has served as chairperson. Her stories have appeared in many anthologies and school readers. She tells stories from the Caribbean, Africa and around the world and brings her knowledge, wit, talents and insights to launch the Palaver International Literary Festival.


Paradise in Jeopardy* T

By Owen Everard James

he heading of Jamaica’s ship of state is due south with very few signs that a correction is likely. Our tiller is stuck and no reliable, effective captain is anywhere to be found.

There comes a time in the history of a nation when its survival demands that citizens embark on a path whose direction is more toward sacrifice than personal comfort; much less toward the ruthless accumulation of wealth by a few than toward creating opportunities for the many; much less toward the wholesale defense of the status quo than toward creating a vision that engenders faith in the future. Jamaica needs not merely to embark upon such a path but to comprehend and embrace its necessity. Of course, we should be deeply concerned as well at the endless and pervasive predicament of so-called Third World countries in general: the more they change the more they remain the same or, more accurately, in my estimation, the more they change the worse they become. The enchanting promise of traditional twoparty-system-democracy that the lives of the faithful will improve constantly over time has never been realized. It is undeniable that new, unusual or radical approaches are now required to address Jamaica’s intractable problems. This is not only necessary but imperative. Our oppressors immersed us completely into two-party-system-democracy as willing, subservient converts. Our own brethren, as assertive, opportunistic surrogates and hopeful partners in the pursuit of national Independence, consolidated our conversion. Distinctively, outcomes over 50 years of Independence have been grossly deficient and disaster inducing. Worst of all, overcommitment to the status quo is built into the DNA of traditional Democracy, making it


harmfully averse to change. Amazingly, we continue to embrace and vigourously defend a system that was the instrument of our subjugation for centuries; that defined us as chattel; that compensated slave owners for loss of property at abolition but saw no parallel need to compensate freed slaves; that relies on the goodwill of the uncompensated descendants of slaves for understanding and pardon while questioning the rationality of reparation even as it claims to be the most virtuous of all systems of governance. It is not surprising that Democracy in general is in crisis in old, new and aspiring democracies. The proclaimed natural benevolence of traditional Democracy is a myth. There is nothing naturally endearing or culturally exemplary, let alone altruistically unique, about traditional Democracy. The continuing progress of China and Singapore strongly supports this contention as do the visible institutional dysfunction and clearly systemic societal failures in places like the United States, the United Kingdom, Greece and Spain in the face of serious economic challenges. The ultimate objective of formal political organisation is virtuous government. Any system of governance is merely one of a number of means to this end. We must not allow over-commitment to the claimed sanctity of inherited traditional Democracy to confuse end and means.

* Excerpt from Sufferers’ Manifesto: “A Challenge to the Best in us and Among us.” Publisher: Create Space/Amazon, August 2013. Author: Owen Everard James. Palaver 2015

Caribbean music had attracted international attention a generation earlier when compositions of Jamaica’s Lord Flea made their way into the American mainstream (night clubs, radio and Hollywood films) while recordings by Lord Kitchener and The Mighty Sparrow did the same in England. Harry Belafonte, who claims his Jamaican roots, released his breakthrough album Calypso in 1956 and it became the first million-selling compilation by a single artiste in the history of recorded music. Belafonte’s refrain from his ‘Banana Boat Song’, “… day da light an me wan’ go home’ and Lord Flea’s ‘Shake Senora’ and ‘ Naughty Little Flea (“Where did the naughty little go? Nobody know, nobody know.”) revealed Caribbean music to the world in the 1950s. But it had already been around for centuries.



eople from the Caribbean gave the world new musical genres in the 20th century and names like Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Peter Tosh and Arrow (“Feeling hot, hot ,hot!!”) among many others made music from the Caribbean popular on every continent. They were, in their time, the new generation.

To Olive Lewin is owed

A debt of gratitude

Dr. the Hon. Olive Lewin CHAPTER

Palaver International Literary Festival at its inauguration on August 8, 2015, acknowledges and salutes the work and accomplishments of Dr. the Hon. Olive Lewin, musicologist, social anthropologist, teacher and author, born in Jamaica, 1927 – 2013 * for her research and rescue of Jamaican folk music; * for defending the integrity of Jamaica’s rich musical tradition; * for her pioneering role in establishing the Jamaica Memory Bank1.


Caribbean global jazz contribution to

started long ago


jazz event in most parts of the world today quite often includes talent from the Caribbean – such is the region’s contribution to the music. But the Caribbean contribution to global jazz started long ago, and there were some outstanding ones. One of the earliest was Puerto Rican valve trombonist Juan Tizol who was a member of Duke Ellington’s groups in the 1930s and 1940s. Tizol was also a composer and is credited as co-composer of standards such as “Caravan” and “Perdido.” Cuban Carlos “Potato” Valdes introduced the conga drum to many US jazz bands, and established the instrument as an important aspect of percussion support in jazz and Latin groups. Valdes contribution was not only as a drummer, as he patented the tuneable conga. Guyanese Ken Johnson was sent by his parents to Britain in the 1930s to study medicine, but gave that up for a life in music, eventually become the leader of a band led by Jamaican trumpeter Leslie Thomson. Thompson was a wellestablished name in British music from the 1920s and played with touring bands led by Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong and Coleman Hawkins. Thompson’s music was infused with his passionate support


By Canute James

for the ideology of Marcus Garvey. Jamaican Joe Harriott was a seminal figure in British jazz in the 1950s and 1960s. He not only led a movement towards improvisation, but creatively fused jazz with Indian music. Harriott was the core of a movement that attracted and exposed Caribbean musicians including Dizzy Reece and Wilton Gaynair. Barbadian trumpeter Harry Beckett was also well established in British jazz in the 1950s, playing with Briton Graham Collier’s band. These were some of the early leaders in Carib bean jazz who set the stage for a host of regional talent to contribute to global jazz. The long list includes Jamaican guitarist Ernie Ranglin, trumpeter Roy Burrowes, bandleader and trumpeter Cecil “Sonny” Bradshaw, and Vincentian trumpeter Ellsworth “Shake” Keane. It is on this foundation that contemporary Caribbean musicians are contributing to global jazz. The list is long, and includes Jamaican pianist Monty Alexander, Guadeloupian/ American saxophonist Jacques SchwarzBart, Trinidadian trumpeter Etienne Charles, Cuban pianist Chucho Valdez who founded the group Irakere, Dominican pianist Michel Camilo, Cuban saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera and Puerto Rican bandleader and saxophonist Miguel Zenon. Palaver 2015



rnie Smith’s professional musical career began with his first recording in 1967, an original composition I Can’t Take It (which was later recorded by American R&B singer, Johnny Nash as Tears On My Pillow). His catalogue spans 37 years, 12 Albums, more than 200 compositions and countless live performances. Hits including Bend Down, Ride On Sammy, One Dream, Pitta Patta and Duppy Gunman created a demand for his talents that made him one of the hardest working entertainers on both sides of the Atlantic. In 1972 at The World Popular Song Festival of The Yamaha Foundation in Tokyo, he won the Grand Prize with his original composition of “Life Is Just For Living”, competing against songwriters like Neil Sedaka, and Michael Legrand. For his historic achievements, he was honored by the Jamaican Government with the Badge of Honor for meritorious service in the field of popular music. In 1976, as Ernie explained, he felt forced into exile in North America because of what some considered controversial political commentary. His composition (“As We Fight One Another For The Power And The Glory, Jah Kingdom Goes To Waste”) enraged political partisans and he had no choice but to protect his family. CHAPTER

While in exile, Ernie’s popularity grew as he performed to audiences in North America and Europe. His political commentary and forced exile brought him new respect as an artiste. He was a favourite with audiences in Canada, a country for which he developed great respect and admiration. Critics hailed his album To Behold Jah as one of the most important albums to come out of Canada in 1979 and he is regarded by many as being most instrumental in bringing Reggae into the limelight in Canada. Ernie Smith brings to the inaugural Palaver Sing-along a repertoire which will reveal the inner soul of the Jamaican people; the songs of their ancestors: work songs, songs for play, love songs, sad songs and songs to make you laugh.


Carlos Malcolm and his Afro-Jamaican Rhythms at

Sombrero Club With almost every nightclub featuring live music in the 1960s and 70s, Kingston, Jamaica claimed the hottest night life in the Caribbean. The Sombrero Club was one of the most exciting places to be, if you could get in. In his soon to be published book, legendary Jamaican bandleader Carlos Malcolm recounts the very beginnings of the rule of Sombrero Club and the role of his Afro-Jamaican Rhythms in making this venue famous.


lthough I had severed formal ties with the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation (JBC), most of my friends were there and we maintained close relationships in our spare time. One evening while having drinks with friends I vented a problem I was having with the rehearsal location at Bournemouth and the distance some members of the band had to travel to get to rehearsals. Someone at the table mentioned that there was a club named the Sombrero, recently built on Molynes Road near the intersection with Waltham Park Road and that it had ample space in the back for rehearsals, dancing and parties. Adrian Robinson, still chief announcer had taken an interest in my band and was quite instrumental in getting us started. A few of us went to see the owners of the Sombrero Club: Mother, Billy and Keith Chin. We successfully negotiated for the orchestra to rehearse at the club and play there on Friday nights, whenever we were free from contractual engagements. We would take the admissions at the gate and the club would benefit from the sale of food and liquor. As a relatively new establishment, Sombrero had nothing to lose because on Fridays the


By Carlos Malcolm

food and liquor sales were minimal. I set the rehearsal times for Tuesdays and Thursday afternoons. I had acquired experience in producing and directing JBC’s outside broadcasts in many parishes of Jamaica. The JBC objective was to introduce a ‘live Miss Lou‘ in performing the “Our Gang Show” from the town hall of the capitals of the parishes we visited. I had asked Adrian to organize, if he could, a ‘live’ OB (Outside Broadcast) featuring Carlos Malcolm and his Afro Jamaican Rhythms from the Sombrero Club and to try to get sponsorship to cover the costs of the OB truck. The plan was for us to do the sponsors’ commercials ‘live’ from Sombrero Club. After the rehearsal on Thursday, I went to see Adrian at JBC and he told me that we got the green light on doing the OB from the Sombrero. I called Keith Chin with the good news and told him that if things worked out as we planned that he should prepare the club for a crowd by midnight on Friday. Promotion started on Thursday night and ran throughout the day on Friday. At seven o’clock the next evening, the JBC outside broadcast van arrived at the Sombrero Club. It was positioned parallel to the band stand by the bamboo fence of the club, which was located at the end of a cul-de-sac. I called for an assembly of the band by 7:45 p.m. so that at 8:00 p.m. when the JBC riggers would have run cables and set up microphones, we would be ready to balance the orchestra and Adrian Robinson would have had time to do a sound check on the commercials. At exactly 9:00 p.m., we started with our theme song, from the movie, “Exodus” Palaver 2015

enclosed parking lot at such a rate that safety became an issue. I now had a program in the book of the orchestra loaded with Ska from the hit parade and whatever was popular in juke boxes. And we could play a medley of pop tunes for an hour, but we did not. By midnight the Sombrero was almost full. Everyone was well entertained, even those that just sat and had drinks. With the exception of the Ska songs, I kept the volume of the orchestra at a level to allow easy conversation.

Portrait by Maria Paaefstathiou

with Adrian Robinson’s booming baritone “Live from the Sombrero Club on Molynes Road near Waltham Park Road, you are listening to the sounds of Carlos Malcolm and his Afro-Jamaican Rhythms. Come on out and have a night of fun under the stars at the Sombrero Club!” I was particularly amused at the fact that when the band started, the regular Friday evening crowd, which consisted mostly of civil servants sitting at tables drinking, chatting and some playing dominoes, was almost oblivious to the goings-on in the garden area of the club. It was not until the orchestra began to tune up that they started to saunter curiously into the garden. When they saw Adrian Robinson come in to rehearse and time the opening piece to get the first commercial in at a prescribed spot in the program, the garden as well as the bar and rooms in the building suddenly were vacated, almost empty. Everyone seemed to have gone at the same time to get their friends and partners. By 10:00 p.m., I was told that cars began to come into the Sombrero CHAPTER

Word must have gotten around that the orchestra played with ‘conversationfriendly’ dynamics because, over the next few Friday nights, we were visited by a clientele who ordered quarts of Chivas Regal as they sat at tables in conversation, listening to the orchestra for almost half the night, before dancing. This encouraged me to expand the spectrum of the orchestra’s capability to entertain in other ways besides catering to those who enjoyed themselves by jumping up to ‘sweat it out’ on the dance floor. I created arrangements that would feature a ‘different’ sound by featuring Audley Williams on vibraphones, Carl Bryan on clarinet and Trevor Lopez on guitar as a trio highlighting certain passages from the Rogers and Hammerstein musical movie “South Pacific” and the Italian song by Carlo Donida named “Al di La” (which became so popular with our fans that I recorded the song on “Rucumbine” the first long playing album of the orchestra). The contrast between the delicacy of the trio of vibraphones, clarinet and guitar, and the bite and precise dynamics of the brass section, considerably enhanced the appeal and popularity of the orchestra. Excerpt from New orleans Jass/Blues to Reggae - a personal history of post-war Jamaican music by Carlos Malcolm.


My Painted Skirt Like A Scenic 78 By Lorna Goodison

Lying awake in bed in the room I share with my two sisters who are both asleep, I play the game I have invented called, “Take remote control of the deejay over at the Loyal Levi Memorial Hall.” The Loyal Levi Memorial Hall is a school by day, a Lodge Hall by night, and a dance hall on weekends. All over the city of Kingston, Jamaica there used to be such multi-purpose halls, and all over the city of Kingston such places were filled with dance fans come Saturday night. I take control of the turntable from the comfort and safety of my bed because I am not old enough to go dancing, but I have done this before on other Saturday nights, I know what to do. I whisper into the dark, “Alright now, play ‘Sea Cruise’ by Frankie Ford”. There is a pause as my command skips over several sets of roof tops then drops down and penetrates into the mind of the deejay. First there is a pause. Then there is the scratching sound of the needle on the broad black face of a 78 rpm record. Then a musical churning as a love boat engine stirs up the waters of rhythm. Ooooh wheee, oooh whee baby, won’t you let me take you on a sea cruise. Once I get the attention of the deejay, he often plays what I tell him for up to five, six, seven or even eight songs in a row. So after Frankie Ford sails away, I command Professor Longhair of New Orleans, to plead, ‘Baby Let Me Hold Your Hand’. And after that I want, no, I need, I need to hear Huey Piano Smith tell how he’s got a High, Oyeah, Blood Pressure. That one is my favourite. I love it so much as it rocks up from gutbucket that I can’t stay in this bed. So I project myself through the window and go flying over rooftops where I hover, O yeah, and then land feet first as a Bony Maroni dancing girl into the midst of a crowded dance floor. I am wearing five yards of swing skirt. A hand-painted skirt, covered with scenes of Jamaica, skillfully rendered by some gifted local artist. Up from the hem of my skirt tall and stately coconut trees rise and cobalt blue waves lap at calico white sands. The Blue Mountains rise up around my waistline. Dunns River Falls cascades from my left hip, a scarlet hibiscus blooms over my navel and streamer-tailed humming birds hover round my knees. I am wearing an Alamanda yellow standing-collar sleeveless blouse and flat, ackee-seed-black, ballet shoes. I have come to dance.


Palaver 2015

I am a wire-waist girl who lands feet first in the middle of the dance floor where there is a dancing young man who just takes me by the hand and without a word begins to spin me. Everytime I go round, the five yards of my skirt float out til I look like a scenic seventy-eight record spinning. I instruct the deejay. Play Jamaican music now. Strictly local. Play ‘Boogie Rock’ by Laurel Aitken for this is when the Jamaican airwaves are being disturbed by “Local artists” singing alongside Jim Reeves and Marty Robbins and Patti Page. May I pause a while to say I never could stand Patti Page’s water crackers singing? That I would not give her one willy penny for that doggie in the window? Anyway, I tell the deejay, play Little Vilma’ by the Blues Busters. Lloydie and Boasie, two handsome Black princes from Montego Bay, with their strong singing and flawless harmonizing. Play them mister deejay! Play Wilfred Jackie Edwards; what a man smooth! Play “Tell me Darlin” And play Keith and Enid, who are Worried, Worried over you. Play ‘Muriel’, by Alton and Eddie. Strictly local this. Play what I tell you. After this grand sweep of our very own music, one final request. Please play Lavern Baker summoning “Jim Dandy to the Rescue”. Play Lavern with the long hot-combed pressed hair piled to the side in a bunched-up arrangement of slick curls. Lavern, bad example, don’t-care looking Lavern, in tight ruched, strapless, slipper satin dress and dark red lipstick, whose photograph on the cover of her album I have studied, thinking, this is not a look my mother would approve of. Lavern with the voice, colaratura dark like Myers Rum and Machado tobacco and the inside of night clubs named Blue Note and Smoky Places. Let Lavern call Jim Dandy to the rescue so that I can spin and spin and do a slight shuffle when I complete the whirling circle that gives me the needed momentum to push off and spin again. Dancing girls like me spin from the music starts until it ends. My dancing partner’s function is solely to push me gently out and pull me in again, then to grasp me suddenly, fiercely round my waist just to remind me that I do not dance alone. I play this game until I fall asleep dreaming of the day I’ll be able to go dancing for real. Lorna Goodison, July 2015 CHAPTER


Palaver pledges support for Wasaga Beach Public Library

2015 May 23: The Wasaga Beach Public Library has formed an alliance with the Palaver International Literary Festival. The details of cooperation were discussed and agreed at a meeting at the library on May 21. The discussions included Chief Librarian Jackie Beaudin, Palaver Director, Michael Jarrett and the library’s Circulation Supervisor, Pamela Pal. The talks covered ways and methods by which the people of Wasaga Beach and the public library can benefit from this annual event which has its inauguration this year on August 8 and 9 at Wasaga Beach Area 4 and at the Wasaga Beach RecPlex auditorium. In this regard a number of initiatives and activities for children, students and adults were

discussed and agreed. “I am very excited about the Palaver International Literary Festival being held in Wasaga Beach. It’s a multi-faceted event that the whole family will enjoy. The library is glad to be affiliated with such a vibrant and creative community initiative,” Ms. Beaudin said. Since then the alliance has taken form with Mike Jarrett’s participation in the Library’s Caribbean Day activities on July 31 and library staff volunteering to assist with the inaugural Palaver International Literary Festival. Proceeds from the annual festival will go towards supporting programmes of the Wasaga Beach Public Library.

Margaret Jarrett photos

WBPL CARIBBEAN DAY 2015: Mike Jarrett, representing Palaver, dons his ‘happy cap’ to read Caribbean stories to children at Caribbean Day activities organised by the WBPL on July 31.


Palaver 2015



Come Back Liza [Love song]

Every time mi rememba Liza,

Waata come a mi y’eye, When mi tink bout mi nice gal Liza, Waata come a mi y’eye. Chorus Come back Liza, come back gal, Waata come a mi y’eye, Come back Liza, come back gal, Waata come a mi y’eye When mi look upon Sarah daughter When mi look upon Vie An mi memba mi nice gal Liza Waata come a mi y’eye Chorus Come back Liza, come back gal ... Every time mi rememba Liza, Waata come a mi y’eye, When mi memba mi nice gal Liza, Waata come a mi y’eye. Chorus Come back Liza, come back gal ... When mi look upon Sarah daughter When mi look upon Vie An mi memba mi nice gal Liza Waata come a mi y’eye Come back Liza, come back gal, dry di cry from mi y’eye, Come back Liza, come back gal, Waata come a mi y’eye Come back Liza, come back gal, dry di cry from mi y’eye, Come back Liza, come back gal, Waata come a mi y’eye Come back Liza, come back gal, dry di cry from mi y’eye, Come back Liza, come back gal, Waata come a mi y’eye Come back Liza, come back gal, mi cyaan tell yuh goodbye Come back Liza, come back gal, Waata come a mi y’eye


Day-O [Work song]

Day-o, day-o Day deh light and mi wan’ go home. Day-o, day-o Day deh light and mi wan’ go home. Come, mister tally man, tally mi banana Day deh light and mi wan’ go home. Come, mister tally man, tally mi banana Day deh light and mi wan’ go home. Day, mi say day, mi say day Day deh light and mi wan’ go home. Day, mi say day, mi say day Day deh light and mi wan’ go home. Mi comi yah fe wuk, mi no come yah fe idle. Day deh light and mi wan’ go home. Mi comi yah fe wuk, mi no come yah fe idle. Day deh light and mi wan’ go home. Day, mi say day, mi say day Day deh light and mi wan’ go home Day, mi say day, mi say day Day deh light and mi wan’ go home. Six-hand, seven-hand, eight-hand, bunch Day deh light and mi wan’ go home. Six-hand, seven-hand, eight-hand, bunch Day deh light and mi wan’ go home. Day, mi say day, mi say day Day deh light and mi wan’ go home. Day, mi say day, mi say day Day deh light and mi wan’ go home. De checker dem a check, but dem check wid caution Day deh light and mi wan’ go home. Mi back dis’ a bruk wid bare exhaustion Day deh light and mi wan’ go home. Nuh gimme soso bunch, mi nuh ‘arse wid bridle Day deh light and mi wan’ go home. Mi come yah fe wuk, mi nuh come yah fe idle Day deh light and mi wan’ go home.

Palaver 2015

De Ribba Come Dung [Play and work]

De ribba ben come dung, de ribba ben come dung, de ribba ben come dung me couldn’t get ova Wah yoh, wah yoh, wah yoh den a how you come ova? Me look in a de wata, me look in a de wata Me look in a de wata, see grangi, grangi Wah yoh, wah yoh, wah yoh den a how you come ova? Me tek piece a dealboard, tek piece a dealboard, mi tek piece a dealboard, me chuk i’ pan de wata Wah yoh, wah yoh, wah yoh den a how you come ova? Mi jump pan de dealboard, jump pan de dealboard, mi jump pan de dealboard, mi see gi gi coba Wah yoh, wah yoh, wah yoh den a how you come ova? Suh me rock suh, me rock suh, rock suh, mi rock suh, rock suh, me rock suh, me rock an’ come ova.

Wah yoh, wah yoh, wah yoh den a how you come ova? Me rock him come ova, rock him come ova, me rock him come ova de braad, dutty waata. Wah yoh, wah yoh, wah yoh den a how you come ova? Me jump off de dealboard, me jump off de dealboard, jump off de dealboard, mi jump pon de banking Wah yoh, wah yoh, wah yoh den a so you come ova. A suh me come ova, a suh me come ova, a suh mi come ova de broad dutty waata Wah yoh, wah yoh, wah yoh den a suh you come ova. Me glad me come ova, glad me come ova, me glad me come ova de broad dutty waata Wah yoh, wah yoh, wah yoh mi glad you come ova. De ribba ben come dung, de ribba ben come dung

Woman a heavy load [Work song]

Woman a heavy load, woman a heavy load, woman a heavy load When Satiday maawnin come (repeat)

Woman a heavy load, Woman a heavy load, Woman a heavy load When Satiday maawnin come

For wen de money no nuff, when de money no nuff, wen de money nuh nuff, Dem call you maama man; Dem call wutlis man; Dem naa go out wid yuh. Have nothing to do wid you.

But when de money enuff, when de money enuff, when de money enuff Dem call yuh sweetie pie, Dem call yuh sugar stick, Dem call yuh honey bunch, Dem call yuh darling dear.

Woman a heavy load, woman a heavy load, woman a heavy load When Satiday maawnin come

Woman a heavy load, woman a heavy load, woman a heavy load When Satiday maawnin come (repeat)



Man Peabba

Evening Time

[Natural remedies for common ailments]

One day I met an old lady selling And I wanted something to eat I thought she had bananas oranges And pears But I took back when we meet She had a basket full of plenty weeds And was calling like she was mad I can’t remember all she called But these were a few she had:

Man peabba, woman peabba Tom Tom, Fall Back, an’ Lemon Grass Minny Root, Gully Root, Granny Backbone Dead Man Get Up and Libanturu Coolie Bitters, Corilla Bush An’ de ol Compellance Weed Sweet Pung, Cow Tung and Granny Scratch Scratch Belly Full and de Guzum Weed She had Cutta, fi Mumma; Bill-up fi Puppa Ching Peas, Trang Back, Rook an Tullo Chaney Root, Sassaparilla, Madam Fait and de Duppy Batty Burvine, Fig Weed, Duck Weed, Desist Veripeed and de Bamboo Root Dibi Dibi, Milk Weed, an de Ackee Bush An de one dem call Puss in Boots She had Ram Goat Dash Along, Quaqu Bush Jacob Ledder an de Alligator Weed Mandinga Pusley Jackina Bush, De Chigga Nit and de Guinea Hen Weed Vin Blagga de Debil Harse Whip, de Late Revival Weed The only one she didn’t have was de wicked Ganja Weed, I said to her, dear lady, weeds are good I understand But weeds don’t have a meaning to any hungry man If you had bananas, yam and peas I would be happy when we meet So go back home wid all your weeds and bring something to eat, instead of : Man peabba, woman peabba Tom Tom, Fall Back an’ Lemon Grass Minny Root, Gully Root, Granny Backbone Dead Man Get Up and Libanturu Coolie Bitters, Corilla Bush An’ de ol Compellance Weed, Sweet Pung, Cow Tung, and Granny Cratch Cratch Belly Full and de Guzum Weed



Come Miss Claire Tek de bankra off yu head mi dear, Come dis way Miss Flo, Evening breeze a blow Help down yah, Afta yu no beas’-a-burden mah. Ress yuh self at ease, Feel di evenin’ breeze.

Evenin’ time, Work is over now is evenin’ time, Wih deh walk pon mountain, Deh walk pon mountain, Deh walk pon mountain side. Meck we cook wih bickle pan de way, Meck we eat an sing, Dance an play ring ding Pan de mountain side. Ketch up de fire Martha Pass me de gungo peas, Rub up de flour Sarah Lawd! Feel di evenin’ breeze (Chorus)

Evenin’ time, Work is over now is evenin’ time .., Come mas Joe Tek de bankra off yuh head mi son Come dis way mas Joe, Evenin breeze a blow Help dung yah After yuh nuh beas’-a-burden sah Rest yuh self at ease Feel de evenin breeze (Chorus)

Evenin’ time, Work is over now is evenin’ time, Ketch up de fire Ma’hta Pass me de gungo peas, Rub up de flour Sarah Lawd! Feel di evenin’ breeze (Chorus)

Evenin’ time, Work is over now is evenin’ time Palaver 2015

Hill and Gully [Work song]

Hill an gully ride o’, Hill an gully Hill an gully ride o’, Hill an gully Oh yuh ben dung low dung, Hill an gully Oh yuh way dung hoe dung, Hill an gully Oh uh come dung trang nung, Hill an gully Dissya day too long nung, Hill an gully Hill an gully ride o’, Hill an gully Hill an gully ride o, Hill an gully Dissya hill an gully lang nung. Hill an gully Dissa dirt a nuh san’ nung, Hill an gully Wi affi wuk lacka man nung, Hill an gully Wi ago do wha’ we can nung, Hill an gully Hill an gully ride o’, Hill an gully Hill an gully ride o’, Hill an gully Wi a wuk from a maanin, Hill an gully Wi ago wuk till a evenin, Hill an gully Oh wi a wuk fe de plantin, Hill an gully Wi ago wuk fe de reapin, Hill an gully Hill an gully ride o’, Hill an gully Hill an gully ride o’, Hill an gully Mi ago buy wan cutlis, Hill an gully Fah mi naa get wutlis, Hill an gully Mi ago wuk laka man nung, Hill an gully Pon dissya hill an gully lan nung, Hill an gully Hill an gully ride o’, Hill an gully Hill an gully ride o’, Hill an gully Oh yuh ben dung low dung, Hill an gully Oh yuh way dung hoe dung, Hill an gully Oh yuh come dung trang nung, Hill an gully Dissya day too long nung, Hill an gully Hill an gully ride o’, Hill an gully Hill an gully ride o, Hill an gully Dissya hill an gully lang nung, Hill an gully Dissa dirt a nuh san nung, Hill an gully Wi affi wuk lacka man nung, Hill an gully Pon dissya hill an gully lan nung, Hill an gully Oh wi dig from a maanin, Hill an gully Wi ago dig til a evenin, Hill an gully Wi a wuk fe de plantin, Hill an gully CHAPTER

Wi ago wuk fe de reapin, Hill an gully Mi affi buy wan cutlis, Hill an gully Fa mi naa get wutlis, Hill an gully Everybody waa now, Hill an gully How dem yah man can wuk suh, Hill an gully An yuh ben dung low nung, Hill an gully Way dung hoe dung, Hill an gully Oh yuh come dung trang nung, Hill an gully Pon dissya hill an gully lan nung, Hill an gully

Dis Long Time Gal {Schoolyard play song]

This long time gal me never see yu Come mek me hol’ yu han This long time gal me never see yu Come mek me hol’ yuh han Chorus Peel-head John Crow siddung inna tree top Pick out de blossom Mek mi hol’ yu han’ gal Mek mi hol’ yuh hand This long time gal me never see yu Come mek we walk and talk This long time gal me never see yu Come mek we walk and talk Chorus Peel-head John Crow siddung inna tree top Pick out de blossom …. This long time gal me never see yu Come mek we dance and sing This long time gal me never see yu Come mek we dance and sing Chorus Peel-head John Crow siddung inna tree top Pick out de blossom ….

FINALE Mek we wheel an tun, ‘til we tumble dung Mek mi hold yu hand gal Mek we weel an tun ‘til we tumble dung Mek mi hold yu han gal


Mi Caaffey [Fun & comedy]


Mi caaffey, mi caaffey, mi caaffey, mi caaffey Mi bowl a boilin’ caaffey in de maanin I care for nuttin’ else, the only thing for me Is mi bowl a boilin caaffey in de maanin Some people likes de chocolate, Some people likes de tea Some drinks de sugar an’ waata An some de lemonade. But I cares for none a deese De ongle ting fa me Is mi bowl a boiling caaffey in de maanin Chorus

Mi caaffey, mi caaffey, mi caaffey, mi caaffey Sometimes I drink mi chocolate Wid mi ackee an satlfish Wid mi yellow-heart breadfruit Ripe pear an coconut oil I generally says mi prayers But sometimes I forgets But I always haves mi caaffey in de maanin Chorus

Mi caaffey, mi caaffey, mi caaffey, mi caaffey Mi is olda s’maddy now An mi often punish hard But I have seen de good days an’ I mus satisfy I still hold together and I still praise de Lord But I always has mi caaffey in de maanin Chorus

Mi caaffey, mi caaffey, mi caaffey, mi caaffey Mi caaffey, mi caaffey, Mi caaffey, mi caaffey Mi bowl a boilin’ caaffey in de maanin I care for nothing else The only thing for me Is mi bowl a boilin caaffey in maanin


Moonshine Tonight [Party song, ring game]

Moonshine tonight Come mek we dance and sing Moonshine tonight Come mek we dance and sing. Chorus

Mi deh rock so You deh rock so Under banyan tree Mi deh rock so You deh rock so Under banyan tree. Ladies may curtsy, Gentleman may bow Ladies may curtsy Gentleman may bow. Mi deh rock so You deh rock so Under banyan tree Mi deh rock so You deh rock so Under banyan tree. Come we join hands And mek we dance and sing Come we join hands And mek we dance and sing. Mi deh rock so You deh rock so Under banyan tree Mi deh rock so You deh rock so Under banyan tree. Moonshine tonight Come mek we dance and sing Moonshine tonight Come mek we dance and sing. Mi deh rock so You deh rock so Under banyan tree Mi deh rock so You deh rock so Under banyan tree. Palaver 2015

Brown girl in the ring [Ring game]

Dere’s a brown gal in de ring, tra la la la la. Dere’s a brown gal in de ring, tra la la la la. Dere’s a brown gal in de ring, tra la la la la, Fo’ she like sugar, an’ I like plum.

Jane and Louisa [Schoolyard ring game]

Jane and Louisa will soon come home, Soon come home, They will soon come home. Jane and Louisa will soon come home Into this beautiful garden. My dear will you ‘low me to pick a rose, Pick a rose Just to pick a rose, My dear will you ‘low me to pick a rose Into this beautiful garden. My dear will you ‘low me to marry you, Marry you, To marry you, My dear will you ‘low me to marry you Into this beautiful garden.

Den yo wheel an’ take yo’ partner, Den yo wheel an’ take yo’ partner, Den yo wheel an’ take yo’ partner, Fo’ she like sugar, an’ I like plum. Then you skip across the ocean, tra la la la la, Then you skip across the ocean, tra la la la la, Then you skip across the ocean, tra la la la la, Fo’ she like sugar, an’ I like plum. Then show you me your motion, tra la la la la, Then show you me your motion, tra la la la la, Then show you me your motion, tra la la la la. Fo’ she like sugar an’ I like plum.

Jane and Louisa will soon come home, Soon come home, They will soon come home. Jane and Louisa will soon come home Into this beautiful garden.




Palaver 2015

CUISINE Bammy and jerk


Chicken Ackee and smoked Eggs benedict

Pork roast




The Caribbean flavours the world By Grace Cameron


f food tells the story of the history and culture of a country or region, then the cuisine of the Caribbean speaks eloquently, with lively tales from Africa, to Europe, Asia and the Middle East peppered with notes from the Amerindian cultures of the islands.



Trinidadians serving up curried mango, roti and dhalpurie reflect the spirit of India. People in Barbados (Bajans) channel the food language of many parts of Africa with their national dish of Cou

WASAGA BEACH AREA 4 August 9, 2015

• Assorted Bakery Basket with Homemade Cornbread • Festival Dumplings • Mixed Baby Lettuce with Grape Tomato, Julienned Mango and Raspberry Vinaigrette • Rasta Pasta Salad • Vegetable Medley • Rice and Peas • Sautéed Calaloo with Red Snapper Filet • Ackee and Codfish • Boneless Jerk Chicken with a Mild Pepper Sauce and Caramelized Mango • Whole Roasted Jerk Pig • Sliced Fresh Fruit • Sweet Potato Pudding with Shredded Coconut • Assorted Pastries • Fresh Brewed Assorted Tea By Tifidin


Palaver 2015

Cou (prepared cornmeal) paired with flying fish. The late Nelson Mandela, describing his favourite childhood meal, recalled his mother cooking mealies (corn grounded into flour and then prepared with ingredients such as beans) in a threelegged iron pot over an open fire in the centre of the hut or outside. Escoveitch (escabeche, ceviche) fish warms the hearts of Cubans, Jamaicans, Peruvians (the national dish of Peru) and, in fact, wraps most of the Caribbean and Latin America in its spicy, vinegary flow. Of Jewish origin, this method of food preservation came with the Spaniards who, for a while, ruled the region. Memories of the Tainos and other Amerindian people live on in bammy (made from cassava) which is widely eaten across the region and is also popular in some Latin American countries like Brazil. Then there is jerk, which the world has been romancing for several years. The current darling of Caribbean food was born in the hills of Jamaica where enslaved Africans, who had escaped the British, mingled with the Taino population and made jerk pits with pimento wood and leaves to cook meat. These days jerk has evolved, jumping off supermarket shelves in Canada, the U.S.A., U.K. and Europe. Baked in ovens, instead of smoky underground pits covered with tree branches and leaves so as not to draw the attention of the British slavers, jars CHAPTER

of jerk sauces, rubs and marinades are now sometimes flavoured with mango, tamarind and other tropical fruits. Jamaica’s ackee and saltfish speaks volumes of the bravado, showiness and spirit of the country. Shunned by other Caribbean islands and rarely eaten elsewhere in the world, ackee has had the misfortune of being labelled poisonous. Still, despite its reputation, Jamaicans have embraced the fruit which is also eaten in some areas of Ghana. The fruit, when allowed to burst open on its own is not poisonous. National Geographic’s Food Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 Extraordinary Places to Eat Around the Globe, names ackee and saltfish the second best ‘national dish’ in the world. Barbados’ cou cou and flying fish also made the list at number three. Only the ubiquitous American hamburger topped the national dishes from these two tiny Caribbean islands. The Jamaican patty, which draws its inspiration from Spanish empanadas and British Cornish pasties, have also become the rage in some world cities. Jamaicanowned bakeries in cities like New York and London are drawing crowds from the Caribbean communities as well as the general population with this flaky, meatwrapped pastry. Caribbean flavours linger in world cuisines in many other ways of course – nutmeg from Grenada, sugar loaf pineapple from Jamaica (adopted by Hawaii), pimento, ginger and Scotch bonnet pepper.

Grace Cameron is editor and publisher of JamaicanEats magazine,


SELWYN Richards


elwyn Richards is widely regarded as a most gifted chef and he has the accolades to prove it.

His creations have been described as “a feast for the eyes as well as the palate” and his concoctions have impressed and satisfied all who have had the good fortune to be at his table – heads of state and humble folk alike. Some of us are born great, while others, as the bard postulates, either achieve it or otherwise have it thrust upon them. Selwyn has been creating delightful dishes with an artistic flare for over 30 years. But whereas his skills may have been honed and polished at George Brown College in Toronto where he achieved success in Culinary Management, Chef Selwyn’s creations are from another place. Divine is the word often used by those who have had the Selwyn Richards’ experience. Early in his career, at the Food & Wine Show in 1987 (Escofier Society, Toronto), Selwyn was recognized for showcasing excellence in the culinary arts. He was awarded two silver medals and one bronze. In April 2014, the Black Business and Professional Association honoured him with the Harry Jerome Business Excellence Award for his stellar achievements as Chef and Entrepreneur. He is currently the CEO of one of the province’s leading catering houses The Art of Catering, which he operates with his two brothers Lennox and Travis. He is also the corporate Chef for Grace Kennedy (Ontario). In February 2014, Selwyn Richards celebrated the launch of his first book The


Art of Cooking: Soul of the Caribbean. The book guides the reader through the many styles, nuances and recipes of Caribbean cuisine, providing both novice and experienced cooks with information, ideas and tips about ingredients, methods and style. His encyclopaedic knowledge of spices and rapt attention to detail in preparation are reflected throughout the book. His electronic newsletter The Catering Bite has been in circulation since 2010 with a mailing list of some 5,000. And his work and commentary are frequently featured in local newspapers and magazines in Canada and elsewhere. Chef Selwyn Richards has appeared on Food Network’s series - I Do, Let’s Eat; Life Network’s Rich Bride, Poor Bride and Soul Food on BET Network/Showtime. His work has also been featured in movies such as American Pie5, Cheaper By The Dozen 2, Covert Affairs, Nikita, Defiance, Suits and other film and TV productions. Palaver 2015




Palaver 2015

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