JFH 2023 Gala Booklet

Page 1


Independence Gala

and Strong July 29, 2023
JAMAICA FOUNDATION OF HOUSTON 61st INDEPENDENCE GALA 2 JAMAICA FOUNDATION OF HOUSTON 61st INDEPENDENCE GALA 2 61 15151 West Drive, Houston, TX 77053 Tel: 713.667.9500 • Fax: 713.481.0227 • info@esunburst.com

Board of Directors

Board Advisors

Hon. Beverly Ford • Andy Adams


The Mission of the Jamaica Foundation of Houston is to promote cultural understanding, education and volunteerism

P.O. Box 710824 Houston, TX 77271-0824


Editor: Dr. Sylvanus Donaie Karlene Rose

Advertising and Sales: Karlene Rose

Dr. Cameon McKenzie Reid

Design and Printed by: Dr. Sylvanus Donaie Karlene Rose


The cover depicts a thinking behind the theme for Jamaica’s 61st Independence Celebration, Proud and Strong. Jamaica leads the world in many genre of music, sport, and dance, art, and theater reflecting sixty one years of moving up onto the world stage with contributions from these great Jamaicans.

Theme created by Dr. Sylvanus Donaie and Karlene Rose


3 JAMAICA FOUNDATION OF HOUSTON 61st INDEPENDENCE GALA 3 JAMAICA FOUNDATION OF HOUSTON 61st INDEPENDENCE GALA CONTENTS Jamaica Foundation Of Houston Featured Messages From the President of JFH 4 From The Prime Minister of Jamaica 5 From Consulate General of Jamaica, Miami 6 From Honorary Consul, Houston 7 Congressional Recognition 8 From the Governor of Texas .................................. 9 From the Mayor of Houston 10 Featured Articles The Homeland .................................................... 11 Master of Ceremony 12 J-Unit Band 12 Keynote Speaker 13 Menu and Program 18 National Anthem USA/Jamaica 20 DJ Toney Campbell 20 About the Band - J-Unit 25 2023 Scholarships Award/Keynote Speaker 22 Scholarships Recipient ........................................ 23 Life Style: The Story of Errol Anthony Wilks 27 5k Run/Walk Photos 30 JFH in Action Photos 31 Church Service 33 Special Thanks 34
Karlene Rose Director Peter Ford Director Judith Drummond Treasurer Dr. Camille Gibson Director Dr. Cameon McKenzie Reid Secretary President
JFH Website
Errol Anglin Vice President

A Message from the Dr. Nicole Bent Jones,

Members and Friends of the Jamaica Foundation of Houston:

On behalf of the Jamaica Foundation of Houston, we thank you for joining us at our preeminent social and fundraising event of the year. This year’s Annual Gala celebrates Jamaica’s 61st Year of Independence themed Jamaica 61 “Proud and Strong”!

Today, we gather here to celebrate and reflect on a momentous occasion in Jamaica’s history – our independence. It is with immense pride and joy that we commemorate the day when Jamaica, a small island nation in the Caribbean, took its destiny into its own hands and became a sovereign nation.

On August 6, 1962, Jamaica embarked on a journey towards independence which required the resilience, determination, and unity of the Jamaican people. Our people transcended racial, cultural, and economic differences for a unity of purpose towards a shared vision of a free and independent Jamaica.

Independence granted us the power to make our decisions, the responsibility to shape our destiny, and the opportunity to create a nation that reflected our unique values, traditions, and aspirations. Through our challenges and successes, we have witnessed the power of our people’s creativity and resilience in the face of adversity. Jamaica, since its independence, has produced world-class athletes, renowned musicians, and influential intellectuals who have placed Jamaica firmly on the global stage.

As we celebrate this milestone today, let us move forward together, hand in hand, towards a brighter future. Our spirit knows no bounds. The legacy of those who have come before us serves as a guiding light, urging us to carry on the flame of independence, liberty, and progress.

Today, let us reaffirm our mission to promote culture, education, and volunteerism. Help us to continue strengthening cultural ties between peoples of the Caribbean and Texas, particularly those residing in the Greater Houston area. The Jamaica Foundation and its predecessor organization has awarded more than 300 scholarships to exceptional college students and high school graduates in the Houston metropolitan area since the inception of the Scholarship program in 1985. Recipients have gone on to graduate and become respected professionals in their chosen communities. We are thankful for sole individuals, individuals with company matching funds, and sole corporate sponsorships that have been and remain the backbone of the funding for the annual awards.

To our esteemed Board of Directors, you have my deepest gratitude for your selfless service, and I am forever indebted to you for your kindness and generosity. I recognize the invaluable contributions you have made to our non-profit organization through your dedicated volunteer work. You have played an instrumental role in shaping the vision and mission of our organization and generously given your time, expertise, and resources to ensure that our non-profit’s mission, to make a positive impact on the lives of those in need, is realized to its fullest potential.

As we move forward, know that with your continued guidance our non-profit organization will continue to thrive, bringing hope and positivity to even more lives in need. May we continue to make a lasting impact together. In the words of Elizabeth Andrew, an American author, “Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.”

In conclusion, my fellow Foundation members and friends, as we celebrate Jamaica’s independence, let us embrace the future with hope, optimism, and determination. Let us continue to work together, side by side, to build a community that fulfills the dreams of our ancestors and the aspirations of our children.

Happy Independence Day, Jamaica!



A Message from the Andrew Holness, Prime Minister of Jamaica

Jamaica Foundation of Houston’s Annual Gala celebrating Jamaica’s 61st Year of Independence

It is with a sense of great pride that I join my fellow Jamaicans at home and abroad to celebrate the 61st anniversary of our independence as a nation. Indeed, it is an honour as Prime Minister to say to my Jamaican family in the Diaspora, happy independence. As a non-profit organization, the Jamaica Foundation of Houston (JFH) has shown its dedication to serving the Diaspora by strengthening the cultural ties between Caribbean people and Houston through educational, charitable, and civic activities since 1980. And, of this commitment to preserve our Jamaican culture and the well-being of other people, we are proud of JFH.

In this regard, the preservation of our culture is also important. We must continue concerted efforts to promote and preserve our culture to bequeath to our youth through the activities of the foundation.

Since our independence in 1962, our little island nation Jamaica has experienced significant changes and transformation in several areas, becoming world leaders in many aspects such as athletics, culture, gastronomy, and tourism.

As we celebrate Jamaica 61, we reflect on how far we have come as a nation. We recall our challenges over the years, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our economy and people emerged more resilient. Improvements in our fiscal, monetary, and structural reforms have enabled the restoration of macroeconomic stability and improved our fiscal performance.

Indeed, our positive recovery from the pandemic, coupled with good governance, enabled us to celebrate even more triumphs. These include major infrastructural development, new roads, a record number of houses built and sold at affordable rates, improvements in social welfare with an increase in National Insurance Scheme (NIS) payment and improvements and increases to services to the indigent population.

In addition, we have also improved access to education by now making the HEART NSTA TRUST free to all Jamaicans up to the associate degree level. Moreover, our citizens can now reap the benefits of improved financial stability with increased net reserves, improved compensation for public sector workers and a 44% increase in the minimum wage. We have made significant strides in technological advancements and continue to make plans to preserve our culture and advance our welfare.

At the same time, we must preserve and protect the nation’s legacy of unity, peace, love, and prosperity, which our ancestors fought hard to attain. The deeply rooted, indomitable ancestral spirits truly make us who we are today, strong, proud, and resilient Jamaicans.

Indeed, I am confident that the publication of the Gala Souvenir Booklet will stimulate greater pride in the history of this great nation. As we celebrate our great nation and host your preeminent social and fundraising event of the year, we raise funds from this event to support our young people with scholarships.

Undoubtedly, we will continue making giant steps towards national development and strive to achieve our vision to make Jamaica the place of choice to live, work, raise families, do business, and retire in paradise.

As JFH continues to accomplish its vision, “Know Jamaica, make her known”, let us stand proudly and applaud ourselves for our accomplishments thus far. We have come too far to turn back now. Let us build on the past, celebrate the present and improve in the future.

Happy 61 Jamaica land we love.

The Most Hon. Andrew Holness, ON, PC, MP


A Message from the R. Oliver Mair, Consul General


Phone 305-374-8431

Fax 305-577-4970



Jamaica’s 61st Anniversary of Independence

My fellow Jamaicans, as we come together as a nation to celebrate our 61st Anniversary of Independence “Jamaica 61 – Proud & Strong” let us reflect on our many achievements and give thanks to God Almighty for another year of blessings.

On behalf of the Consulate General of Jamaica, Miami, I commend all Jamaicans as you to show that collective spirit of how Jamaicans unite for the common good of service, and a spirit of generosity and patriotism. In life, adversities and trials will come, but as a people we’re resilient and strong and we’ve always overcome. As we reflect on 61 years of Independence, let us not forget the steps we have made forward, creating opportunities for the betterment of Jamaicans at home and abroad, even under the most challenging times.

Proud and Strong does not always mean there is no fear, uncertainty nor doubt. But inspite of our apprehension, as a people, we step out in faith knowing that the God of our nation will guide us as He has always done, and has been our light throughout the countless hours.

Celebrating our pride and strength, we must remember those who have inspired us through the pages of history. Let us use the strength of our forefathers –including Miss Lou, Bob Marley and Marcus Garvey to step into our greatness. This has been fueled by the athletic prowess and continued success of those on the world stage such as our Usain Bolt and Shelly Ann Frazer, to help us continue the journey both at home and in the Diaspora. This firm resolve has given us the opportunity to recognize and appreciate the resilience and tenacity of out Jamaican people.

Our Jamaicans continue to rise to the top in leadership positions achieving greatness in every discipline. As a country we continue to stand on high marks, maintaining a positive outlook against all odds. Let me commend our Diaspora and friends for the critical role they continue to play in the growth and development of our beloved homeland, maintaining the focus on economic development, especially benefitting health and education, and social services. You continue to give of your time, talents, and resources to support the countless Jamaicans who have been beneficiaries of your philanthropic efforts.

As a people, we stand proud and can look forward with enthusiasm and excitement as we unite to carry on, building a better Jamaica, land we love. Reflecting our past, we must assess the present, and look to the future with humility, a gentle and kind heart, and be mindful that God is our constant guide, and with Him all things are possible.

On behalf of my family and my staff at the Consulate General, let me wish you my Diaspora family, as you celebrate a peaceful and joyful 61 years of Independence.

R. Oliver Mair Consul
Jamaican Consulate General 44 W Flagler
Suite 400, Miami, FL 33130
“Jamaica 61 – Proud & Strong!”

A Message from the

Honorary Consul of Jamaica

Attorney and Counsel-at-Law

6001 Savoy Drive, Suite 509

Houston, TX 77036

(713) 782-8494

My Fellow Jamaicans and Friends:

It is my distinct pleasure to salute the distinguished officers, members, and guests at this spectacular 61st year of Jamaica Independence Celebration event hosted by the Jamaican Foundation of Houston to celebrate Jamaica 61st year of independence. Our theme is “Proud and Strong.” I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate the Jamaica Foundation of Houston for more than 43 years of outstanding service to the City of Houston, the State of Texas, the Texas Jamaican Communities, and our beloved Jamaica. Furthermore, I would like to pay tribute to the founders, former presidents, members, board members, and President Dr. Nicole Bent-Jones of the Jamaica Foundation of Houston.

Our Independence celebrations provide us with an opportunity to reflect on the achievements of our nation and our people. It is a time to strengthen our resolve to work even harder for the advancement of Jamaica. As we celebrate Jamaica 61st year of Independence, we must remember that it took a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to get where Jamaica is today. Jamaica is a great nation with great people all over the world. We have made tremendous progress despite being robbed by the countries who colonized us and enslaved our people. We should never forget where we are coming from. However, we must work to make sure that the Jamaica we leave to our children is better than the Jamaica we have today. There is always room for improvement and progress in every country. Jamaica is a great Nation, and we are destining for greatness. Our people will continue to ignite Jamaica for greatness.

I encourage our brothers and sisters in Jamaica, the United States, and the rest of the world to invest their time and capital, and to encourage the developed nations to take a pro-active role in investing in Jamaica. Investing in Jamaica makes great business sense. Global prosperity is the greatest equalizer in reducing poverty, hunger, and underdevelopment. We must share the vision of Jamaica whose future is brighter than the sun that shines there, and together we can all work to assure our homeland that bright future.

I feel tremendously blessed and extremely honored to have recently completed my 15th year as the Honorary Consul of Jamaica in Houston, Texas. As I begin my 16th year in this office, I would like to thank the entire community for their support. I am equally appreciative of the support of the Jamaica Foundation of Houston and the entire Jamaican community.

Happy 61st Independence Day Jamaica!

7 JAMAICA FOUNDATION OF HOUSTON 61st INDEPENDENCE GALA 6001 Savoy Drive, Suite 509 Houston, TX 77036 (713) 782-8494
Khalfani Omari Fullerton Attorney and Counsel-at-Law Houston, Texas

Congress of the United States House of Representatives

Washington, DC 20515



On behalf of the Eighteenth Congressional District of Texas and its residents, I am pleased to extend my personal greetings to the Jamaica Foundation of Houston, and everyone gathered to celebrate the 61ST Year of Independence from Great Britain themed “Proud and Strong” Annual Gala on July 29, 2023. This event pays homage to the 43 years of service the Jamaica Foundation of Houston had in our community, as well as their numerous victories towards making Houston a better city for all.

I want to applaud the Jamaica Foundation of Houston, President Dr. Nicole Bent Jones, for your commitment to strengthening the cultural ties between the Caribbean community and the Greater Houston area. The City of Houston and the 18th Congressional District truly appreciate your efforts to promote cultural and social events among the members to improve the social quality of life for all. Your dedication to diversity and inclusivity is truly praiseworthy.

Thank you, Jamaica Foundation of Houston, for being an active voice in our community. Thank you for your dedication to excellence and your untiring efforts in reminding our community that unity is not just imperative, but a necessity. Your work and deeds are truly deserving of the respect, admiration, and commendation of the United States Congress.

Very truly yours,

JAMAICA FOUNDATION OF HOUSTON 61st INDEPENDENCE GALA 8 WASHINGTON OFFICE: 2187 Rayburn Office Building Washington, DC 20515 (202) 225-3816 HEIGHTS OFFICE: 420 West 19th Street Houston, TX 77008 (713) 861-4070 FIFTH WARD OFFICE: 4300 Lyons Ave., Suite 200 Houston, TX 77020 (713) 227-7740 DISTRICT OFFICE: 1919 Smith Street, Suite 1180 Houston, TX 77002 (713) 655-0050
, 2023
COMMITTEES: JUDICIARY SUBCOMMITTEES: Ranking Member Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations Immigration and Border Security HOMELAND SECURITY SUBCOMMITTEES: Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies Counterterrorism and Intelligence BUDGET COMMITTEE

A Message from the Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas Austin Texas

Congratulations Jamaica on 53 years of Independence



As Governor of Texas, I am pleased to extend greetings to everyone in Attendance as you celebrate the 61st anniversary of Jamaica’s Independence.

When Jamaica achieved full independence on August 6, 1962, the face of The world was forever changed. Through the years, the United States and Jamaica have forged a close relationship. Those ties have carried over Between Texas and Jamaica. Jamaicans and Americans of Jamaican descent Have enriched Texas’ cultural landscape and their contributions to our great State have been invaluable.

As you gather to celebrate this milestone of freedom I wish you all a happy Jamaican Independence Day. I encourage all Texans to embrace our Diversity and join you in celebration.

First Lady Cecilia Abbott joins me in wishing you a memorable event.


State of Texas Office of the Texas Governor P.O. Box 12428 Austin Texas 78711 (512) 463-2000
Governor Greg Abbott


July 26, 2023


P.O. Box 1562

Houston, Texas 77251-1562

Telephone – Dial 311 www.houstontx.gov


As Mayor of Houston, I welcome members of the Jamaican Foundation of Houston attending the annual gala. It is an honor to have yo u in Houston celebrating your 58th year of independence from the United Kingdom.

As Mayor of Houston, I welcome members of the Jamaican Foundation of Houston attending the annual gala. It is an honor to have you in Houston celebrating your 57th year of independence from the United Kingdom.

The City of Houston salutes and commends the Jamaican Foundation of Houston for its continued commitment to bringing the Jamaican community under one umbrella, giving the Caribbean community in Houston a strong voice and empowering the younger members to participate in volunteerism.

The City of Houston salutes and commends the Jamaican Foundation of Houston for its continued commitment to bringing the Jamaican community under one umbrella, giving the Caribbean community in Houston a strong voice and empowering the you nger members to participate in volunteerism.

City of Houston

I commend you for your efforts to preserve your distinctive heritage and culture within the Houston community. The strengths of this great city are in the men and women who make up our diversity and cultural richness. I also appreciate your support of our city as you continue to seize new opportunities while meeting the needs of the community.

I commend you for your efforts to preserve your distinctive heritage and culture within the Houston community. The strengths of this great city are in the men and women who make up our diversity and cultural richness. I also appreciate your support of our city as you continue to seize new opportunities while meeting the needs of the community.

Please accept my best wishes for a memorable celebration.

Houston District Office

Mayor Sylvester Turner

City of Houston


P.O. Box 1562

Houston, TX 77251

Phone: 311 or 713.837.0311

Email: mayor@houstontx.gov

Please accept my best wishes for a memorable celebration.


Controller: Chris Brown

Council Members: Brenda Stardig Jerry Davis Ellen R. Cohen Dwight A. Boykins Dave Martin Steve Le Greg Travis Karla Cisneros Robert Gallegos Mike Laster Martha Castex-Tatum Mike Knox David W. Robinson Michael Kubosh Amanda Edwards Jack Christie

Conditions For Marital Rape to be Eliminated in Law

Eliminating the conditions for marital rape are among matters that will be addressed in the amendments to be made to the Offences Against the Person Act.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, explained that when the Act was passed in 2009, it provided for conditions to be met in order for a wife to claim rape.

“There are specific things that allow you to be able to claim that you were raped in marriage. It should not be that a married woman has less rights than an unmarried woman. Both of us should have the rights over our bodies and that is what was greed by the [Joint Select] Committee [which deliberated on the Act]. So, when the Act is amended, it will delete all the preconditions for claim of marital rape. Again, its about respect and the rights over our bodies,” she noted.

The Minister was addressing a regional conference on women’s political and parliamentary leadership, at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Wednesday (July 12), where she outlined legislative measures being undertaken to protect women.

Among the conditions attached to the offence of marital rape in the Act are that:

• The spouses have separated and live separate and apart as defined by the matrimonial cause act;

• There is in existence a separation agreement;

• Divorce or proceedings to nullify the marriage have been filed;

• Acts or threats of physical violence, harm or injury are imposed on a spouse before or during sex;

• The spouse knowingly suffers from a sexually transmissible disease.

Senator Johnson Smith said the amendments to the Act will also include an offence of stalking, so that women are protected outside of relationships.

“If you are harassed by a stalker, that offence does not exist and it needs to exist within the Offences Against the Person Act, so that the Cybercrimes Act can criminalise it.

“So, whether you are in a relationship or not, if you are being stalked and you are in fear, that is an actionable crime that can be prosecuted, and you can get a protective order. You can prevent the greater crimes that usually come as a result of stalking, which [include] rape or murder,” she outlined.

Senator Johnson Smith further cited the Sexual Harassment Act, which is now in effect.

She commended the efforts of the Bureau of Gender Affairs “in working through this year of transition since [the Act] was passed to try to share some of the information about it”.

“I look forward to even greater public sensitisation to ensure that the simplified information is made clear, and that people understand that nobody is outlawing flirting, but when an advance is unwanted, it is unwanted,” Senator Johnson Smith said.

The legislation addresses concerns about sexual harassment that are employment-related, occurring in institutions, or arising in the landlord and tenant relationship.

The Sexual Harassment Act contains provisions for dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace, schools, correctional institutions, places of safety, nursing homes, medical and psychiatric facilities, among other places.

Source: Jamaica Information Service

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith (left), addresses a regional conference on women’s political and parliamentary leadership, at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, on Wednesday (July 12). At right is Member of Parliament for St. Ann North Western, Krystal Lee.

Godfather of Toasting Master of Ceremony

Fatta Carey

Fatta Carey is Texas’s Godfather of Toasting, a Jamaican music art of talking or chanting in monotone melody over a rhythm or beat. Today the art is simply called deejay. He was born in Ocho Rios in the parish of St Ann, the greatest parish in Jamaica and the home to Jamaican greats: Bob Marley, Marcus Garvey, Burning Spear and Shabba Ranks. Fatta developed the passion for deejay at a very young age with his uncles, Silly and King Mellow, bringing his musical therapy in his yard and later to local clubs around Jamaica. He was never afraid to go too deep with his firing dancing musical selections.

Fatta took a much larger role upon his arrival in the United States performing in large clubs in Miami and New York to crowds hungry for his deejay art form. His prominence rose a hundredfold when he relocated to Houston. Fatta worked with the great Mikey Faith Sounds. In the 90s, he worked with DJ Marcus Love at KTSU 90.9 radio. Later, he brought his art to 97.9 The Box with GT on The Reggae Zone. Beginning in 1992, he teamed up with the turntable genius, DJ Goldfinga, and in 2015, they created DJ LEVELZ. The duo joined forces and now dominate the Houston dancehall scene.

For over twenty-five years, Fatta with DJ LEVELZ have been providing the Houston crowd with their reggae-based rhythms pulling from many of the Caribbean genres, including Afrobeat, R&B, Soca, Zouk, and even Latin sounds of Salsa and Merengue. Together, they have garnered a massive following to earn the most revered working duo to command the dance scene in Houston.


Describing his art, Fatta explained that his love for deejay goes beyond the spectrum of mixing tunes, but to the engagement of the crowds on stage as he brings to Texas the rhythms and vibes of his Caribbean culture. It’s ingrained in each and every performance.

He is a family man to his wife, Marsha with four daughters and five grandchildren. SD


Welcome to the Junit Band! Since 2010 and like many start-up bands, they began perfecting our musical skills playing in bars and restaurants around Houston. A group of multicultural seasoned musicians, J-Unit brings a blend of the Caribbean experience of energy and excitement in music, songs, and dances from many genres. And their live stage performance…infectious!

The group begin with their original concept to promote and preserve the arts, culture and heritage of Caribbean while living in the Diaspora. They incorporate a unique blend of soulful vocals, intoxicating rhythms, and fascinating renditions of popular songs with a Caribbean twist, calypso-inspired melodies, and over a fusion of reggae, zouk, soca, dancehall and afro-beats.

The band consists of six members: Marc (Binjammin) Benjamin on drums, Nathan (Melody) Norde on keyboard and drum programming, Wilfred (Wacki) Clarke on drums, and Edwin (OG) Vanterpool on bass guitar). Gavin (Mr. G.) Claxton takes the lead vocals.

The J-Unit Band has worked tirelessly to cement their place in the Caribbean music landscape in Houston. They continue to be the trendsetters in the musical world of the Houston Caribbean Community.

For more information or bookings, please contact Marc Benjamin at 832390-1078 or email address: binjammin1@gmail.com. They can be followed on Facebook: J Unit Band. SD

aka DJ Fatta Carey of LEVELZ Sounds

Keynote Speaker

R. Oliver Mair

Consul General of Jamaica in Miami

R. Oliver Mair is the Consul General of Jamaica in Miami with responsibilities for consular affairs in 13 States of the Southern USA (including Texas), as well as Bahamas and the Cayman Islands.

Consul General Mair settled into his office two weeks ago ready to engage positively with the Jamaican community, and is confident that his love and belief in Jamaica “as one of the most powerful brands in the world” will augur well in his mission to serve both Jamaica and the Diaspora community.

He has been described as a dynamic and visionary leader with some 20 years’ experience in Jamaica’s private sector working in travel/tourism, entertainment, agro-processing and real estate industries. He also has extensive involvement in sales and marketing, strategic planning, project management, public relations and government corporate relations.

Mr. Mair embarked on his career as an operations officer at Jamaica Broilers. After a year, he joined the staff of Air Jamaica where he remained for the next eleven years rising through the ranks from flight attendant/purser/In-flight supervisor; routes operations supervisor, and ultimately regional marketing manager – Jamaica and the Caribbean. Leaving Air Jamaica, Mair returned to Jamaica Broilers where he served first as sales manager, and later marketing and sales manager a position he held until he then founded his own company, supplying Jamaican agricultural produce to local hotels.

He also worked with several projects including the Portland Jerk Festival, Jamaica Broilers Group- Fun In The Sun and applied his sales skills

in real estate as a realtor for Coldwell Bankers Limited.

He cites among his priorities during his tenure as working with the Jamaican community to focus on issues related to education, health, youth and business investment in Jamaica, stressing that there are strong investment opportunities in Jamaica and he is ready to work with Jamaicans and other interested parties in the United States to take advantage of these opportunities as Jamaica continues to gain high marks as prime for investment.

While he considers the Consulate staff a very efficient team, he is confident that they will continue to steer the office right as he steps out and engage the community. “Engaging the community is my goal.”

Mair has expressed particular interest in having the Jamaican Diaspora organize itself to undertake and support the Jamaican Health Ministry initiative to adopt and develop one or more health clinics in Jamaica. While he commends the various community groups for their ongoing commitment to Jamaica’s national interest and economic development, which includes contributions to healthcare, he is looking forward to working diligently to improve healthcare, especially in the rural areas through collaborative efforts.

A graduate of Campion College and Wolmers Boys’ High School, Mr. Mair holds a Bachelors of Arts in Management Studies and English Literature from the University of the West Indies, and a MBA in Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University, Florida.

A family man, Mr. Mair is married to his wife, Tanya and the couple has a daughter.

JAMAICA FOUNDATION OF HOUSTON 61st INDEPENDENCE GALA 14 10039 Bissonnet Street Houston, TX 77036 (Between Beltway 8 and Hwy 59) latania@menavisahelp.com Weekend and Evening Appointment available 281-271-8364 • Marriage Visas Law Office of LATANIA MENA • Family Petitions • Deferred Action • Citizenship • Marriage Visas • Adjustment of Status • Provisional Waivers • Green Card and Visa • Fraud Issues LATANIA MENA The Law Office of Evening and weekend appointments available 281-271-8564 .. because you shouldn’t fight your immigration battles alone 17117 Westheimer Rd, Suite 92 Houston, TX 77082 RUBEN JOSEPH REALTOR 832-716-4665 cell/text 632-699-7484 office/text ruben.joseph@txrealtyexperts.com www.rubenjoseph.fathomrealty.com www.facebook.com/txrealtyexperts
15 JAMAICA FOUNDATION OF HOUSTON 61st INDEPENDENCE GALA CB PLUMBLING SYSTEMS Commercial • Residential Back Flow Certification Cedric Buchanan Certified Master Plumber 510 Texas Parkway Missouri City, TX 77459 Cell: 832.788.9423 Fax: 281.969.8610 cbplumbingsystem@gmail.com Cerdric Buchanan Cerdric B Complete Auto Repairs Philco Auto SPINE AUTHORITY Chiropractic and Wellness Dr. Tomeka Mena, DC Chiropractor Auto Accident Injuries | Work Injuries | Slip & Fall General Chiropractic Care | DOT/CDL Physical Exam 10039 Bissonnet St, Suite 108 Houston, TX 77036 Phone: (832) 677-5763 Fax: (281) 888-1869 spineauthoritychiropractic@gmail.com www.houstonbackspecialist.com SE HABLA ESPANOL 24/7 SERVICE DOT/CDL Physical Exam
JAMAICA FOUNDATION OF HOUSTON 61st INDEPENDENCE GALA 16 Frederick Stewart Factory Trained - ASE Technician 713.434.1269 Guaranteed Service Quality, Pre-Owned BMW Sales Professional Auto Paint, Body & Frame Repairs All Foreign Cars Welcome We Accept All Major Credit Cards 4409 West Orem, Houston, TX 77045 ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY • OLD FASHIONED SERVICE Love Bird Restaurant (281) 933-1448 Mon-Thurs: 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM Fri & Sat: 11:00 AM to 7:30 PM Sunday: 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM IC: @lovebird resaurant 9750 Hwy 6 South Suite 102 Sugar Land, TX 77498 Serving food with love

17 JAMAICA FOUNDATION OF HOUSTON 61st INDEPENDENCE GALA AREA OF PRACTICE IMMIGRATION, H-1B L-1 and WORK AUTHORIZED PETITIONS EMPLOYMENT VISA FAMILY IMMIGRATION VISA DEPORTATION DEFENSE BUSINESS LAW KHALFANI OMARI FULLERTON, ESQ Attorney and Counselor-at-Law HONORARY CONSUL OF JAMAICA 6001 SAVOY DRIVE, SUITE 509, HOUSTON, TX 77036 713-782-8494 Cordia J. Constable Attorney & Counselor at Law Admitted to practice in Jamaica and the State of Texas Member of the Jamaican Bar Association and the State Bar of Texas 10301 Northwest Freeway, Suite 312 Houston, Texas , 77092 Tel : ( 713) 957-1213 Practice Areas in Texas :
Wills, Probate , Trusts and Estate Planning
Business Formation & Small Business Legal Support
Contracts and Commercial Transactions
Corporate Governance & Compliance
Real Estate Matters
Citizenship and Family based Immigration Practice Areas in Jamaica:
Real Estate Transactions
Probate Administration & Estate Planning
Contracts & Commercial Matters

Independence Gala


Master of Ceremonies

DJ Fatta Carey

“Godfather of Toasting”


National Anthems Jamaica & USA


Andy Adams

Cultural Presentation

Welcoming Remarks Dr. Nicole Bent Jones

President JFH


Proclamation in Honor of Jamaica’s Independence

Keynote Speaker

Honorable R. Oliver Mair Consul General for Jamaica


Closing Remarks

Errol Anglin

Vice President JFH

Entertainment by J-Unit Band

DJ Fatta Carey

DJ Toney Campbell

Cocktail Hour


Fresh field greens, sliced tomatoes, shredded cheddar cheese and ranch dressing

Warm Rolls with Butter

Entree Chicken Breast

marinated in Jamaican Jerk Seasoning

Blackened Salmon with Cajun Cream Sauce


Smashed Yukon Garlic and Parmesan Potatoes

Creole Corn and Vegetable Saute Spicy



Cheesecake Drizzled with Mango sauce

Chocolate Triple Layer Cake


Iced Tea


19 JAMAICA FOUNDATION OF HOUSTON 61st INDEPENDENCE GALA 713-777-1566 8270 West Bellfort Houston, TX 77071 www.coolrunningsjamaicangrill.com facebook.com/coolrunningshouston instagram.com/coolrunningsjamaicangrill Monday - Thursday 8am - 10pm Friday-Saturday 8am - 11pm Sunday 10am - 10pm Sunday Brunch Buffet Friday Night Happy Hour Full Cocktail Bar Banquet Space Available “OnDiRun” Food Truck Catering by the Tray Full Service Catering for events of any size



Of The United States

Oh, say can you see, by the dawn’s early light, What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming, Whose broad stripes and bright stars, Through the perilous fight, O’er the ramparts we watch’d were so gallantly streaming?

And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof thro’ the night that our flag was still there. O, say, does that Star-Spangled Banner yet wave

O’er the land of the free And the home of the brave?

National Anthem Of JAMAICA

Eternal Father, Bless our Land, Guard us with thy mighty hand, Keep us free from evil powers, Be our light through countless hours, To our leaders, great defender, Grant true wisdom from above, Justice, truth be ours forever, Jamaica, land we love, Jamaica, Jamaica, Jamaica, land we love Teach us true respect for all, Stir response to duty’s call, Strengthen us the weak to cherish, Give us vision lest we perish, Knowledge send us Heavenly Father, Grant true wisdom from above, Justice, truth be ours forever, Jamaica, land we love, Jamaica, Jamaica, Jamaica, land we love

World DJ

DJ Toney Campbell
21 JAMAICA FOUNDATION OF HOUSTON 61st INDEPENDENCE GALA To my Jamaican friends, client and the people of Jamaica To my Jamaican friends, client and the people of Jamaica Congratulations Electronic Tax Filing • Corporate Business Taxes Accounting • Bookkeeping • Financial and Tax Services SBA Loan • IRS Tax Representation Lucien M. Gomez EA ALL KINDS OF INSURANCES SERVICES Auto • Home • Life • Business 14615 S Main St Houston, TX 77035 lgomez@lmgfinancial.net Phone: (713) 721-4180 (713) 721-4439 Fax: (713) 721-4045 Financial and Tax Consultant | Insurance Agent Website: https://www.allkindsofinsurancetx.com/

2023 Scholarships Award

The mission of the Jamaica Foundation of Houston is to promote cultural understanding, education, and volunteerism.

Jamaica Foundation of Houston (JFH) held their 2023 Annual Scholarship Awards Luncheon on Saturday, May 20, 2023 at the Ashford United Methodist Church (2201 S Dairy Ashford Road, Houston, TX 77077).

These yearly scholarship award ceremonies are one of the most rewarding experiences for our students, donors, members, and friends of the Foundation, said Dr. Nicole Bent Jones, President of the JFH. The excitement and happiness of our students and their families as they receive their scholarship awards hold a life-changing experience, none other. It makes a pretty big impact on our donors too to see how their contributions make the difference for our students’ futures, Dr. Jones stated.

Scholarships give students the ability to explore areas in their field of study. And the Jamaica Foundation of Houston is at the forefront of this promise. Under the leadership of its Board of Directors, the foundation’s Scholarship Committee, a cadre of volunteers, works to build the relationship between donors and students. A special thanks and a high-five to Ms. Darnette Hill, Chair of the Scholarship Committee and the Committee Members for their passion and commitment to the success of the program.

College of Medicine


Dr. Noel Clarke

Dr. Camille Gibson

Dr. Carl Gardiner

Marjorie McLean

Dr. Nicole Bent Jones

Sonia McGrath

Joan White

Sherleen Williams

Darnette Hill

Marva Crawford

2023 Award Speaker: Dr. Everton A. Edmondson

Dr. Everton A. Edmondson is a Caribbean-American born in Kingston, Jamaica.  He immigrated to the United States (US) in 1965 at the age of almost 12 years old with a destination of New York City. After high school, he attended Amherst College in Western Massachusetts, graduating in 1976 with a major in Neuroscience.  After matriculating to New York University School of Medicine that year and he soon graduated in 1980 with research honors in Pharmacology.

Dr. Edmondson’s internship and residency were attended in internal medicine at the University of Connecticut.  After a three-year tour of duty in primary care for the US Public Health Service, he moved to Houston in 1985 to start residency in Neurology at Baylor College of Medicine.  Upon completing his residency, he attended MD Anderson Cancer Center for fellowship in Neuro-Oncology with additional training in Pain Medicine starting in 1988. He completed his residency in 1990 and joined the Baylor Department of Neurology, where he attained Board Certification in Neurology and Pain Medicine. He is currently a professor in neurology at Baylor College of Medicine. He enjoys teaching and mentoring students, among my other roles. Dr. Edmondson also holds a black belt in Okinawan Karate (Shorin-Ryu).

Dr. Everton A. Edmondson Professor of Neurology Baylor Recipients, Speaker and Committee Members at the 2023 Annual Scholarship Awards Luncheon


These students listed below have distinguished themselves in academics and other areas, earning the proud support of the Jamaica Foundation of Houston through our goal of educational outreach:

Jamaica Foundation Scholarships

Dr. Dinsdale & Beverly Ford

Heather Smith

University of Houston

Mr. Evon and Mrs. Beverley Bent

Lanae Montoute

University of Houston

Dr. Grace Jennings & Mr. Rudolph Jennings

Jenyne Turner

Texas Tech University

Mr. Dennis and Mrs. Ina Foster

Lily Smith

Marymount Manhattan College

Mr. Greg Wendling

Mikhaila Reid

Brown University

Mr. Fabian Weinstein-Jones

Teshaun Bernard

University of Texas at San Antonio

Samantha Hughes Legacy

Coddy Cash

Prairie View A&M

Jamaica Foundation of Houston

Shantol McIntosh

Sh-Shanna Ellington

Trudy–Ann Campbell



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Yardie Makes Waves in Houston

In a city pervaded by the performing arts, a son of the Jamaican soil is at its helm creating headlines. He is Errol Anthony Wilks of Palmers Cross, Clarendon, Jamaica. He bears the honor of having his childhood dream of acting and directing live staged performances. And he found it in Houston. But Wilks is quick to credit his humble beginnings in the arts to St. Jago High School in Spanish Town, St. Catherine, Jamaica.

Suddenly, the spotlight turned on his creativity, but it was a long road. Wilks migrated to St. Croix, Virgin Islands in June 1975 to join his mother and father, who resided on the island, and connected himself to the performing arts scenes. Later, he served honorably in the United States Navy for three years as an interior communication electrician. After his spin in the Navy, he returned to St. Croix, where he resumed directing stage performances and working as a radio sportscaster.

Once he relocated to Houston, Wilks stepped right into the hallways of the theatre passage. He somehow instinctively understood the rules governing what is a future working environment in the arts. He later earned a Bachelor of Art degree in Theatre/Cinema at Texas Southern University (TSU). A tough undertaken combined with his “bread and butter” at the Social Security Administration.

Keeping up with his community and for many years, the devoted public servant directs an annual plays at his beloved Alma Mater, TSU. Wilks serves on the Board of Shabach Enterprises, a non-profit organization which produce the annual Fade to Black 10 Minute play festival. He previously served as a board member of the Jamaica Foundation of Houston for ten years.

He is a co-founder and Producing Partner at Hawk in Flight Spin 23 Productions and has two films (Documentary: “Thank You Ten” and


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Loving Memory Hazel May Douglas-Rose

Gone but not Forgotten

From Daughters

Beverly Cadien, Marilyn Self, Pansy Crooks

Karlene Rose Karen Brown

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints - Psalm 116:15


Special Thanks

Scholarship Contributors

Mr. Evon & Mrs. Beverley Bent

Mr. Dennis & Mrs. Ina Foster

Mr. Greg Wendling

Dr. Grace & Mr. Rudolph Jennings

Mr. Cedric Buchanan & Dr. Angela Rowe

Dr. Dinsdale & Mrs. Beverly Ford

Dr. Shaun Smart

Mr. Fabian Weinstein-Jones

Samantha Hughes Legacy

Jamaica Foundation of Houston

Auction Item Contributor

Robert Matta Original art

Geneology consultation

Mack’s Gym - Class

Just B Musical Session

Penn Academy - Tutoring

Kreative Kulture - Photo Session

JMC Healthcare - Health and Wellness consultation

Nicole’s Art - Original Art

Fairytale Photography Studio Photo Session


The Jamaica Foundation of Houston Board wants to thank our sponsors, supporters and friends for standing with us in building our great future within the Foundation/Community.

We know it takes all of us and it can’t be done without you.

Our many advertisers and our new supporters who year after year make this booklet possible, we say thanks.


Dr. Cameon Mckenzie Reid

Mrs. Sharon Anglin

Dr. Danielle Harris

Mrs. Lisa Montoute

Ms. Claudette Reid

Ms. Samantha Hughes

Attorney Cordia Constable

Mrs. Janice Watson

Mr. Robert Bent


Love Bird Restaurant

Cool Runnings

Jamaican Bar & Grill