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Dear Reader, I just love reading about places, people and the things they do that make life so rewarding and full of hope. When I am at a loss for good things to read then I am prone to pick up a pen or pound the keys to create some stories of my own. Well, what you are reading right now are stories but all true ones of people, places and events that have helped to make this planet earth a little more interesting and providing hope for those who need it. Truly Caribbean magazine is created to communicate because we want to educate you with information that allows you to innovate. This premier issue is a celebration of my island of birth Montserrat, which this December is celebrating fifty years of its cultural festival. Now, being a preacher’s kid this might seem at odds with how I grew up but Montserrat is home to me and my children and we love it. I enjoy festival because it is truly a family celebration and a homecoming. Thousands return each year and the numbers are bigger than ever for the 50th. I trust you will learn a little bit about my homeland and also about some of the interesting people and music who cross my path in person or in cyberspace. Be sure to follow me on twitter @trulygolden or find me on Facebook for ideas to grow with. You are eternally loved by God. Be blessed.

Nerissa Golden Publisher

INSIDE New Music Ask & Answered with Heather Headley Arketa is Down for Whatever Review: Merry Christmas by Jaine Rogers Look Who’s Thinking Pink Food Montserrat’s Delectable Cuisine Features: Montserrat’s Masquerades 50 Years of Pageantry Inspire: Finding the Courage to Follow Your Dream

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Photographs Provided by: Courtesy Island Diva Mas (Cover Image) Vintage Montserrat Wayne Fenton Montserrat Tourist Board Arketa/Paran Sounds Jaine Rogers goldenmedia Archives All rights reserved. © Copyright 2012. A Truly Caribbean Magazine production of goldenmedia. Web: Email:

Q. Ever get the urge to run home and just be a good wife and mommy and not bother with the other parts of you? A. Ummm…YES! What keeps me from running? They ARE the other parts of me, and I’d miss them, I think!

Asked & Answered Q. How do you manage it all? Mom, wife, album about to drop and prepping for a major theatre production and still time to tweet. A. I’m not sure I’d say I’m managing it…I’m trying. It’s funny, I think as women (or men) we have to do what’s placed before us. So, this is my season to wear a few hats. I think my aim is to make sure that the priorities are God, my husband and our son. After that, everything else can fall into place! Q. You are making three major moves at the same time. Album, Moving to London, taking on Whitney’s role in The Bodyguard. What/who keeps you grounded and focused? A. I have an amazing group of people around me who love and support me. They want the best for me and my career, but mostly they want what’s best for ‘Heather the person.’ So, they keep me accountable. If something is right for my career, but not right for me personally and spiritually, they’ll let me know my husband is the first in that group. I don’t know what I’d do without him. It was his decision for me to go to London and do the album, and it’s his love and sacrifice that are pushing me forward.

Q. Often artists get pigeonholed into sticking with one genre. You’ve done so many and done them all with excellence. How did you do this and resist being the next pigeon? A. Growing up in Trinidad, I was exposed to so many genres of music, and that has continued throughout my adult life. I enjoy it all, So, I’ve always wanted to sing it all - - any song that moved my heart was added to my list - - whether it was classical, jazz, R&B, pop or gospel (well the gospel music has an added tug on my heart). I’ve always been very cautious about being placed in the box. I don’t like that box! Q. Share 5 key tips for artists, especially those coming from the Caribbean perceiving location, opportunity and access as a limitation A. (1) Work at your craft! Work At It! (2) Be the best you can be! The world has a way of finding exceptional talent! (3) Sing live whenever you can - practice makes permanent, and you never know who may show up. No stage can be too small. No island is too small! (4) Stay true to yourself! The world can identify a phony! (5) Don’t think that you have to be a huge star 15 minutes after you decide you’re going to perform. It takes time. Surround yourself, or get around other people who perform - - well, and learn from them. Someone may introduce you to an opportunity and teach you something from within that group. If it can happen to me, God can bless you as well. There aren’t “limitations” with HIM - - that I’ve come to learn! Only One in the World available on and other music sites.

The Bodyguard: The Musical Trinidadian-born, Grammy-award winner Heather Headley is starring as Rachel Marron, the role made famous by Whitney Houston in The Bodyguard. The film has been recreated as a musical and is playing at the Adelphi Theatre in West End, London until April 27, 2013. “I never had the chance to meet Whitney, even though we knew the same people. It may have been for the best. I’m not easily star struck, but I may have been with her,” Headley says of the late star who, died tragically earlier this year. She learned to stretch her vocal range listening to the pop singer, while growing up in Barataria, Trinidad and calls it both an honour and a gift to play a character that Whitney embodied so effortlessly. Headley is co-starring with the dashing Lloyd Owen who will play former Secret Service agent Frank Farmer, who is hired to protect the songstress after they discover she is being stalked. Each expects to be in charge but what they don’t expect is to fall in love. Fans of the movie will enjoy hearing Heather perform hits from the soundtrack, including Queen of the Night and I Will Always Love You along with some of Whitney’s other hits. a journey that transports the listener into the world of the song and the soul of the singer. There are tracks that evoke warm fuzzy feelings of hot cocoa and marshmallows, while others will have you tapping your toes and scatting along with glee. The emotional rendition of Mary Did You Know literally takes you to the stable where you watch Mary’s face as she holds the newly born baby and you inwardly ask yourself the question, while I’ll Be Home for Christmas will be sure to have you headed to the nearest airport, train station, bus terminal or taxi stand to hurry home.

Jaine Rogers is an intuitively talented artist whose singing style is influenced by the gospel groups and choirs of her youth, and the gentle, uncomplicated, yet sincere lyric delivery of Nat King Cole. Jaine’s latest project is a collection of well-loved Christmas classics and favorites that takes you on

It is an album that fuses the Jazz and both classic and contemporary Gospel influences that have shaped Jaine’s individual style perhaps best expressed in her stirring rendition of O Come All Ye Faithful. Don’t miss this opportunity to be swept away by the stunning vocal style of Jaine Rogers as you celebrate the Christmas season.

In the land where soca music and calypso are king comes a lovely queen with an R&B voice. Arketa released her first single Down for Whatever this year and joined the Paran Sounds family, which has been turning out hits with Soca artist Black Jaguar and Montserrat’s reigning Calypso King Sylk. Arketa is no stranger to the microphone as she can be seen this year as in the past seven, backing up the artists competing in the calypso competitions. The opportunity to work with Paran Sounds came after Arketa provided backing vocals on Sylk’s big hit XXtra in 2011. “The producers offered me the opportunity and I made the necessary adjustments both physically and mentally to be able to wholeheartedly embrace this new venture.,” she says. “Making a record was never a priority of mine. I always loved music and would always be involved in one form or the other, whether it was singing with a group, providing backups or reviewing lyrics.”

duced by Paran Sounds. Although she will be busy backing up more than 30 artists this season during the 50th festival celebrations on Montserrat, Arketa is also preparing to release a new single in the New Year. She’s keeping the name of the new single, which she wrote, under wraps. The riddim was created

There are eight tracks on her first album with writing credits for the title track going to her. Songs on the project are: Down For Whatever, All My Love, Breathless and Empty, Spread Some Love, Everyday With You, Spread Some Love [Reggae Mix], Final Sunset feat. Prynze, and Spread Some Love feat. Prynze [Hip-Hop Mix]. Breathless and Empty and Everyday With You were produced by Jonathan ‘Darkman’ Duberry and Paran Sounds. All the other songs were pro-

by Jamplified Records of Jamaica and is still in production This is an indie project with Jamplified Records and proves that Arketa is Down for Whatever will come her way musically in 2013 and beyond.

You can purchase tracks from Down for Whatever by Arketa on

Now on DVD!


Think Pink Every Day

Breast cancer is a common cause of death worldwide, including the Caribbean, and this has caused grief to many families. However, experts say, this does not have to be so. Techniques like breast self examination, clinical breast exam (performed by a doctor or nurse) and mammograms can save lives by detecting cancer at a very early stage where it can be successfully treated, thus adding worthwhile years to life.

Caribscan has embarked on a fund raising drive to send women living on Montserrat to Antigua for digital mammograms, by special arrangement with the Belmont Clinic – Radiology Imaging Centre. This voluntary initiative is the brain child of Clinical Imaging Specialist Sonia Charles, who visits Montserrat several times a year to perform and report on ultrasound scans. Ultrasound is a great diagnostic tool, but not a substitute for mammogram, she says. Sonia, a Montserratian professional currently based in the Turks and Caicos Islands , is passionate about getting as many women as possible to have digital mammograms under this project, and pours her energy and sometimes her own resources into making a success out of it. Sonia and her diagnostic imaging company Caribscan have been instrumental to the project, as well as the privately owned Belmont Clinic and its Director, radiologist Dr Eumel Samuel. In 2009 the first fund raising event was held, in the form of a gala dinner and auction of local art work. This was followed in 2010 by a fundraising Walkathon, named the Pink Ribbon Walk. People were asked to get sponsors for the walk, and many did so, resulting in the collection of moneys to start the Mam-

mogram Fund, which will eventually become a full scale charity. Funds also came from as far away as Toronto, Canada, where Montserratian nursing administrator Mary Glavassavich of Sunnybrook Hospital raised funds for this cause. The most recent fund raiser the annual Pink Ribbon Walk was held on September 29th, 2012. For the first time this year they had two other activities an early morning hike and a Radiothon. Names are still being taken for the Mammogram Fund , with the understanding that those first registered get first preference. In a special arrangement with Sonia, the Belmont Clinic has agreed to do half price mammograms for women from Montserrat under the project, with the remaining half being paid for by the Mammogram Fund. From October 2011 – 2012 a total of 115 women have accessed the Mammogram Fund. An arrangement was also made, through the Ministry of Communications and Works, for cut-price ferry tickets between Montserrat and Antigua, so that this and their departure tax is all the women have to pay. Several women have taken advantage of this service, and every Saturday a group of twenty or more is expected to travel together to Antigua, where the Belmont ...

Participants after The Pink Ribbon Walk in Montserrat. October 2010.

‌ Clinic will provide free transportation to and from the clinic. Local Airline Fly Montserrat has also offer reduced fares for women travelling to Antigua to have their Mammograms. In addition to having a mammogram every two to three years, women should examine their breasts monthly, and are encouraged to visit their local clinics for information on breast examination and breast health. Women should also have their breasts examined by a doctor or nurse once a year, or more often if there is any doubt. The Mammogram Fund is important since it gives women an opportunity to have access to free mammograms which will ensure a better quality of life. Organizer of the Pink Ribbon Walk for the Mammogram Fund, Clinical Specialist Sonographer.

Tell us what you are doing to Think Pink Every Day in your community. Email us at

One of Montserrat’s best kept secrets is its absolutely delectable and mouth watering cuisine. Whether your choice is a tiny roadside cook shop such as The People’s Place on Hilltop or one of the more upscale dining establishments like Ziggy’s in Woodlands, the results are the same, you will love the food. As the island celebrates its 50th cultural festival from December 15, 2012 to January 1, 2013 residents are preparing for an influx of nationals, many who have not been home since fleeing the devastation wreaked by the Soufriere Hills Volcano in 1995 and others who left in the 50s before the island even had an annual carnival.

”Our people abroad have said they are coming home in large numbers and we plan to make this festival not just memorable but one that will encourage them to return more often and to consider investing in our redevelopment,” says Honourable Parliamentary Secretary Jermaine Wade, who has been given responsibility for pulling off this Jubilee celebration with the support of the Montserrat Festival Committee. Montserrat’s cultural festival began in December 1962 as an extension of the numerous activities that were celebrated across the island for Christmas but also to welcome home those who’d migrated to the United Kingdom and Canada for work. Until today, hundreds make the annual trek home to experience among other things the colourful and very lively Festival Day, calypso finals, queen pageants, the masqueraders and string bands which are fixtures of Montserrat’s festival. This December those numbers are expected to increase dramatically. The Montserrat Festival Committee has added several events to celebrate the local cuisine and ensure that those returning home learn how to make the traditional dishes so they can be recreated in their own family celebrations.

Just as no family celebration is complete without a pot of this thick meat stew to pass around, there would be no true celebration of the island’s culture without goat water. Montserrat’s national dish is best prepared over a wood fire and this December there will be a demonstrations on the 18th to show how it is made. The demonstration will be combined with re-enactments of Market Day with lots of locally grown fruits and vegetables to purchase. Everyone is also encouraged to wear the national dress throughout the day. Long before there were ovens in every home, the people of Montserrat created the most delectable butter breads in stone ovens. The St. Johns Action Group will recreate this experience and teach how it is made during the annual St. John’s Day on December 27. “Montserratians have a love affair with bread,” laughs Parliamentary Secretary Jermaine Wade. “The last stop before the airport is the bakery because someone overseas has asked you to bring back local bread. There is nothing else like it in the world. I could wax poetic about our bread and the food here at home.” A Food and Craft Fair on December 28 will provide another opportunity to sample not just local fare but the dishes from the other nations that now call Montserrat home. The many recreations of the calabash from soup bowls to handbags will be among the craft available for sale during the event to be held at The Lyme in Brades. Festival City which will be officially opened on December 15 will provide even more options for getting your fill of coconut dumplings, ducana made with sweet potatoes, salt fish with breadfruit and boiled green bananas, local fried fish along with adopted dishes such as jerk chicken and roti. “We don’t want anyone to be left out. So there will be activities to make you laugh, make you reminisce, make you have a good time and certainly to tantalise your taste buds,” says Chairman of the festival committee Johnny Wyke. “This year’s festival is one which we hope will be memorable and help to rekindle a passion for our culture and the need to preserve our fine traditions including our cuisine.” Full details on Montserrat Festival 50 can be found on Left Page— (Top) A bowl of goat water served with rice at The People’s Place in Hilltop. (Below) Hon. Wade is interviewed on ABS TV . This page—(Top )Watermelon and Feta cheese from Ziggy’s in Woodlands. (right) Coconut tart by Virginia Ryan-Hanna .

Masquerades are not unique to Montserrat, but Montserratian masquerade is unique. Since they made their regional debut at CARIFESTA in Guyana in 1973, they have become favourite crowd pleasers abroad as they have been at home since around the middle of the nineteenth century. They have indeed become the signature of Montserrat’s folk culture.

Montserrat’s Masquerade By Sir Howard Fergus

As with jonkanoo in the Bahamas, masquerade in Montserrat is an institution. There is so much more to it than the colourful costume, the ritual dances, the combination of African and western dance steps and the hypnotic drum beat which moves the most phlegmatic. Masquerades are a history lesson in colour and motion with symbols of profound and even complex meaning. The cart whip which the dancers ‘crack’ may be a symbol of authority which mimics the overseers’ power to punish the slaves. Or is it a means of clearing evil spirits out of the path of the dancers? Then there is the headdress in the shape of a bishop’s mitre and a mask. The church condoned and justified slavery with the Bible as the companion of the whip. Were the freedmen turning religion ...

Festival at Fifty 1962—2012 Now on Kindle The latest book by Sir Howard Fergus is now available on Kindle. Festival at Fifty: 1962 to 2012 was launched on 29 August at the Montserrat National Trust and is also available on the ebook platform for Kindles on Sir Howard Fergus chronicles the fifty years of Montserrat’s most popular festival in the 145-page book and highlights the many icons and creative personalities who come together every December to celebration the island’s culture. Festival at Fifty includes a foreword by the Honourable Premier Reuben T. Meade and an in depth look at the masquerade, calypsonians and queens and the other traditional art forms which come alive each year. Also released on Kindle is Sir Howard’s new collection of poetry called ‘Obama and Other Poems’. Find out more about the books at SirHowardFergus.

… on its head? There is so much hidden meaning here, so much to probe. Is there a philosophy of masquerades that speaks deeply to our past? Masks, while not confined to Africa are common in West African societies where they are associated with spirits, deities and rituals. The island is fortunate to have preserved this elaborate dance ritual of beauty which may harbour levels of truth as yet unexplored. An Excerpt from Montserrat’s Draft Cultural Policy 2012 Photo left page—Courtesy Montserrat Tourist Board Photo right—Vintage Montserrat Circa 1967

Where to see the Masquerades this Christmas The current group on island is the Emerald Shamiole Masquerades. Now in its eighth year, the group is managed by a team of mothers who wanted to see this iconic symbol of Montserrat’s culture revived. You can see them throughout many of the festival celebrations. 

Opening of Festival—Saturday, December 15 at 5pm—Festival City

During the Village Meet ups which begin on Monday, December 17

In Carr’s Bay Corner. This is a popular performance spot for the group as many returning residents hang out here near the beach and the bars. Just keep your eyes peeled for the colourful costumes and your ears open for the fife and drums.

Closing of Festival—Tuesday, January 1 in Festival City

The Caribbean island of Montserrat is preparing to celebrate its 50th cultural festival from December 15, 2012 to January 1, 2013. Dubbed Montserrat Festival 50, this year will be a homecoming for many nationals now living around the world, who were forced to migrate after volcanic activity began in July 1995. ”Our people abroad have said they are coming home in large numbers and we plan to make this festival not just memorable but one that will encourage them to return more often and to consider investing in our redevelopment,” says Honourable Parliamentary Secretary Jermaine Wade, who has been given responsibility for pulling off this Jubilee celebration with the support of the Montserrat Festival Committee.

Montserrat’s cultural festival began in December 1962 as an extension of the numerous activities that were celebrated across the island for Christmas but also to welcome home those who’d migrated to the United Kingdom and Canada for work. Until today, hundreds make the annual trek home to experience among other things the traditional St. John’s Day village festival on December 27, the masqueraders and string bands which are fixtures of Montserrat’s festival. This December those numbers are expected to increase dramatically. More than 70 events have been created by both the festival committee and private sector groups to commemorate this year’s celebrations. These include both daytime and evening activities for the entire family, lots of community events, pageants and competitions to choose from. “We don’t want anyone to be left out,” says Chairman of the festival committee Johnny Wyke. “Our programme has been expanded to offer workshops on making our national dish goat water, stone oven bread, a cake and wine show, village meet ups along with the popular calypso competitions, parades and queen pageants. There are also many private activities added to the calendar to cater to community groups and social clubs so that everyone can enjoy Festival 50.” The Montserrat Secondary School Alumni Association will be hosting its second reunion, which includes a week of social and community events with funds raised donated to the local high school. Other charity events during the month of December include the Sir Howard Fergus Scholarship Dinner & Cabaret on December 19 at the Montserrat Cultural Centre. Popular events such as the Emerald Community Singers Show, Night of Pan, and the Regional Women’s Calypso Show will join newcomers ...

Hiking with James “Scriber” Daley is a must when you visit Montserrat. He knows every one of our World Class trails, and provides a unique experience of learning about nature, our National Bird the Oriole. Find out more about Scriber on

... such as Soca Frenzy’s international show on December 22, a 50th Gala to honour outstanding contributors to Montserrat’s festival on January 2, and the village meet ups which will give residents of neighbourhoods now destroyed to congregate and reminisce while enjoying traditional string band music. New Years Day festivities with mas bands reminiscent of festival days at Sturge Park look set to make a return this year, with 18 bands registered. In recent years, the annual street parade has seen less than seven mas bands on the route. This year, several new bands will make an appearance including Waka Waka Mas band out of the United States with their Treasures of Alliouagana theme. Some sections of Island Diva Mas (cover photo) band have already sold out in their Rendezvous themed costumes. There will be several t-shirt troupes along with mas bands Flour People, A Bijou Production, Flower Garden, 50 Strong, Montserrat International Troupe and the Rotaract Invaders.

Check out the 50 Years of Festival Exhibition at the Museum in Little Bay, which opens December 17, 2012.

moment, we had to make a decision; will I give into my fear or will I force myself to grow; will I seek to expand my personal experiences.

Finding the Courage to Follow Your Dreams Dr. Anita Davis-DeFoe Stop what you are doing right now and pause. Take a moment and do some serious personal reflection. Peer into the mirror and even deeper within your soul, and ask yourself this question, “Whose life am I living?” Be honest and be sincere as you contemplate because your life is so very important.

It takes courage to sing that solo at church, purpose your passions, start that business or make that presentation. It takes courage to share your honest feeling with a family member, a friend or even your mate. It can take courage to go to the doctor when you suspect that you are not well. It takes courage to acknowledge your own personal truth. It takes courage to hop onto an amusement park ride, or to change a habit that is stifling your personal growth. After a failed relationship, for some people, courage is needed before they are able to heal from the past and allow themselves to get involved with someone new. Courage can be an extremely allusive thing, because often one experience, an attitude or a personal belief can stand in the way of our pursuit of the things that we want. We all harbor our dreams deep within our souls. Sometime we reflect on our dreams and for a few minutes we allow ourselves to think about how things could be. On other occasions, we keep them tucked away so that our dreams cannot intrude on what we are doing; after all we are simply too busy living life to be inconvenienced by our dreams, and besides we have people to please. When this is the case, clearly we have not yet learned that until we follow the urging of hearts, we will be filled with discontent and longing.

Tyler Perry, in “Good Deeds” delivers a most compelling message that originates from this difficult question. In the movie, Wesley Deeds, the main character, through a series of encounters with what turns out to be his wisdom sage, becomes confronted with a life decision that faces us all at some point in our lives. “Do I live my life or the life that someone else envisions for me; do I have the courage to be my authentic self, regardless? Courage comes in all forms and in a variety of fashions; for courage is overcoming your fear of something, and forcing yourself to try to do the very thing that causes trepidation.

Finding the courage to live your dreams, while frightening, can actually turn out to be liberating. When you discover the lifework that you want to pursue, the business you want to start or embrace whatever your dream might be, your life will become much more fulfilling and you will eventually ask yourself, “Why did I wait so long to pursue something that truly interested me?” Too often, we allow fear, the comments of others, or our own negative self-talk to keep us from stepping out and trying to achieve what our spirits are urging us to do.

We have all come face to face with a moment in time, an activity or a task that provoked strong feelings of inner turmoil, discomfort and strife. At that precise

You can nurture greater personal courage by raising your consciousness level and by confronting your inner most fears. Others ways to develop more courage are learning to be yourself in all situations ....

Finding Courage continued from page 20 ...that may confront you, by refusing to consider failure as a possibility and understanding that when we fall short of a goal this simply means we need to rethink the process, not give up totally on the plan. By planning and working to be prepared for situations, rather than always simply reacting; by developing an optimistic attitude instead of a limiting negative viewpoint; and by getting more in touch with your inner spirit are all ways in which to strengthen personal courage. Remember, you only get one life one this planet as best we know, so why not choose to spend it happily doing the things that you enjoy. Be courageous and persist until you achieve your life goals and your personal dreams. Follow your heart and listen to your soul. You truly owe it to yourself to use the talents divinely bestowed upon you in a positive fashion doing things that bring you immense joy. When you think about it, don’t you really want to become the person you were destined to become? Until we take the time to get to know and understand ourselves, our dreams, our strengths and weaknesses, the inner peace and personal joy that our spirits seek will escape us. Until we decide to discover our divine talents and use them, and to let purpose and personal responsibility guide us, turmoil and negativity will haunt us. So much of what characterizes our life is linked to who we are, not how the world around us may be. Who we are is a fascinating mix of our attitudes, prejudices, our

responses to and perceptions of the events happening all around and to us. When we begin to allow ourselves to feel powerless, it is because we have forgotten that the power to change our lives and our circumstances is within our reach; we are no longer acknowledging that the power to create the life that we desire lies within us. This all leads to the question that I am pondering and I suggest that you do the same, and that question once again is, “Whose Life Am I Living?” Stop and earnestly ask yourself am I living by choice or am I existing by chance. If you determine that you are not consciously choosing the direction of your career, your relationships, your finances, your health, your life goals, even your attitude, then you are not living a life based upon CHOICE, you are leaving everything up to CHANCE. I am certain that very few of us want only to live our lives holding tightly to chance’s coattail. Chance is a funny thing; it is not very reliable; it might show up; it might show up when you least expect it, and then again it might not show at all. I am certain that we can all agree that unlike taking a chance with the lottery knowing that mathematically the odds are not in our favor to win, we do not want to do that with our lives. We can all agree that allowing chance to totally rule our lives is a very dangerous proposition. If you are not making deliberate choices daily, then evidently you are hoping, waiting for chance to come knocking on your door. Decide today to take control of your life and consciously choose to actively live YOUR life. On a daily basis think about the choices that you are making and always above all, ask yourself the questions, “How Am I Living, and Whose Life Am I Living?” Choose to be you, dare to be courageous, and hold fast to your dreams!

Find out more about Dr. Anita Davis-DeFoe and her work with emerging leaders at

Truly Caribbean Magazine - Festival 50 Edition  

This premier issue celebrates 50 years of festival on the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean, introduces new music from several talented Caribbea...