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Patricia Lee,

Jennifer Figueroa,
 Vice President

Addy Chin-Ogilvie,

Esperanza Andrade,

If you would like to submit
Articles or items of interest,
 please contact

Carol Provost

Addy Chin-Ogilvie at




The Good and True
Official Newsletter of
Convent of Mercy Academy “Alpha” Association, Inc.
Florida Chapter

July 2008

Last Lap: Members of the CMAA executive committee burning the midnight oil, finalizing
 last-minute details the night before the Spring Fling Dinner-Dance.
(Photo: C.A. Provost)

Hello Alpha Family! This is the July issue of the Florida Chapter CMAA Newsletter. We hope that it finds you healthy, prospering and well-blessed. This is an exciting time to be an Alpha alum in South Florida or worldwide. So much is afoot. Stay in Touch; Get Involved, Give Back.

Committee’s Report
As of press time, here is a synopsis of what your alumnae association has been up to:

The July, 2007 Reunion Weekend Media Centre (No, that is not really the name!)
  The equipment for the media centre that was shipped to Alpha has been received and is awaiting installation. This is a seed of hope that must be nurtured and augmented, but what a huge way to start! At the behest of some members of the classes of the 70’s, the media centre will be named “The Father Henry Williams Multi Media Centre”, in honour of our namesake chaplain who served faithfully for many years. Kudos to our alumni everywhere. Way to support your school! It certainly feels splendid to give back to our alma mater.

“Take on” of the Library
  One of our ongoing projects is the restocking of the Library. At this time we are gearing up to start a book drive to collect books on an ongoing basis. Already, several boxes of S.A.T. and A.C.T. books have been obtained, along with English literature texts. If you have novels, textbooks, study guides —any appropriate literary materials-- to donate, or if you are going to Jamaica and are willing to deliver some books, please contact us!

Breakfast Programmes/Student Assistance Programme
  We as an association will continue to maintain the Student Breakfast Program. For over a decade, this programme has provided hearty breakfasts for girls who needed this service. However, what originally began as a Breakfast Programme for disadvantaged students has expanded to provide books, uniforms, bus fare and lunch! As a result, it is now called the Student Assistance Programme. This programme is overseen by the Office of the Sisters of Mercy, under the supervision of Mrs. Rheta Chen. The funds came from part of the proceeds of the Spring Fling Dinner Dance.

CMAA President Pat Lee (l) presents cheques totalling
$7,000 (US) to Mrs. Rheta Chen (r) this past May in Jamaica.

Update: We have since received a letter of acknowledgement from Alpha’s current principal,
Mr. M. Singh, for the cheques to the Student Assistance Programme.

The Sister Mary Bernadette Little, R.S.M. Academic Scholarship
   In honour of our venerable and beloved headmistress emeritus, CMAA has instituted “The Sister Mary Bernadette Little, R.S.M. Academic Scholarship”. The scholarship is valued at $3000(U.S.), ---$1,000 each year for a maximum of 3 years-- and will be awarded annually to an upper-sixth form student to defray college costs at a tertiary institution in Jamaica or abroad. Plans are afoot for a delegation from CMAA to go to Jamaica in October to make the inaugural presentation at Alpha’s annual Prize-Giving.

Big Sister/Little Sister Program
   In an effort to provide mentoring and foster unity between the current and previous generations of Alpha girls, we are working on a Big Sister/Little Sister Program. The concept is for each alumna to “adopt” a “Little Sister”, from a pool of the most disadvantaged students. The logistics of long-distance mentoring notwithstanding, this is an important link to nurture. The program is not intended to replace parental duties or support, nor is a mentor expected to provide any financial support. Rather, the idea is to nurture and groom young ladies who may be in need of, and may truly benefit from, such a relationship as that which a “Big Sister” could provide. The program is still in the developmental phase. Please consider getting involved. Feedback and ideas are also welcome.

Web Page
  Thanks largely to the gargantuan efforts of Addy Chin-Ogilvie and Anne-Marie Miles, our long hoped for and much anticipated website is up and running! It still has tweaks to be tweaked, but has photos, news, and much information. Check it out at: !

The next CMAA Event will be our participation in the Jamaican Jerk Festival. Alpha  Academy as well as other alumni associations from across the island will have booths on Alumni Row. We will be selling a variety of treats and wearables The Jerk festival will be held on November 9th at Markham Park in Broward County. with a variety of items to buy and activities to do. Come join us!

In order for our projected missions to be accomplished, we are in great need of your support. Support may be in the form of word, deed or sowing of a seed. There is so much yet that needs to be done. No amount or effort is too little --- big or small. “Every mickle makes a muckle”, so give what you can; do what you can…

For those living outside of Florida, please spread the word.

Stay in Touch. Get Involved. Give Back.

C.M.A.A. SPRING FLING Dinner-Dance Report


L –R: Treasurer Espie Andrade (Dunn) touts the merits of appropriate cups for various beverages; photographer Provost caught on the other side of her camera; Committee members Penny Lee (Fung) and Elaine Bloomfield (Diah) still smiling after a hard night of final prep for the Spring Fling Dinner Dance


The much-anticipated Spring Fling Dinner/Dance, this past April 19th, 2008 was a BLAST!
The event, as anticipated, was sold-out-hot! It totally exceeded our expectations in so many ways. Such energy! The Alpha family fellowship, the great Jamaican food, the disco music and dancing; the atmosphere of love, laughter; the pulsating music of the live band rocking the Graham Centre ballroom ’till the wee hours; Sister B. on the dance floor (---YES, you read right--)… man, what an evening!

If you did not “mark your calendars, book the airline tickets, hire the babysitter and book the limo” as instructed, well… you missed a truly special night. We can only render this profound titbit of advice… Nex’ time when we tell yu fi do sinting— d’weet!!!
...and we’ll be looking to see you at next year’s Spring Fling Dinner/Dance!

The Graham Centre ballroom on the main campus of Florida International University was the venue for our fund-raising Dinner/Dance. Outside, it was a balmy Florida spring Saturday evening replete with twinkling stars; inside, the pulsating rhythms of the
Mighty Vikings Band featuring
Road March King Roger George, were stars of a different kind, who rocked the ballroom ‘til the early morning. DJ Pablo of Hardcore Disco also thrilled revellers with his selections.

Now, about the “Sister B. on the dance floor…” part: Yes indeed, Sister Bernadette was seen participating in the festivities. Apparently she was inveigled by one of her darling girls (who shall remain nameless) to cut a rug. It must have been one of those Class of ’67 Old Girls…
Indeed, her address contained a reference about Mother Claver exhorting her nuns to embrace the joys and benefits of life and to express praise for the Almighty through dancing. Therefore, it seems
that the least she could do was to set an example and demonstrate! And, no she did not leave early, but instead locked down the dance with the whippersnappers in the wee hours of the morning (See photographic evidence in the picture gallery)!

Our Spring Fling Dinner-Dance Raffle was well-supported. The winners were:
1st PRIZE-- Carol Samuel of Miami, (a Saint Andrew High alumna) --two round trip tickets to Jamaica (donated by JAMFLIPS, Inc., Penny Lee and Leila Chen)
2nd PRIZE-- Curzon Thompson of Miami --a 26” HD LCD Television (donated by Javier Daley & Patsy Lee)
3rd PRIZE-- Lyndsey Seow of Cutler Bay-- a Cruiser Mountain Bike (donated by June Chin

Raffle prize winner Carol Samuel (1st prize)

Raffle prize winner Lyndsey Seow (3rd prize)


A limited number of Souvenir Programmes for the Spring Fling Dinner Dance are available and may be had for $2(U.S.). Mail cheques to our P.O. Box address: P. O. Box 970943, Miami, FL 33197-0943.
Get yours today!

Below are excerpts from President Patsy Lee’s address, given at the Spring Fling Dinner Dance.

Madam of Ceremonies, Hon. Consul General of Jamaica, Mr. C.P. “Ricardo” Allicock & Mrs. Allicock, Sister Mary Bernadette Little, retired principal of Alpha Academy, Mrs. Olga Azan, Chairman of the Board of the Convent of Mercy Academy “Alpha”, distinguished guests, friends and supporters of Alpha, my dear Alumnae:
They say that “Brevity is the soul of wit” – so I’m going to try my level best tonight to be wise and, therefore, to be brief. I know my Jamaicans…less talk and more fun!

…True to our Mercy teaching, we have once again joined forces and efforts to extend our assistance to the students of our beloved Alma Mater, Convent of Mercy Academy “Alpha”. Not too many mango seasons ago, when we graduated from that distinguished and legendary educational institution, and exited the portals of 26 South Camp Rd, we did so in the shelter of each other, confident and equipped with the knowledge to make the right strides into the unknown real world. Today, as we network and interact among each other, we can readily say with deep gratitude: “Thank you, Alpha, you did a stupendous job!” Alpha girls globally, no matter what their positions in life, have made their mark and made it decisively. Our successes, firstly, as caring human beings and then professionals, and may I add excellent mothers, is a testament to and a manifestation of the Alpha Legacy.

And this is what we are all about – to keep this legacy alive and flourishing by engaging in the life of the young minds at Alpha. And our focus is not only on Alpha’s students, but it is this Association’s intention to network closely with our fellow Alumni Associations to see how together, we can best help, not only the students of our respective Alma Maters, but we can join forces, galvanize, and develop a huge extension of assistance to every student of our beloved, beautiful little Rock, Jamaica. For now, we have to be visionaries for these young minds. We have seen and experienced the constant changes in the commerce world and international marketplace, and we are aware of how equipped and competitive we need to be to survive. God made us stewards of this earth, and of each other. Let’s be good stewards of these children and realize how important a role we need to play in helping them to have hope, vision and confidence to blaze a trail to the future….An investment in knowledge pays the best interest!

Last year the graduates of the 70’s had their reunion and turned it into a fundraiser, to the point where they were able to use the proceeds of that event to establish a Media Centre at Alpha. Two weeks ago, most of the equipment was shipped and, hopefully, before year’s end, this facility will be operable and our girls will be better able to advance with modern technology.

… The teachers at Alpha are making sure that our girls are “on the mark”, and it is evident in the high level of passes the 5th formers achieved in the last C-SEC exams and the 6th formers at the CAPE exams which is the equivalent to GCE Advanced Level. Our girls have also been excelling at sports, and at the 2008 Girls Champs they gained 2 gold, 3 sliver and 2 bronze medals and our 8th grader student, Tatiana Wolf was adjudged Champion Class 4 Athlete of this championship. In the World Youth Games 2007, Shermaine Williams, a 12th grader, came second in the 100 meter hurdles and was offered a scholarship at Johnson Smith University here in the United States. And, in the forthcoming PENN Relays between April 24 and 26, Alpha will be well represented.

…How inspiring it was for me to read in the Daily Gleaner the week before last Christmas where several adults were asked: “If you had one wish this Christmas what would it be?”…. and within those responses were 2 students of Alpha. The adults wished mostly for material things, but our 2 Alpha students wishes were that they would be given the opportunity to volunteer especially helping the street people and to clothe them, and to volunteer at family homes to help people living with HIV. When I read this, my heart melted and I had to remark: “WELL DONE ALPHA” and then I recalled what Mother Teresa once said: “In life we can always do great things, but we can do small things with great love”.

Before I sign off, I wish to say a few words to my fellow Alumnae: 128 yrs ago, Jesse Ripoll and our dear Sisters of Mercy did not have the luxury and benefits of modern technology, BUT they had a deep faith and genuine desire to uplift the less fortunate. Their achievements are legendary – AND WE ARE PRODUCTS OF THAT LEGEND. By your presence tonight, you have shown your care. PLEASE join your Association, BECOME ACTIVE and help to support your Alma Mater. Let us come together like never before to ensure that the efforts of Jesse Ripoll and the Sisters of Mercy will be timeless and enduring – WE OWE IT TO THEM! They have made sure that the Alpha tradition is second to none!! So my dear Alumnae: To the Good and the True – “Ad Verum et Bonum”.

…I am very honoured to make this most pleasurable and gratifying announcement. The decision has been made by the Executive Committee of Convent of Mercy Academy “Alpha” to establish a scholarship in honour or our dear Sr. Mary Bernadette Little, who we think is the epitome of grace and dignity and who, to this day, is one of our role models. The Sister Mary Bernadette Little Scholarship will be awarded to a needy student who demonstrates outstanding academic performance and it will be tenable at the 6th form level.


Welcome to the Spring Fling Dinner-Dance!
The ‘box office’ in the foyer of the Graham Center Ballroom

(L to R): Sister Bernadette poses with Marcia McPherson (Howell) class of ’76; The elegant and unique Ice Sculpture of the Alpha badge gracing the buffet table ; President Patsy Lee(r) poses for the on -site professional photographer with her longtime friend Mrs. Michele Rhoden

Alpha sisters reconnecting


(L to R): Sister Bernadette gives a brief address before the start of the festivities; new president Patsy Lee and Chairman of the board Olga Azan present Sister Bernadette with a gift of a Raymond Weil wristwatch on behalf of the alumni of the Florida chapter

(L to R): Succulent watermelon badge sculpture; Revelers wait patiently in the long buffet line; then afterwards—The Electric Slide!

“Dance have to cork; liquor sell off...”

Sister Bernadette shows what one can do when there is joy in your heart and the Lord in your life!

Anne Marie Miles (class of ’76): “You know, Sister Bernadette, it’s all of that trouble we gave
you back in our day that has kept you so young at heart and spry on the dance floor!
Sister Bernadette: (“I knew that I should have given this child more demerits and detentions!” )

(L) Jennifer Figueroa, poised and sophisticated in her Spring Fling finery; … Observes (Center) Road March King, Roger George and the Soca Competition participants; --Then, (R)…cuts loose and shows us how it’s done. Go ahead, Jen! Follow Me Now!


Finally, in the wee hours we get Sister Bernadette to open her gift ... Looks like a WINNER!!

Dancing down the house, it’s Addy ...........…Addy …..................Addy!                     The End!


Calendar of upcoming Alpha alumnae activities/events

 The next CMAA event will be our and participation in the Jamaican Jerk Festival. This will be held on November 9th at Markham Park in Broward County. Alpha Academy as well as other alumni associations from across the island will have booths on Alumni Row with a variety of treats and items for sale, as well as activities to do. Come join us!

 The next meeting of the executive committee is to be announced

BE Well. BE Blessed.
Be Safe and Enjoy your summer!!


Stay in touch. Get involved. Support your Alma Mater..

"Your hands have made me and fashioned me;
give me understanding, that I may learn your commandments."
 Psalm 119:73



Site designed and maintained by: Adrienne (“Addy”) Chin-Ogilvie and Anne Marie Miles © 2008