Hello, Chapter Members and all the Alpha Family!
This is the first issue of 2010 of the CMAA Newsletter.
As always, we hope it finds you happy, healthy and
blessed! And as always, we exhort all Alpha Alumnae to
STAY IN TOUCH. GET INVOLVED. GIVE BACK!
As usual, much is afoot.
In this issue:
The November, 2009 inaugural
staging of ‘Mission Healthy Alpha’.
outreach was an overwhelming, heart-swelling success.
See special reports and pictures.
at C.B Smith Park held in Broward County in October.
Convent of Mercy Academy "Alpha" Association,
Inc. was voted the BEST
JAMAICAN SOCIAL CLUB/ASSOCIATION for 2009 in
the Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach, Florida,
area. This was part of the Best of Jamaica Worldwide
Survey taken by
Special write-up on Alpha Florida
Chapter's Mission Healthy
"MISSION: HEALTHY ALPHA" Project
Mission Healthy ‘Alpha’
was an initiative conceived by
Alpha alumna and executive
committee member Dr. Sandra
Lawrence (class of ‘75), whose
medical practice is in Ft.
Lauderdale. It is a landmark
initiative on which the Florida
Chapter decided to embark, as it
was felt that we needed to have
more personal and meaningful
‘hands on’ interaction with the
students at Alpha. This Mission
was used to “spread the health’
to our ‘little sisters’ as we
believe that good health is
fundamental to the overall
performance and success of every
This project was a health information and advocacy
endeavour which highlighted to the students the benefits
of adopting a healthy lifestyle. It covered basic
health screening with workshops and lectures which the
students found to be very informative and helpful.
Manned booths had displays on health matters including
Breast Cancer Awareness, Lupus and Sun Protection, Blood
Pressure and Cholesterol, Dental Hygiene, Vision,
Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Grooming and
Personal Care Packages and Educational Literature were
distributed to each of the 1,350 students, which were
What a rousing and eventful week! It was
hard work, but worth every minute. It was filled with
warm moments, moving stories and meaningful, productive
interactions between the current students and our
Florida Chapter members who participated. Principal
Singh and Alpha faculty and staff welcomed and
accommodated us genially and were very supportive of our
The Prime Minister, Hon. Bruce Golding, made his
appearance on the final day of the Fair to congratulate
and encourage the Florida Chapter on their achievement.
He noted that all of our hard work and effort were
appreciated by all. In addressing the students he
implored them to take care of their health.
Judging from feedback of the Executive Committee's Mission
Healthy 'Alpha' Team to
Alpha Academy, the success of the Mission surpassed all
expectations!! "Nuff" Personal
Care Packages and learning. Workshops and Lectures were
well attended. Our "little sisters" expressed deep
appreciation and their calls for an encore in 2010 were
All our plans and hard work could not have been
accomplished were it not for the benevolence of our
generous sponsors both in Jamaica and Florida.
Bountiful appreciation and respect to the Jamaica
Defence Force, Alpha alumnae from Florida and Jamaica,
and all the doctors, dentists, health care professionals
and lecturers who gave so willingly and kindly of their
time, expertise and and talents.
By the grace of the Almighty, we were able to seize upon
a seed of an idea and nurture it to fruition. Our little
sisters were euphoric, Mr. Singh, the Alpha faculty and
staff were delighted-- and we could humbly say at the
end of the day: MISSION WELL ACCOMPLISHED!!!
poster says it all!
interns hard at work
Blood pressure check:
Don't worry dear heart this won't hurt a bit!
Committee members Javier Daley bringing smiles
Alumnae Helen Lynch and Elsie Lou explain breast
Alumnae L-R: Helen Lynch, Jean Lowrie-Chin, and
Sandy Lawrence(R) pose with guest lecturers
interns hard at work
interns hard at work
Mission Healthy Alpha
Committee Members at Opening Ceremony
Prime Minister Hon. Bruce Golding addressing
Sandy Lawrence addresses assembly and welcomes
Prime Minister Hon. Bruce Golding
“First”! CMAAA held its Halloween Picnic
on October 31st,
2009. Everyone had a great time and the costumes were
amazing! The turnout was great. Many of our alumnae,
with friends and families, as well as other schools’
alumni associations showed up to party. The menu fare
was absolutely delectable—catered by alumna Betty Chang
and husband Ernest. DJ Bonnitto had the crowd
rollicking with his musical selections. The games and
the hilarious antics of the participants (many of whom
were in search of lost ‘age-papers’) were worthy of
SPECIAL THANKS to all who attended and
ALPHA FLORIDA CHAPTER
AT THE TRUCK STOP
Contributed by Addy Chin-Ogilvie
Predictions of a cold night on Saturday, January 2, 2010, in South
Florida were more than accurate. Our hearts stopped as
the temperature gauge gradually fell from the mid-60’s
to that of the low 40’s. It was too late to make
alternate plans for “indoors”. We were shivering in
our shoes, literally and figuratively. It was very
“cowl!” Questions were raised as to the status of the
event: “Oonoo still having di ‘ting’ tonight?”
Despite the odds, I drove to Truck Stop with a very disheartened
affect. There were a few customers who were huddled in
jackets, long coats, scarves, gloves and tams waiting
for take-out meals. I pondered for a moment and thought
to myself: “But what is this? How Truck Stop look like
Alaska so?” I further noticed the DJ’s were “warming
up.” My attention was immediately drawn to Sean Paul’s
“Temperature” reggae report: “Well woman the way the
time cold I wanna be keepin’ you warm, I got the right
temperature for shelter you from the storm….” How
coincidental and ironic!
Bring it on Sean Paul, not only for me but for the rest of the
world! I was greeted warmly by the initial handful that
showed up, the caterers and DJ’s. Needless to say, a
cold, dreary night with minimal expectations did in fact
turn out to be a BLAST! What a pleasant surprise!
Alpha Florida Chapter has so much to be thankful for!
As the clock ticked, “nuff” people rolled in. Within no
time, word got out: “Dem selling fish tea. Hurry up
before it sell off!” And the scurrying began for a
taste of the “warm blanket” and more.
Majority of our guests came from our own alumnae, family and
friends, and various alumni associations. “School like
dirt!”: Cornwall College, Montego Bay High, Mount
Alvernia, Calabar, KC, JC, ICHS, XLCR, Munro, St. Jago
High, Camperdown, Meadowbrook, Ardenne, Campion and STGC.
Cornwall College and Mount Alvernia cornered off one
section of Truck Stop, while XLCR, Camperdown and
Montego Bay High took the center stage. My mind started
to play tricks on me again: “Weh mi deh now?” “Is this
Boys’ Champs?” “Girls’ High School Swimming
Championships?” Sounds of voices and laughter
penetrated the stillness of the air. Happiness, warmth
and love rejuvenated the Christmas spirit and extended
New Year’s celebrations.
From the “get-go”, Alpha Florida Chapter’s selected DJ’s did not
ease up for one minute on the WICKED music. My usual
and designated job, even at other schools’ functions,
was to “crank up the dance floor”. No Problem, Mon!
“Tek Plan B and run wid it!” The heavy duty musical
‘riddims’ of 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s dancehall and soca
medley conquered like the “Lions of Judah” from around
12:30 a.m. to closing time, 2:00 am.
They didn’t just “tear up” Truck Stop. They shredded it to pieces.
It ultimately became Truck Non-Stop! The house rocked!
Everybody was jamming! A whistle was blowing! And “man
a lick shot” with fake vocal sounds! “What yuh just seh?
The music sweet and it hold yuh?” Amen, my Brother, and
rightfully so! What a bitter-sweet ending for all of
Our event could not stand alone without its usual loyal patronage
and support. Special thanks to caterer, Chris
Alexander, DJ’s Wesley Bonnitto, Mark Swaby, “Prento”
Deans and Gary Chin, and ALL who braved the cold to
support Alpha Florida Chapter’s New Year Social and Blow
Out! Someone jokingly remarked: “See Santa deh pon di
house top!” Santa or no Santa, we had a great time! We
certainly appreciate your sharing your time with us for
a Northern New Year in South Florida, Jamaican Style!
On behalf of the Alpha Florida Chapter, HAPPY NEW YEAR
and MANY HAPPY RETURNS!
Year Blow Out, Jamaican Style at Truck Stop! HAPPY NEW
YEAR and SEE YOU FOR MORE ACTION IN 2010!!!!!!
CALENDAR OF UPCOMING EVENTS
MEETING WILL COMMENCE
AT 11.00 A.M.
and not 1.00 p.m.
- The next CMAA executive committee will be
SATURDAY, February 6th 2010 –
A weekend of barrels of fun and laughter is heading
your way! Our participation in the "TRUE BLUE
WEEKEND", April 16-18 with Jamaica College, STGC,
and St. Andrews will only add to the aura of making
SPRING FLING DINNER DANCE
3nd Annual CMAA Spring Fling Dinner Dance April 17,
2010. Graham Centre, F.I.U. Main Campus.
2010 will mark the 15th Anniversary of the CMAA
Florida Chapter, which will be celebrated at this
SPRING FLING DINNER DANCE
singular, MAJOR fundraising event that funds all of
our annual programs for Alpha. Please come out and
support this fundraising event!
MARK THE DATE! Find a date! Hire de limo! Book the
babysitter!!! Join a partner fi’ raise a plane fare
money!! Whatever you do,
MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE
We will be having RAFFLE at the event and are asking
EVERYONE to participate in the sales. Calling all
“RAFFLE BOOK WARRIORS”!!!! -- please write, email or
phone us to send you some raffle books to let loose
on your family, friends and co-workers!!
Other 2010 events hosted by our own alumnae and Alma
Classes of 1985-1990 Reunion (April 30-May 2) and
Ø Alpha Academy Alumnae Association's 116th Anniversary of
the Convent of Mercy Academy (Alpha) (May 2-8), both in
As some of you may have already heard, Sister Bernadette
was robbed recently at Mount Mercy in Widcombe,
Jamaica. CMAAA Florida Chapter President, Patsy Lee,
spoke directly with Sister who approved the attached
letter to be sent out regarding details of the incident
and how we (the alumnae body) can help.
**At this time, Sister is requesting that the attached
information NOT be made public via
social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace,
January 11, 2010.
hope that you all enjoyed a wonderful Christmas
celebration with your family and friends and I wish for
you a Healthy, Blessed and Peaceful 2010.
Quite recently I received news of a robbery at Mount
Mercy Convent in Widcombe, Jamaica. I needed to confirm
that this happened and so I telephoned Sister Bernadette
over the week-end. Sister confirmed that she was held
up by a hooded gunman in early December last. The
gunman entered the Convent by forced entry on the lower
floor, went up to the upper floor where a Jesuit
Seminarian was doing his retreat, robbed the Seminarian
of all his monies and proceeded to the floor which
houses the Sisters. He broke down Sister Bernadette’s
bedroom door and demanded money. In summary, he stole
all the money from her wallet, stole her cellular phone
and her cherished gold chain with her Mercy Cross. She
was able to contact the Nurse in the adjoining building
and instructed her to hit the ‘Panic Button’ to alert
the security force.
Fortunately, no one was physically harmed. However, in
the interim, the Sisters of Mercy have had to employ a
security guard from 6.00 p.m. to 6 .00 a.m. each day
and, naturally, this has been very costly. Sister
Bernadette has informed me that she has received
approval from her Superior to erect a security fence.
The estimate to erect the security fence is
approximately 1.6 million Jamaican dollars.
Sister Bernadette has given me permission to appeal for
any monetary assistance from the Alumnae body to help to
defer the expense of having the security wall built.
From memory, this is the first time I can ever recall
Sister Bernadette asking for monetary assistance for the
Sisters of Mercy in Jamaica. She has requested that all
donations be made payable to the Sisters of Mercy
and mailed to the following: CMAA Inc, P.O. Box
970943, Miami, FL. 33197.
aware of the economic storm that we are all
experiencing. However, the real measure of a person’s
wealth is what they have invested in mankind, and the
Sisters of Mercy have invested so much in us that
notwithstanding our economic woes, we are called to
reciprocity with gratitude and love.
bless you all and please remember the Sisters of Mercy
in your prayers.
President – Florida Chapter
The Sister Mary Bernadette Little Academic Scholarship
The 2009 Sister Mary Bernadette Little, R.S.M. Academic
was awarded to STACEY ANN WALTERS. It is
valued at $3,000(U.S.), ---$1,000 each year for a
maximum of 3 years-- awarded annually to an upper-sixth
form student for a tertiary institution in Jamaica or
“Take on” of the Library
One ongoing project is the restocking of the Alpha
Library. Classic literary works such as
Shakespeare and Chaucer, authors such as Dickens, Twain
and Bronte, also Caribbean authors are just a few
examples. Textbooks and school-appropriate popular
reading will also be greatly appreciated.
Art Department Supplies
The Art department is in serious need of supplies:
Watercolours, oil paints, canvas, pencils, papers,
gesso, brushes, Conte crayons, pastels...
If you have any art supplies at all—donate! If you are
going to Jamaica and are willing to make a delivery,
Our alma mater needs help. Please come out to play by
supporting and/or donating towards Alpha fundraisers and
events. You can have an impact on making our school
top-notch, not only in academics but in being a sound
and secure environment to bring forth the next
generation of strong women and future leaders! The Alpha
legacy and tradition must continue and depends on what
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 for our beloved
high school from which we have received so much. No
amount or effort is too little. Big or small, “every
mickle makes a muckle”, so give what you can; do
what you can…
Whether you are in Jamaica, the U.S.A., Canada or
Worldwide, YOUR ALMA MATER NEEDS YOU!!
Join the local chapter of your Alpha Academy Alumnae
Association. Do some good—get involved and have a
BLAST while doing it! Spread the word...
the Alpha Sisterhood and their Families
A Safe, Healthy, Happy & Successful New
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."