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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

January 2010

M.H.A. Rocks!  Students at the inaugural Mission Healthy “Alpha” project, at Alpha Academy. The project was conceived, initiated and presented by the South Florida Chapter at the school, November 12-13, 2009.

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’. This much-anticipated outreach was an overwhelming, heart-swelling success. See special reports and pictures.

Ø     CMAA Halloween Picnic at C.B Smith Park held in Broward County in October. 2009.

Ø     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 'Alpha' was also featured!


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 student. 

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 Aesthetics.  Personal Care Packages and Educational Literature were distributed to each of the 1,350 students, which were much appreciated. 

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 efforts. 

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 resounding.

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!!!


The poster says it all!

JDF interns hard at work

Blood pressure check:
Don't worry dear heart this won't hurt a bit!

Committee members Javier Daley bringing smiles to faces

Alumnae Helen Lynch and Elsie Lou explain breast self-examination procedure

Alumnae L-R: Helen Lynch, Jean Lowrie-Chin, and Sandy Lawrence(R) pose with guest lecturers

JDF interns hard at work

JDF interns hard at work

Mission Healthy Alpha

CMAA Committee Members at Opening Ceremony

Prime Minister Hon. Bruce Golding addressing assembly

Dr. Sandy Lawrence addresses assembly and welcomes Prime Minister Hon. Bruce Golding


Another “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 commentary! SPECIAL THANKS to all who attended and supported! 


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 us. 

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!!!!!!



  • The next CMAA executive committee will be SATURDAY, February 6th 2010 – MEETING WILL COMMENCE AT 11.00 A.M. and not 1.00 p.m.

  • 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 our SPRING FLING DINNER DANCE unforgettable!

  • 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 event. The SPRING FLING DINNER DANCE is our 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,

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!!


Ø   Other 2010 events hosted by our own alumnae and Alma Mater:
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 Kingston, Jamaica.   


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.

**NOTE WELL **At this time, Sister is requesting that the attached information NOT be made public via social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc...


January 11, 2010. 

Dear Alumnae: 

I 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. 

I am 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. 

God bless you all and please remember the Sisters of Mercy in your prayers. 



Patricia Lee,

President – Florida Chapter



The Sister Mary Bernadette Little Academic Scholarship

The 2009 Sister Mary Bernadette Little, R.S.M. Academic Scholarship 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 abroad.

o  “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.

o       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, contact us!


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 you do!

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...

 Wishing the Alpha Sisterhood and their Families

A Safe, Healthy, Happy & Successful New Year!

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



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