Friday, 19 February 2016

THE WOMEN AND THE (CAMERA)MEN: Energy’s leading ladies join forces + Junior Dowie and Ray Chen gone in a ‘flash’

GIRL ‘POWER’: It is always worth noting when a group of Jamaican women come together in the service of common goal. That said, anticipation is slowly building for next month’s Women in Energy Conference, which is being spearheaded by the female powerhouses at the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS). Under the theme “Doing Power Differently,” the conference – scheduled for March 10 and 11 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel – will feature several dynamic speakers from home and abroad who will engage the audience on a series of power-related topics for them to “learn, connect and inspire.” What’s more, the conference will give rise to conversations, as these women in power prepare to utilize their voices to address challenges and opportunities in this important and evolving sector. Among the confirmed presenters are Minna Israel (right) the energy ministry’s Hilary Alexander, UTech’s Dr. Ruth Potopsingh, Paymaster’s Ambassador Audrey Marks, Jacqueline Sharp (Scotiabank Jamaica), Tanya Meck of the Global Strategy Group and, of course, JPS CEO Kelly Tomblin (left). To learn more and to get the full conference schedule, log on to

HIS CANDID CAMERA: In addition to some of the most breathtaking still life and island imagery captured by his incantatory photographic lens, Ray Chen will be remembered for his transporting book Jamaica: My 50 Years in Photography, which was launched at Devon House in March of last year. Chen, who lived to produce stunning and vivid images of our island culture as a career photographer, passed away in his adopted Canada on Feb. 7. He will be laid to rest following a memorial service at the Elgin Mills Centenary Chapel in Toronto this Saturday. Introducing his work to a wide audience via books was important to Chen, who also published Jamaica: The Land and the People (1984) and 1993’s Jamaica: The Beauty and Soul of the Land We Love. Chen is survived by his wife, Linette, their two adult children and four grandkids. “His legacy will be how much he worked throughout his career,” says Linette Chen, “to make sure he captured the true Jamaica.”

THIS MAN’S WORK: Junior Dowie won so many awards for photography from the Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) that the body eventually named their Sports Photography trophy after him. That’s the kind of powerful impact Dowie had. The veteran cameraman, who headed The Gleaner Company’s photography department for several years, died earlier this week at the University Hospital after ailing for some time. Besides the multiple PAJ awards, Dowie was honored with numerous accolades throughout his 60-year career. Among the highlights: In 1992, the government of Jamaica made him a member of the Order of Distinction and in October 2005, the Institute of Jamaica presented him with a Silver Musgrave Medal for distinguished contribution to the arts in Jamaica. Funeral arrangements will be disclosed shortly. Dowie is survived by five children and two grandkids.

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