Saturday, 22 October 2016

SOCIETY, SOCIETY: Marigold Harding’s busy new life; how the stock exchange grows…

If you thought Marigold Harding retired as Custos of St. Andrew to walk off into the golden sunset with hubby, Ossie, think again! The lay magistrate and horticulture maven is actually busier than ever and fully enjoys having a full plate. “It is certainly not a honeymoon period. I’ve just transferred my energy from one area to the next,” she tells us, looking effortlessly regal as ever at King’s House on Monday. “Right now I’m working with the Down’s Syndrome Foundation and the Autism Foundation. I’m Vice-Chair of the National Parenting Committee. I’m on the board of the National Gallery and I serve on the Devon House committee.” And her international work in the field of horticulture continues to bring a smile to her face. “That’s a permanent part of my life,” she says. “[Horticulture] is my passion, so I’m always on that.”

Having topped Bloomberg’s 2015 list as the best performing stock exchange in the world, how are things at the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) these days? “The market has been quite good. There are a lot more companies coming to market, a lot of new products have been introduced, and many more young people are now interested in the market. So the market is growing,” the charming Marlene Street-Forrest told us, moments after being presented with the Order of Distinction (Commander Class) for outstanding leadership in the growth of the JSE. Can Jamaica top the Bloomberg list for a second straight year? Auntie Marlene laughs. “It’s difficult to replicate that kind of success two years in a row,” she admits, “but [the market] is on a trajectory to do very well in the future.” 

According to Dr. Denise Eldermire-Shearer, the Order of Jamaica insignia she received on Monday for her distinguished advocacy for senior citizens in the fields of health and welfare was not just for her but for all the collaborators who make the work possible. “It’s a tremendous honour, but it’s for a lot of people’s work, and I’m humbled to receive it on their behalf,” she told TALLAWAH. So what’s next? “We will continue the work and the research,” she says. “The research is critical.”

Among the women, Mrs. Harding (a vision in eye-popping blue) and OD recipient Lilieth Nelson (who brought rays of sunshine in vivid yellows) were in their head-turning element. But on the men’s side, those who side with Sir Patrick Allen (above) and those impeccably attired guards of honour will get no argument from us.

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