Wednesday, 14 March 2018

GOOD NEWS: Thespy winners to be announced March 23 + Jamaica Moves tackles childhood obesity + Chief Justice Bryan Sykes conferred with Order of J’ca

PRIZE WORTHY: Patrick Brown’s Right Girl, Wrong Address and David Tulloch’s White Skin, Black Heart lead the pack of contenders vying for top honours in the 2017/18 Thespian Spirit Awards (the Thespies). Both plays picked up six nominations apiece including bids for outstanding ensemble, acting and direction. Pressure Drop, the latest effort from Basil Dawkins, earned five nominations; the School of Drama’s revival of Moon on a Rainbow Shawl got four mentions, while Dahlia Harris’ Dat a Gwaan Jamaica and Fabian Barracks’ Wah Sweet Nanny Goat are up for three awards. Iconic leading lady Dorothy Cunningham is this year’s choice for the Louise M. Dunk Lifetime Achievement Award. Put on each year by TALLAWAH Magazine, the Thespies celebrate outstanding achievement in Jamaican theatre, with awards in eight categories. Winners will be announced on March 23. 

SIZING UP OBESITY: The 2017 WHO Global School-Based Student Health Survey shows that obesity rates in boys have almost doubled since 2010 – from 5.3% to 10.3%. Among girls, there has been a marked increase from 6.7% to 9.9%. In response to the findings, Jamaica’s Ministry of Health has announced that its flagship programme, Jamaica Moves, is about to be introduced to schools (as of April) to help in the fight against obesity. According to the MoH, the programme will target, in addition to students, parents and educators to engage them on the role healthy eating and physical activity play in long-term development. The programme will also enforce regulations to create healthier school environments. 

IT’S OFFICIAL: Justice Bryan Sykes has been conferred with the Order of Jamaica (OJ), the country’s fourth highest honour. The investiture coincided with his official swearing in as Jamaica’s new Chief Justice, during a ceremony on March 1 at King’s House. “I wish to thank God and our Lord Jesus Christ for elevating me, by way of the decisions of man, to this position of trust and leadership,” Sykes said in his response. “To be head of the country’s judiciary is an awesome responsibility. It is not one that I take lightly.” Casting a keen eye over the justice system, Sykes noted that some aspects of the court system du jour will have to be reviewed and replaced with more modern methods. Sykes succeeded Zaila McCalla, who is now enjoying retirement.

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