Tuesday, 30 March 2021

PEOPLE IN THE NEWS: Olive Senior is Jamaica’s new Poet Laureate / Leon Bailey teams up with Food for the Poor / Laura Heron takes over as NEHRA Chairman

>> WOMAN OF HER WORD: Celebrated author Olive Senior is the new Poet Laureate of Jamaica (2021-2024). Her ceremony of investiture took place last Wednesday, conducted by Governor General Sir Patrick Allen. Senior takes over from Lorna Goodison, whose tenure came to an end at the close of last year. A multi-prize-winning scribe (the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize, the Musgrave Gold Medal, the OCM Bocas Literary Prize, the Jamaica Centenary Medal for Creative Writing), Senior says her plans include the promotion of eco-poetics, in a bid to encourage Jamaicans “to protect and celebrate the environment.” 

>> GOOD SPORT: Reggae Boy and international soccer star Leon Bailey has signed on as the newest ambassador of Food for the Poor Jamaica. “His intention, through the foundation, is to give back to the people of Jamaica, especially the children who are in need,” says manager Craig Butler. “We thank Food for the Poor for the opportunity to support their cause this way.” The moment also ties in with the launch of the Leon Baily Dare to Care Foundation, which will construct a state-of-the-art facility in Mona, complete with medical clinic, classrooms, stadium seating and artificial turf field. Bailey will represent the charity while promoting Food for the Poor brand awareness.

>> THE ADVOCATE: “The most important thing is to try and get the country back to a position where people can get back to work, in a very significant way,” says recently appointed Chairman of the North East Regional Health Authority (NERHA), Laura Heron. She succeeds the late Tyrone Robinson, who died in January. Heron comes to the post with a wealth of public- and private-sector experience. At present, she is Director of Guardsman Group Ltd, Deputy Chair of the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo.) and a director at Jampro. But Heron’s primary focus is on marked improvement to the hospitals and health centres in her jurisdiction (St. Ann, St. Mary and Portland). “We have some significant work to be done,” she says, “in terms of improvement of facilities that I’m trying to spearhead as well.”

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