The Wkndr Tv Highlights Portland

The talented folks over at the Wkndr Tv had the great idea to feature Portland in the popular weekend lifestyle series. As such, I was more than happy when they invited me to share some of my hometown's best offerings with them.

See some behind-the-scenes shots captured during production.

Film crew captures the view from the Bonnie View Hill Hotel property

Wkndr Tv series host Donalee Curtis hanging out Dale Westin of the Errol Flynn Marina

The crew prepares to film a trip to the Blue Lagoon

Donalee makes a stop at Boston beach

Donalee, Kandice and O'rain relax in the Blue Lagoon after a long day of filming


GG Visits Fairy Hill Paper Project

Their Excellencies the Governor-General and the Most Honourable Lady Allen arrive at Nature's Handmade Paper in Fairy Hill.
The Fairy Hill Natures Handmade Paper Project, which I featured earlier here, yesterday hosted Their Excellencies, Governor-General, The Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen and Lady Allen as their islandwide tour took them through Portland. The modest gathering comprised members of the paper project, Fairy Hill Citizens' Association and local Justices of the Peace.

Gloria Dorman, project manager, led a tour of the facility which included a paper-making demonstration. The Governor-General was particularly impressed with the group's innovative use of recycled paper and local natural fibres in the creation of premium quality paper products. In his address to the group, he commended their resourcefulness and pioneering spirit. He also expressed a desire to see more communities in Jamaica employ this approach to solving the problems they face.

Here are a few photos I captured of the visit.

Entrance to the Fairy Hill paper project office.

Gloria Dorman, Nature's Handmade Paper Project Manager greets Sir Patrick Allen while Lady Allen looks on.

Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen and Lady Allen meet members of the Fairy Hill Citizens' Association.

Eulalee Cousins demonstrates the paper-making process.

Sir Patrick Allen addresses the small gathering

Cleo Bennett of the Social Development Commission continues the tour. 

Sir Patrick  and his team prepare for their departure.


Port Antonio Synchro Swimming Team Making Waves

Port Antonio Synchro Swimming team members; Jamielya Shaw, Charlotte Ausan, Shernet Swearine-Gullotta, Dajone Leslie, Ajoni Llewellyn and Nyouka Baugh 
The Portland chapter of the Island Aquatics Synchro (IAS) club has been creating waves on the local synchronized swimming circuit. The six-member Port Antonio Synchro team dominated the 3rd Jamaica International Synchronized Swimming championships in October 2011 with all six girls placing in top positions. Then, earlier this year, the team had all six members qualifying for the national team set to represent Jamaica at the CARIFTA swimming championships scheduled for April 2012. Here again, the team is expected to blow the competition out of the water.

The team's performance should come as no surprise, however, as the members are under the expert tutelage of double Olympic gold medalist for Russia, Olga Novokshchenova. Olga now lives in Port Antonio and meets with her team 4 times each week for syncrho training as well as beginner's swimming lessons.

I had the pleasure of meeting Olga and her team at the 3rd annual Port Antonio Synchronized Swimming show held at the Fern Hill Hotel swimming pool a couple weeks ago. Here are some photos of that event as well as a video showing the girls in performance. The team would love your support, especially in the form of sponsorship. So please feel free to email them at portisynch@yahoo.com if you are able to help in some way.

Port Antonio Synchro team about to perform

Port Antonio Synchro team in performance

Port Antonio Synchro team

Double Olympic gold medalist Olga Novokshchenova gives a stellar solo performance

Port Antonio Synchro team after a performance

Port Antonio Synchro Swim Team from Pretaportie on Vimeo.


Fairy Hill Women Empowered through Paper-Making

Welcome sign to Nature's Handmade Paper Project office 
The Nature's Handmade Paper Project has been a mainstay of the Fairy Hill community in Portland for over 20 years. The project grew out of the 'coming-together' of a few women to create employment and skills training for women in the area. Today, the group still stands strong creating employment and training in the art of paper-making for women in the Fairy Hill community. Project participants use recycled paper and plant fibres to create a variety of paper products including; guestbooks, photo albums, greetings cards, notecards and envelopes.

Over the years, the project has found support in the United States Agency for International Development's (USAID) Rural Enterprise Agriculture and Community Tourism (REACT) project. Local hotels, craft vendors and tourists have been major patrons of the group's handmade paper creations.

I had the wonderful opportunity of visiting with them last week and got a glimpse of the paper-making process, thanks to the adept Julia Smith. Here are some highlights of that visit.
To make orders or for more information you can contact Project Manger, Gloria Dorman at 876-993-8172.   
Julia Smith of Nature's Handmade Paper Project expertly demonstrates the paper-making process

Julia adds water to shredded paper before blending

Julia examines the pulp

The pulp is set in a mold

Plant fibre is often added to the pulp

Finished product made by Nature's Handmade Paper Project

More products from Nature's Handmade Paper Project

Handmade note cards


Free Winnifred Beach Benevolent Society Stages Peaceful Protest

Protestors gather in Port Antonio square.
If you were in Port Antonio this afternoon, you might have witnessed or participated in the peaceful demonstration organised by members of the Free Winnifred Benevolent Society, FWBS. The protest which got underway at about 12:30pm, was directed against the Urban Development Corporation, UDC, as part of the society's efforts to maintain free public access to Winnifred Beach.

Dozens of protestors marched through the Port Antonio square bearing placards and giving interviews to local media representatives in attendance.

Here are some photographs of the event, taken by Port Antonio photographer, Dr. Vidal Smith Jr.

Protestors marching through town centre.

Demonstrators being interviewed 


Port Antonio and Prêt-à-Portie Blog on Travel Channel International

I am delighted to learn that Travel Channel International chose to feature both Port Antonio and the Prêt-à-Portie blog in their recent "Its a Woman's World" series. The show follows host Camilla Andersen on her travels around the world as she meets and learns from local women.

This short video I've included shows part of her journey through Jamaica. Look out for the Port Antonio section which starts at 9:12. Enjoy!


Another Portie Photoshoot...

It comes as no surprise that Portland is the destination of choice for people given to creative expression. Musicians, singers, actors, movie makers and fashion directors are just some of the many who've found inspiration in this tranquil paradise.

Dawn is no different. A jewellery & fashion designer from Arizona, she fell in love with Port Antonio and felt compelled to photograph a few of her pieces here. The session was great; lovely weather, great location and awesome lighting. Here are a few of my favourites from yesterday's shoot.

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