Laurie Foster: Good job Calabar High

first_img Add Russell ‘Midnight’ Thompson and his vivid story-telling – fiction with a sprinkling of fact – the five- or six-strong Wynter clan, all representing the black and green, and the call was like that following a Sir Garfield Sobers extra-cover drive – “not a man moved”. They all craved their ‘I was there’ status and had to be seen in the place – talk about distraction as the distant sound of a gunshot, piercing the air at intervals, indicating the start of yet another, seemingly irrelevant race. There was a cost for all this. Those highly anticipated races went by without the visual input of some of the most ardent followers of the sport. Thank you, ‘Stewie’ Spencer for passing by and bringing the group to attention as to what had been missed. It was a good day, and the hospitality of the homesters was first-class. It only needs a little fine-tuning to get the event in more spectator-friendly mode. Calabar has a tradition of excellence in the sport to uphold. Wint and McKenley started the trend, and those now in the limelight are carrying the baton, protected by a host of well-wishers. There can be no better way to concretise the tradition of the ‘Utmost for the Highest’. They were summoned to perform last Saturday, and the response was tumultuous. “Here, Sir.” Good job, Calabar! Saturday, January 23, 2016, was a significant day in the already richly endowed history of Jamaica’s track and field. It signalled the dawn of a new day in which Calabar High School hosted a track meet on a home-based, synthetic surface. The event was in honour of two of its athletic products who have etched their names in the annals of the sport around which the country has received its most global acclaim. That such prominence, privilege, and prestige should have gone to Red Hills Road was indeed fitting, given that school’s meaningful contribution to the process. The celebrants, Herb McKenley and Dr Arthur Wint, stand as the first two Jamaicans to record medals at the highest echelon of the sport. These came at the 1948 London Olympics when the country, not then an independent nation, huddled under the Union Jack, singing God Save the King, took gold (400m) and silver (800m) from Wint’s efforts, and silver (400m) from the McKenley performance. As if by a divine mandate, with the demands of history not to be denied, Saturday last was to feature a spectacle that could not have been accorded a more appropriate stage. On display, opening the year of the XXXI Olympiad, were two home-grown athletes of a more recent generation, both given to top world ranking at their age levels in the 400m, similar to Wint and McKenley. Javon Francis and Christopher Taylor have made their announcement that they would be factors to be considered when up against their global competitors. Francis took the spotlight at the 2013 Moscow World Championships after a spine-tingling anchor run in the 4x400m relay that plucked a silver medal out of nothing. His 44.00 split called to mind the gold medal, world record-breaking leg of 44.6 at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics by the undisputed great, Herb McKenley. Taylor ran to Jamaica’s only gold at the World Youth Championships in Cali, Colombia, last year, registering 45.27, not only a national youth (Under-18) record, but the second-best ever for a 15-year-old. If ever the healthy tradition was on the doorstep of repeat greatness, the time must be now – the prospect of it being cemented, mouth-watering. That the raison d’Ítre for being present was sidelined is testimony to the atmosphere and ambiance that was the Red Hills facility on the day. The presence of old stagers in local scholastic sport, representing the administrative, supporter or on-the-field cohort, detracted somewhat from the competition, however enticing. This columnist, in several aborted attempts to take up trackside viewing advantage, was thwarted by absorbing conversation with such sporting stalwarts as Bernie Panton of a former local governing body fame and a Calabar old-timer; ‘Bowla’ Morant of mid-60’s Fortis football glory; and Devon ‘Stone Age’ Smith, who they all acknowledged to have been a fierce middle-order batsman at the host school. NOT A MAN MOVEDlast_img read more


first_imgSinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty has said that the revised growth and unemployment forecasts contained in the Medium Term Fiscal Statement “demonstrates once again that the Government’s policy of austerity isn’t working”.The report, released by the Department of Finance has significantly revised down growth projections for 2013 and confirmed that unemployment will remain high in the coming years.Deputy Doherty said: “Austerity is strangling the domestic economy. It is blocking a return to growth and forcing more and more people into emigration and unemployment. “Today’s Medium Term Fiscal Fiscal Statement demonstrates once again that the government’s policy of austerity isn’t working.“Growth for 2013 has been revised downwards by 0.75% to 1.5%. While the Government has slightly revised upwards the projections for 2012 to 0.9% this is still lower than the 1.3% projected for 2012 outlined in last Decembers Fiscal Outlook.“The report also confirms the Government’s expectation that unemployment will remain high, at 13% in 2015. Astonishingly this means that the Government is planning for an unemployment level of 13%.“The reasons for all of this are very simple. Reducing government expenditure and cutting the disposable income of low and middle income people is keeping the domestic economy in recession. “Today we had a former Deputy Director of the IMF argue in the pages of the Irish Times that ‘perpetual austerity seems destined to fail.’ We also read reports in newspapers of a Grant Thornton study suggesting that the tax burden on ordinary families could rise by as much as €3,000 in December’s budget.“Today’s Fiscal Statement highlights once again the failure of austerity to revive the domestic economy. Yet despite all the evidence it seems that the Fine Gael and Labour look set to continue to heap the burden of the crisis on low and middle income families.“Unless the government abandon’s this failed policy of austerity and start to seriously invest in jobs and growth then the economy will not recover and the next Fiscal Statement will again revise downwards growth projections.” REPORT SHOWS AUSTERITY ISN’T WORKING, SAYS TD DOHERTY was last modified: November 15th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:REPORT SHOWS AUSTERITY ISN’T WORKINGSAYS TD DOHERTYlast_img read more

Vatican reviews gays as priests

first_imgFor more than four decades, the Roman Catholic Church has followed both the rules and reality concerning gay priests. The Vatican – as far back as 1961 – has made it clear they are not wanted. But many seminaries continued to tolerate what one conservative theologian calls a “lavender subculture” that’s brought perhaps thousands of homosexual men to ordination. Now those parallel worlds are coming under new and uncomfortable scrutiny. The Vatican is putting the finishing touches on a document that strengthens its view that gay orientation and the priesthood are essentially incompatible. But the text – which could be released as early as next month – reportedly will not impose a blanket ban on gay priests. Instead, it may demand years of chastity before entering seminary and prohibit any public acts deemed to support the sexually active gay community. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week If true, the Congregation for Catholic Education will be mostly bolstering existing Vatican positions rather than shutting the door completely on gay clerics as many liberal Catholics have feared. The question then becomes: What message is the Vatican hoping to send? Experts in church policies don’t expect widespread purges of gay clerics from parishes, schools and seminaries. Many places – particularly in Europe and the United States – are suffering under priest shortages and couldn’t risk further losses. What’s more likely, they say, is that bishops will gain new leverage to dismiss or sideline clergymen considered in open defiance of the document. Also, the Vatican statement may serve as a foundation for much more intensive screening of seminary candidates to try to identify – and possibly reject or discourage – those who are gay. “It could end up restricting entry into the priesthood to heterosexuals, which is a de facto extension of the existing teachings,” said R. Scott Appleby, a professor of religious history at the University of Notre Dame. “Even worse, it would place homosexuals into the position of hiding their orientation, lying and suppressing their identity or not entering the church.” Even some conservative Catholics wonder whether the church could become bogged down in internal contradictions from its own rules: If a priest remains celibate and loyal to other Catholic tenets, why does his sexual orientation matter? “This is where it gets very tricky,” said the Rev. Richard John Neuhaus, editor of the New York-based religious and public affairs journal First Things. He sees the upcoming document as an attempt to curb “a growing influence of gay lifestyles, or what’s been called a lavender subculture” in seminaries and other church institutions. But this can indirectly strike at one of the core elements of the Catholic priesthood – the belief that the call for a vocation can come to anyone. Estimates of the number of gays in U.S. seminaries and the priesthood range from 25 percent to 50 percent, according to the Rev. Donald Cozzens, a former seminary rector and author of “The Changing Face of the Priesthood.” Credible global statistics are not available. “There can be little doubt that over the centuries that there have been great priests, bishops – and maybe even popes – who by today’s criterion would be deemed homosexual in orientation,” Neuhaus said. “It’s not the nature of one’s temptations – be they sexual or something else – it’s how to deal with these temptations.” No place is this more an issue for church leaders than in the United States, where the nation’s bishops were launching a new campaign Friday to attract seminarians. The sex abuse scandals have forced an unprecedented introspection into the clergy and how to train future priests. In September, Vatican-directed inspectors started visiting all 229 American seminaries. Part of their mission is to seek any “evidence of homosexuality” at a time when some Catholics have put forward the highly contested premise that gay priests were more likely to be responsible for criminal behavior such as serial, same-sex molestations. Archbishop Edwin O’Brien, who leads the U.S. military archdiocese and is coordinating the seminary evaluations, strongly opposes any openings for gays in the priesthood. But apparently the document will offer some avenues – however narrow – for gay priests. Earlier this month, a senior Vatican official said the document may allow gay men into seminaries if they have lived a chaste life for at least three years. Other possible stipulations reportedly being discussed include forbidding gay seminarians or priests from making public comments or acts that would draw attention to their sexual orientation. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more