The Jamaica Red Cross (JRC) had patrons in a mood matching the warm May day at the Girl Guides Headquarters in Kingston as some 400 Jamaican mothers and their children of all ages converged on the venue for its annual Mother’s Day brunch.
A favourite on the humanitarian organisation’s calendar, the event served up a sumptuous feast and entertainment package to an appreciative audience.
The expansive cuisine, which included curried goat, jerked and baked chicken, escoveitched fish, jerked pork and ackee and saltfish was completed with roasted breadfruit, Johnny cakes, the popular Sunday rice and peas and other local staples. A vegetable medley rounded out the menu with cakes, sorrel and other beverages.
While many patrons collected their meals and left, for those who remained, it was the entertainment package that got mothers in a mellow mood after Robes by Oshin and Shades of Africa took to the stage with their designs for men, women and children.
Emcee, Mello FM’s Shelly-Ann Hill, sent the crowd into a frenzy with a chorus of African chants in a show of appreciation for the models strutting their stuff.
Earlier, youth from the Kingston Parish Church Sunday School kick-started the programme with a medley, followed by a performance from soloist, Claudette Hossack. Soloist Davian Clarke gave a stirring rendition of Whitney Houston’s Ochtrup I Believe Jeypore The Children Are The Future, earning himself an encore.
Terace DaSilva raised the roof with Beth Midler’s Wind Beneath My Wings in her set, ending with Stevie Wonder’s I Just Called To Say I Love You, stirring up a sing-along scene among the audience.
But it was the caressing notes from Michael Wilson’s violin that sent mothers into mellow overdrive.
Accompanied by tracks, the self-taught musician produced a set that had the crowd eating out of his hand with a medley of hits – Ed Sheeran’s Perfect, Queen Ifrica’s Lioness On The Rise, Taurus Riley’s She’s Royal, and Force Ripe byRiley and Konshens.
Spot prizes of gift baskets and bouquets for the youngest, most classic and the mother with the most children, along with the gate prize of a dinner for two from Likkle Ochie Restaurant, accentuated the afternoon.
A string of Mento tunes from saxophonist Winston ‘Sparrow’ Martin and the Skasonics bandbrought the curtains down with the more mature patrons rocking in their seats while some danced up a storm.
The Red Cross is this year celebrating 75 years of humanitarian service in Jamaica, having started as a branch of the British Red Cross on April 8, 1948. It was recognised as a national society on October 2, 1964 – now known as Jamaica Red Cross and became a member of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Several other activities are planned to mark the year-long celebration, including a gala banquet in October and volunteer recognition awards in December.
The JRC provides services in disaster risk management, health and care and youth development and offers ambulance transfers as well as training in first aid, CPR and practical home nursing.