Rev. Dr. Basil Chambers
The bible says “lay hands on no man suddenly” for the Lord in his wisdom knows that there is no companion to preparation than success. However being a former trooper I am reminded that sometimes we are thrown into the deep end suddenly and it is our ability to respond determine that will determine survival…. So I’ve decided to make my faint attempt at a tribute to my former Principal having being asked at short notice.


Where there has been misunderstanding he  returns to clarify; Where there has been hatred he offers love. He is never without gifts and always without burden.


His multifaceted approach to leadership is an effective exemplar for the cadre of young educators under his care. His insatiable appetite for learning is unmatched, enviable and tireless
and a model for all students. His propensity to coach and develop human resources should be studied, recorded and enshrined for posterity


He served us from the inception when we were without form and structure to a point where we currently stand tall beside super powers like Campion and St. Andrews High for girls. And I can hear someone saying Mannings School but I don’t know about that!

He was selfless in his sharing and mentorship – giving often from his own resources. He may tire as humans his age are entitled to but his superlative intellect NEVER slumber and knows no bounds.


Who can blame him for not being a listener, skillfully walking between raindrops, being everyone’s friend, and at the end with an infectious bout of laughter returns to his independence
Yes he is not shy of criticizing or offering rebuke  but he doesn’t even spare himself so who can complain???? .


You never asked for favours but always what you can do for us… You have helped many students, parents and staff.


You walked with kings and queens but remained your own man. You amassed an intimidating reservoir of knowledge and yet you still seek for more.
Surely there are things you could have done differently. But there were sooooooooo many things you did right!!!!!!!!!

I will always remember the days I spent learning at your feet
I will remember your tenacity and courage…. and for serving us very well.

GOD bless you rev. Dr. Basil Chambers! I only hope that some day WE will be able to serve you even half as well.


Ray @ the reins



Once upon a time.

Once upon a time….

You are bubbling with excitement. Anxiety is at its peak. Why?  Because you know your partner is coming over and you will certainly be getting your freak on but…there is a little challenge. You need get some boots-  I mean CONDOMS but….

Once upon time purchase condoms – hell no!!!!!! On entering the store you would get sweaty palms and like a detective you conduct a scan of the store and when you think no one is listening you would lean into the cashier ears like a lover and whispers “may I have a pack of condoms please”.   If you are unfortunate enough to be dealing with a certain type of store clerk then your situation just got worst as immediately following your whispered order you hear a shout: “which type you want, Durex, Trojan, Rough Rider, wha…?  Now the entire store hears your business and you want to sink into the ground- So much for being discreet (bbm rolling of eyes). This was once upon a time.

Once upon a time, there was a pervasive propensity among some individuals to freely engage in risky practices such as having unprotected sex; having more than one partners; sharing needles, and a lot more. But all of that was, Once upon a time.

Today, with HIV virus and sexual transmitted infections (STI) on the rise, we can understand why the above actions are labeled “once upon a time”.   In 2009, more than 1.8 million people died from AIDS-related causes and “more than 7000 people are newly infected with HIV everyday.”   These statistics speak for themselves.  But the Caribbean is on the right path to lessen those figures as between 2009 and 2011, it has recorded the highest decline in aids related death.

December 1, 2012 is celebrated as World Aids Day under the theme “Getting to Zero”.  The Independent Actors Movement Theatre Company has joined the global fight to Zero New HIV infections.  You too can play your part in “getting to Zero”.  Here is how you can play your part:


Dor @ the reins


Haha! I can just imagine the numerous thoughts going through your minds when you saw this title. Certainly not what you think. Its all about the twists.


I always admire my friend Foxy’s hair.  The first time I saw it, my mouth dropped to the ground. Literally. All was left to do was scoop it up with the shovel. You must understand  this. It was unheard of to sport locks in the past. Growing up, the men who wore locks in my community had  ‘plaits’ that were red/brown, thick, lumpy, unkempt and totally unattractive.  So I am sure you can understand my reaction when for the very first time I saw locks that were Black. Fine. Neat. Drop dead gorgeous! I vowed I would one day sport that hair but of course, I needed the conviction.



One day, I just decided to sport natural look again. Getting the perm out was no fun. I almost lost my patience with myself. But the moment the perm was out I totally enjoyed my hair. I wore it loose most times with varying assortment of COLOURS. All this time I knew I wanted to sport lock but did not get the conviction.   But I should have known that from I decided to stop perming  I had the conviction or it was close.

Then it came.

It was 10:00p.m. I was laying in bed enjoying my favourite past-time (reading) and the thought said “I am going to look my hair in the morning” and I responded “ok”.  Can you believe that? Actually talking to my thoughts! I jumped from atop the bed and looked beneath it and in closet to see if I was really alone…but as it turned out, I was alone and I wasn’t dreaming.  I was up at first light the following morning and sat before the mirror….. its been almost eight (8yrs) since and my locks is flowing….Love it.

  (this was 2011) MY HAIR!

Please! Do not touch it

I do not enjoy people touching my hair without my permission. As a matter of fact, it is not polite to touch other people’s hair without permission….well some of us don’t care.  I was on my way to work in a cab sporting one of my fabulous hair get-up. This lady sitting beside me kept looking….and looking…and looking…. Suddenly, the woman reached up, grabbed my head and spun me around. Shocked! Disturbed! PETRIFIED!   I quickly pulled away and with my bulging eyes, gave her a long hard look.

Woman (reaching towards me again): turn round deh

Me: I beg your pardon?

Woman (still reaching for me): turn round nuh, mi want see the style

Me :shoving her hand away): don’t you think the polite thing to do is ask me if you may look and TOUCH my hair

Woman: so wha you a gwan so fa?

Me: because it is my hair

Woman: lawd  missis, if you a turn round jus tun roun mek me see the hair style.  You a galang like is you one have hair. (hiss teeth, fold arms and glared at me)


Unbelievable!  I couldn’t wait to get out the cab. This lady did not see anything wrong with her actions. As far as she was concerned, she just wanted to see the hair style.  This speaks to the multiple characters in our society. Whether we like it or not, other characters like her exist and worse…run from them or face them.

Dor @ the reins

Awesome Threesome

“Hurricane warning is in effect for Jamaica. The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM)  is urging persons residing in low lying areas to move to higher grounds immediately!!!!”

That’s how the bulletins kept coming. The roads were busy and schools quickly sent home students to keep them safe.  Some persons remained in a state of worrination (worry) while  others ‘laugh’ and remain content.

The supermarkets/Haberdasheries or home depots

At a time like this, there is a mad dash as shoppers flock the supermarkets and haberdasheries/home depots making sure they stock up on extra things such as tin food items, breads, bottled water, tarpaulin, batteries, plywood, flashlights, generators you name it. The selves become empty;  restocked and emptied again in a cyclical manner. Can you imagine, two days before this warning you could hardly find a ‘dollar’ for anything extra but today, but with this pending catastrophe, the ‘dollar’ suddenly appears. Hmmm I wonder where it came from… But of course, the owners of these entities lick their fingers as they stand/sit from a vantage point and watch you scurrying and emptying their shelves. And if they are truly mean and cruel, they will be praying a silent prayer for a hurricane every three months.

There are several others such as the Service stations where lines are long as people  rush to secure petrol in preparation for the tropical storm. To what end? Where are you going to go in this weather?  But you may never know so just got to be prepared. But we can’t blame these business people.  As they say, some of us benefits from the misfortune of others. At these times, don’t you just wish you owned one of these businesses?

Awesome threesome!!!

Men!!! This is your perfect opportunity for that awesome threesome some of you often dream of. Guess what is the name of the tropical storm? You are right. It is SANDY!!!  A female!!!!!  And she is taking a trip to Jamaica. So, tonight,  tomorrow night or however long ‘she decides’ to stay in Jamaica, you know that when you hop in bed with your spouse, Sandy will be there with you ‘silently’ giving you bedroom instructions- whether it is to twist or turn, squeeze your spouse tighter, wrap tighter in your blanket etc…)

But guess what, Jamaicans by nature are very warm and welcoming and so they always go all out to ensure their visitors are well taken care of and will no doubt give to visitors the kind of treatment they deserve-real yardy style!!!! . So it is no surprise to see everyone busy preparing for Sandy’s first visit to Jamaica.

So I say to Jamaica, let us adhere to the hurricane tips, be vigilant and make the necessary preparations – evacuate if you must;  baton down; you know the procedures-  for Sandy and give her a treatment she will never forget that she will never want to make Jamaica her choice of destination again!!!

*pictures taken from google images

Dor @ the reins

School is Drama

The familiar scene opens with you being jolted from a deep sweet sleep by the alarm and you grumpily crawling out of bed to prepare to face the day ahead.   The moment you reach the vicinity of the education institution, the teacher or student persona takes over- you become the character.   But that is just the beginning.

Drama in discipline

In this scene, picture the expression on the face of a student when a teacher unexpectedly comes upon him/her using a cell phone! Priceless! But what is more  hilarious is watching the student with head tilted to one side like a pup who has lost one ear as he/she tries to  hide the phone in his/her collar and discreetly trying to balance it on their necks! Who the hell hides a cell phone in their collar?(dwl) Only students are so creative.  It gets better.   With the phone ‘discreetly’ hidden, you hear the voice coming through the phone “hello *Paula mi caan hear yuh. Paulaa…” and the student staring at you nervously.  Boy, oh how you want to have a good laugh at the student’s posture and expression but you the teacher MUST stay in character (stern teacher persona). But when out of their presence, you cart wheel and pupalick with laughter.

Dance off

This scene cannot be overlooked. It is always good to keep abreast with what is happening in students’ world. So despite your stern teacher disposition, there are those students who THINK it is their job to keep you up to date with the latest dance moves and music. And if you are a teacher like me, you will certainly NOT refuse.  (I always enjoy a good dance off with my ‘gyals’) .  Can you imagine your students telling you “miss you look like handicap”  yet when they are unable to do a dance move from your (teacher) childhood, they tell you “miss dem dance deh a old people dance”.  All you can do is laugh and share their excitement as it is all done in good grace. This makes your classes fun and students feel they can ‘level’ with you. (talk to you)

The disarming group

Then there is the scene where you have just had a rough class where student were just downright rude and did not complete assignments. Coupled with that, you had a running in with your supervisor/ a colleague and you are not in the mood to teach. You just want to go home but cant because you must teach the other class.  Then they come into your classroom bursting with excitement, big energy, showering you with compliments, stories from the previous class, poking fun at themselves and each other and suddenly, your day become BETTER.

this is what I am talking about!!!!!

The last Scene ends with you opening the door of your house, looking and feeling beat up and some of us heading straight for bed- right where you started the day.

The point is:

Teaching is hard!!!   So as I pause for a moment to reflect, I realize the various characters that school personnel take on each day and the various spectacle that is created and events that happen in the school environs and I say school IS drama. It lives up to what Shakespeare said about all the world’s a stage and men and women are mere actors.

*Name is fictitious

Dor @ the reins

We Want Justice

“We want justice! We want justice!”

Placard bearing mis-spelt words; women skimpily clad with hair unkempt and children at their sides accompanied by sounds effects of raucous screams “we want justice” forms the familiar scene we so often see.  (or that’s the part some newscast show)

Justice for what?

News reporter: It is alleged that the police shot and killed a man in Rat Town…

People: We want justice!

News reporter: A woman was killed by a motorist travelling along Pathway Avenue…

People: we want justice!

News reporter: Children are not going school because parents not working…

People: We want justice!

News reporter: “Fire destroyed a three bedroom dwelling in Johncrow Town. Fire fighters ascertain fire was caused by an illegal wire…”

People: We want justice!

…and the situations continue.

But the question is, are they really in a position to plea for justice? Do they really want justice? I question this cry for justice on the basis that the law enforcers on numerous occasions pratically beg citizens to give information to help prevent crime and violence but only a few respond. Some of these people screaming for justice are swift to call others “informa” when they give information that will aid in fighting crime. By doing this they are doing a gross INJUSTICE to the judicial system and Jamaica. So why do we cry for justice when we ourselves refuse to ‘give’ justice? Boy, sometimes we are so hypocritical!

Robbery of Justice!

Informa fi dead!

Really? (Raise my brows) We need to re-examine the word information from which this term ‘informa’ is derived “inform-a-tion”. The word is telling us to give information (to a source). Therefore, we can substitute the “tion” with several other words:

  • Inform-a-nation
  • Inform-a-people
  • Inform-a-child
  • Inform-a-government

… and the list continues.

These information we always find relevant and if we are not informed, how are we going to move forward? So what is this talk about “informa fi dead”?  By withholding information we are committing a robbery of the justice system.

Wash over gold!

Silence is not always golden. (In the case of seeking justice it is “wash-over-gold”!. Unsightly!) We need to speak out! When our children are young, we encourage them to be ‘informas’ by giving us inform-a-tion (inform-a-parent) immediately if they are violated in any way, shape or form; or if something happens in class they should INFORM the teacher. Yet, when they get older we silence them- “shut up yuh mout” or  “you chat too much” and then they too learn that “ informa fi dead”As adults we refuse to give information  on the things that are destroying us.  Based on this I ask, Is it that the meaning attach to the word informa is age driven? Hmmm!!!!! As a child it is okay to talk and as an adult it is not!

Yet we continue to recreate the familiar scene and echo the words “we want justice” like a programmed robot or automated machine.  But do we really know WHAT justice is? Think about it.

Dor @ reins