BY: KABRENA ROBINSON
An essential component of the annual occasion that is Mother’s Day is the gesture of gratitude. A day set aside to honour the resilience, strength and devotion of Mothers worldwide.
The first annual Mother’s Day Brunch and Gala held inside the Jamaican Canadian Association (JCA) centre was an afternoon filled with merriment, delightful entertainment and laughter. The event, a special devotion to mothers, featured a wide array of prominent speakers and entertainers. The ballroom embellished with pink and white decor for the evening reflected the theme of the afternoon, which was focused around womanhood and motherhood.
The evening commenced with a special dedication to all mothers by the event’s MC Miss Letna. In her opening remarks, Ms. Letna spoke of the history behind the celebration of Mother’s Day which featured the tale of Anna Jarvis, an American activist from the 1900’s who after the death of her own mother advocated for a special day dedicated to celebrating mothers and the sacrifices they made for their children.
“Every woman in the audience here today is an epitome of grace and strength,” said Ms. Letna. “We must not forget the work that they do each and every day; we should celebrate them every day”.
The evening of diverse entertainment kick started with an air of comedic relief. Sandra Whiting took to the stage to delight the crowd with a story about Anansi- a mischievous African folklore character and a tale surrounding the struggles of womanhood. Both items were successful in lightening the mood of an evening that promised a full program of entertaining performers and speakers.
Following the ebullient selection form Whiting, the stage was graced by the Hon. Jean Augustine, a prominent and notable figure who holds the distinction of being the first black woman elected to the Parliament of Canada.
Ms. Augustine began her speech by addressing the audience on the importance of recognizing First Nation individuals. The recognition by Augustine emphasized how important it is for Canadians to acknowledge the great efforts towards nation building that were made by these individuals. She went on to speak about the importance of celebrating mothers around the world.
“There is the old African saying, it takes a village to raise a child and so the theme today is that every woman is a mom, every woman is a mother in the African sense to all the children around,” Augustine expressed to the audience.
“In this room today, all of us are a part of that village.”
The day of devotion also featured a few musical renditions ranging from soulful and mellow performances to some upbeat and vivacious ones. Musical selections came from the melodious Afro-Caribbean Jazz Band featuring Vincentian artiste Yellow who kept the mood alive with a set of electrifying performances while meals were being served.
Other performers Chris Hayles, Winston “Boyo” Hammond and Tony Anthony gave a medley of melodic tunes that were all dedicated to the evening rendered to the celebration of motherhood.
While all speakers and performers gave tributes that reflected the theme of Mother’s Day such as poem selections from Chris Swasey and a powerful and uplifting tribute by Dewitt Lee, there were also performances that were aimed to evoke humour. Notable Jamaican stand-up Comedian Sabu had attendees in a state of euphoric frenzy with his performance portraying a witty and flamboyantly dressed “country man”.
However, the evening while filled with a bunch of entertainment, did not lose sight of the main goal which was the coming together of the community to celebrate and acknowledge the significance of mothers in homes and in the wider society.
As this occasion was a huge success, the organizers are looking forward to continuing this annual celebration of mothers and women who have been a significant part of “the village that continually raises a future generation.”