Empty Nest

Last year in May, I travelled to Baltimore for the annual meeting of Interfaith Ministers. It was a lovely event. There were some new faces and some well known. The highlight of the event is, to me, the simple grace of the ordination of the new ministers. As one of the first from AIHT. I will always have a special place in my heart for that experience. There were many more parts of the weekend which were as enjoyable. Just being at a new venue and staying at a delightful hotel added to the overall memories . Best of all, I was able to spend some time with my friend, who picked me up in New York and drove both of us to Baltimore.
As I have learned over the years, road trips are great opportunities to chat and get to know someone better, even a good friend. Spending hours in the confines of a car, while being watchful of the dangers of the road, the possibilities of getting lost and the need to find a timely washroom, inevitably brings two people closer together. You don’t always have to be talking but you do have to communicate.
When I started out on that journey, I was not writing any particular story but the long drive gave rise to a need to continue with another instalment in my Beauty and the Beast (Fanfiction) series. I had no shortage of ideas but I can’t write without a lead in title. I suppose every author has something which triggers their thought process. For me, a few words can convey a whole range of ideas.
In the car, during a long forgotten discussion, my friend said, ‘I suppose that is just a slight variation of normal’. I was hooked. Slight Variations of Normal was born and the story flowed from there. Sometimes the flow was slowed by internal power outages but living life fully always provides a clue to the heart of the next chapter. Sometimes it is in a dream, sometimes in a conversation with a total stranger, sometimes in personal experiences which touched the heart and soul.
So I am always grateful to the people who move in and out of my life and share their stories. I am also grateful to the those who have crossed over for sending their stories through my dreams. I hear you and hope that I have done justice to your struggles and triumphs.
It is now a year later. Slight Variations of Normal is complete. Like any creation which originates in our soul, I am euphoric to see the final product. It is my longest story to date. I am also saddened that something which had occupied so much of my time is now gone. It’s like saying goodbye to a child heading off to college or to get married. Empty nest again.

Thoughts on Suspect, Love

Suspect LoveThoughts on ‘Suspect, Love’ a story by Judith Andrade
I have been reading stories since I was old enough to remember opening a book. Every time I read a book, I wondered if I could write one of my own. During high school I wrote a lot of poetry, and short act plays but the pull of a nursing career and motherhood kept me on that track for years. I wanted to write a story about complex characters whose actions are motivated by cultural or traumatic issues from the past which affects their present behaviour.
The book will appeal to anyone who enjoys a love story. It may have special appeal for those in the health care profession and understand the pressures of related work issues. It may appeal to anyone who is married to someone raised in an entirely different cultural perspective who is interested in understanding how to blend their cultural values into a relationship. Women who have been hurt in a relationship and wonder if life will ever send them the right person may enjoy this story as well as men who feel isolated by the work they do.
Of the many characters in the book who appeal to me, I love Rosanna’s mother Anna who brings old world common sense to help her very modern daughter cope with the loss of a promising relationship. I enjoyed growing up close to my grandmother and loved the old fashioned values she instilled in me as a child. Rosanna’s conversations and interactions with her mother are some of my favourite scenes.
Angus’ sister Morag is a softer version of her brother. She gives him heart and feelings when we might believe he has none. Siblings play a big part in this story. Their love helps to support the two principles.
Rosanna and Angus share their family stories and history as they tentatively get to know each other. The scene at his condo where he tries so hard to nurture her is my favourite. To Rosanna, nurturing means home-cooked food. Angus can’t prepare a meal but does his best in other ways to show himself as a caring person. Cultural issues which often drive us apart are the very same ones which eventually draw us together when we have time to get to know each other. Suppose we don’t have that time?
I believe the multicultural nature of the characters and the nuances of culture which has guided their lives makes the story slightly different. The major part of the book takes place in Toronto, Ontario circa 1992 but hinges on a back story or prologue describing a family caught up in an earthquake in Irpina Italy circa 1982.
About the author.
Settling down to write.
I am not known as a person who finishes anything unless I am highly motivated. Both of my books sat on a shelf in draft form for nearly twenty years before I picked them up again. It was easy to get frustrated by the process of writing, editing and re-editing and staying under budget but I surprised my self and finished them both as well as ten others. My husband was seriously injured in a car accident and during his long recovery, I had to give up much of my activity outside the home but I needed to keep busy. A blog was fun but story telling has been sanity-saving. I do consider myself a story teller and not a writer. My initial goal was just to finish the stories but then my endgame became publishing them as a way of making them complete.
After they were done, I realized that telling stories in this way was the fulfillment of a childhood dream which I had let go. The prologue and epilogue were late additions to the overall book although the idea had been in my head. It’s difficult to create another short story within a story but easier if the short story provides background information. It is something I enjoy doing because I believe that every person has a background event which plays into the present.
Since the age of seven, I was very clear about my career path. I wanted to be a nurse. The opportunity to study abroad and experience life differently drove me to England where I met and married my husband of forty two years. We have two children and five grandchildren. My career in nursing has taken me on several different paths in Canada, Jamaica and England.
Many years later, after a life altering illness, I chose to work on doing things which were secondary dreams; things I might have let go of if I didn’t see my survival as a gift. I increased my nursing knowledge, took a course in theology and became an interfaith minister. I opened a wellness based business with a friend, who later passed away, and my sister. The loss of my friend actually propelled me into bringing my stories to a professional level of publishing. My greatest joy has been working with women who rise above the challenges of their lives to share their stories with others and the joy in observing mothers with their babies.
My favourite quote from one of the women I interviewed some years ago was ‘praise the woman who rises from the ashes’. Weaving bits and pieces of those stories from people who have touched my life into the current ones helps me to give voice to their pain and their healing. As I approach my retirement from nursing, I look forward to expanding and enjoying my secondary careers.
My thoughts.
Love is such an incredible driving force. I have seen what love can do when it is elevated to its purest form. The sweetest love is that of a mother for her child. What we learn from loving our children makes us better people. The ability to move ourselves forward to embrace unmet challenges is what builds character deep inside.
We often hear of the way we must grow and become stronger. People talk about struggling to overcome challenges but what I have learned is the journey makes us who we are if we see the challenge not as a struggle but an opportunity. Humans are interconnected in a way known only to the hand of fate and free will. I believe there is a universal energy called by many names, each of which is personal to the individual. By sharing what we know of ourselves, it enables us to find the common ground of that energy and find in each other a thread which ties and connects our souls.
I have watched the cells of blood under a microscope respond to the owner who is feet away laughing. When families share the same blood their connection is built into the DNA. It never wavers and never alters. Our psyche changes, based on what we think and it may alter how we behave but in the end the connection we have with those who share our DNA is unshakeable.
Let go of rigid ideals and ideas which do not serve your needs. Be open to other possibilities. From time to time, reflect and renew how you see yourself in the world.
We have to believe in something, anything in order to give ourselves the impetus to move forward. Finding that spark which enables us to rise above the ordinary gives meaning to life.


The Self Reflecting Path of Feminine Spiritual Reclamation is what we, @hearth ministry, call our journey.  For women, the lost heroes of our past and the glorious traditions that gave us feminine warrior role models were lost or obscured in the ‘dark ages’.  How and where, ceases to be the issue.   We know that a fear based consciousness controlled much of the last two-six thousand years of life on Gaia.
Many fine modern day writer warriors have picked up the threads of herstory and made valuable contributions to our knowledge base. With a little imagination, we can picture the mother warriors, agricultural warriors, farm warriors, ruler warriors and others who lived and led by example.
When I learned that I have a rightful place in history, alongside my brothers and other male warriors, I knew that life would never be the same.   I finally understood that my mother and her mother and grandmothers before her had all the eggs they would ever need for conception long before their birth thus establishing the continuity of the Matriarchal line.  I also knew then, that whatever energies existed in all my grandmothers would be handed down to me through a basic cellular memory.
Our intuition or cell memory facility tells us that we have been creators, leaders, pacifists, developers and all manner of unimagined warriors in the history of this planet. It didn’t need to be studied, researched and written!
In years gone by, the lack of written word, in fact,  means little historically but remains a ‘reliable’ source for doubting seekers.  For example, the teachings of Jesus were never recorded at the time of his ministry. He is barely a footnote in documented Roman history.  His supporters and followers believed in him  though and carried his word forward, in the oral tradition.  It wasn’t until years after his death before they were written as the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  Still his message of love and peace was carried to the masses by word of mouth for hundreds of years.
In the case of our maternal ancestors, the natural functions of living did not need to be recorded as proof of our lives being worthy and valued. Had our grandmothers known however, that herstory would have been so corrupted as to exclude the minimal contribution of women from  even the power inherent in the basic human condition of reproducing life,  then surely, someone would have written or reproduced some thing to document courageously rather than vilify maliciously the contribution of mothering and child-rearing as awe inspiring professions.
I believe that the spirit of our ancestors has been called upon to visit us in this new age shift so as to activate that cellular memory. This allows modern writer warriors to let it be known to one and all that the Feminine Spirit endures and is reclaimed.
Know that the message is already  there within our hearts beating uniformly in a  tradition of ‘knowing’  that is not well used or understood today.
This is where we start with our change… listening to the whispers of our ancestors at a deeper level of history from which herstory can be illuminated.  Believe it to be true and it is!

Is God Love? Part Two: Negotiating Perinatal Loss

When Oka was born, she was whisked away to the nursery then a level three facility to assess whether she could It has been the great privilege of my life to be able to support families through this very difficult progression.  I consider myself an intermediary on the healing plane, helping people on one hand to understand the process and then to help them find a spiritual strength which they can use to negotiate the difficult and ongoing process.

Time does not always lessen grief and death is not the end.  Perinatal loss covers a very extensive spectrum of events and emotions which impact, women, families and future generations.

Listening to others over the years has helped to pave the way for me to talk specifically about Perinatal loss.  A road map of emotion can help many to understand the complex pathways by which loss renders us incapable of moving forward and yet gives us incredible strength when we know that in time, we can develop the ability to cope with its paralyzing effects.

My career as a nurse started out with the idea that I would always want to work with women and children.  This idea came to me at age 7 along with the thought that breastfeeding would be a huge part of my life.  I had no idea how big it would be or what it would teach me.

I knew that I needed to have my own family first before I was involved in maternal nursing, simply because I wanted nothing to mar or influence my own experience.  In hindsight, that was very naive of me.  Once I was past that step of early childrearing, I applied for my first job working as a RN in the post partum unit at a hospital in downtown Toronto.  This was back in 1980.  It was a good decision on my part. 

My story will end there because from that point on, I realized that learning had only just begun for me.  Everything I thought I knew about life was just on the surface.  50% of my patients, newborns, were unable to communicate with me.  Babies had no words to describe their needs.  It was easy to see when they were content.   We all believed that sleep was a sure indicator of normalcy in an infant but that wasn’t true at all.  I also learned that women carried so much of their hopes and dreams into this child.  What did the child carry into life?  Who would advocate for them at their highest and lowest ebb? 

A gift of awareness made this an easy knowledge base for me, but for many women the road from conception to birth was fraught with events which could have the greatest impact on their ability to conceive, support a healthy pregnancy, give birth,  breastfeed, and raise a fit, well adjusted child.

There wouldn’t be enough time to talk about all the issues which could impact this dynamic.  Keep in mind Dr. Pask’s words as I share with you a story about a client of mine and her family.  This newborn infant, drew me into her life at birth and changed everything for me and for her parents before she passed from this world secure in the knowledge that whatever potential had been hers to take, she had fulfilled its promise.

If having a baby was as simple as having sex and getting pregnant when you wanted to, all the arguments for and against abortion, adoption, invitro, wouldn’t exist.  Women would simply choose a time for conception and have a baby, but that doesn’t always happen.  To Oka’s  mother, an early pregnancy loss impacted her sense of self.  One in four pregnancies ends in abortion or miscarriage.  The words are the same, one term is medical, the other is a lay term and each is modified by the circumstances of the loss. 

When she conceived a second time, the unexpressed loss of self esteem for failure to carry her first pregnancy was a nagging concern.  Her second pregnancy was uneventful, and lasted well beyond the troubling 12 week marker. No reason to suspect any problems.  This was the time before extensive ultrasounds.  No one had any reason to suspect an abnormality until the birth.

Death is not always the end, nor does it mark the end. We can have death in the midst of life.  Giving birth to a child with multiple abnormalities is death to the hopes and dreams we weave throughout our pregnancy.  It is a time when we suffer shock, fear, guilt, anger in the face of a living nightmare.  Nothing can prepare families for this experience and I can tell you, that even today when we can suspect things are not going well, the immediate shock of the birth is not lessened by pre knowledge.  It is impossible to imagine less than perfection. 

Even in stillbirth, it takes hours for women to accept that their baby has not drawn a breath.  In years gone by those infants would be taken away.  Mothers would sit and wait and wait hoping someone would come and say their baby is alive and well.  Now we know that women must sit with their newborn waiting and watching for the breath that would signify life.  It would take hours sometimes.  You can always see that moment of recognition.   survive.  Her mother, recovering from an emergency caesarean birth, also considered a loss, was alone, confused, frightened, waiting.

So even in life, we have death and separation.

When I met Oka’s parents, they were in a state of shock.  They had not seen the infant.  Neither could they even fathom the consequences of her disabilities, nor coming to terms with her physical appearance.  If you asked, in that day after Oka’s birth, if death would have been preferable, you might have been right but in hind sight, we see that this child lived to change many lives, including mine.

If a child dies, there is a clear path to all kinds of support from family and friends, organizations and groups for bereaved families are welcoming, churches help and guide.  Suppose your baby doesn’t die but you are told to anticipate that death will be inevitable.  There exists a whole different set of circumstances.  We are not prepared for those twilight moments which exists between birth and immediate death.

Oka was sent back to our community hospital without an IV.  She looked like a little warrior.  Both sides of her head were shaved giving her the appearance of a faux hawk.  The look coincided with the group of First Nation people at Oka, Quebec who were fighting for their rights.  I gave her the nickname because she became a little warrior for life.  The fact that she had been returned, meant that her multiple abnormalities were incompatible with life and she would die.  In total, an expected life span of 6-8 weeks for her type of genetic mosaic abnormality  was the norm.  She would be in my care until that time, likely days not weeks.

How could these parents, simple minded folk, raised outside of any metropolitan area even in their developing nation, new immigrants to Canada and unable to understand the complex issues which create life, how could they possibly find hope?

Oka’s parents, needed grieving time.  They needed to stop blaming the different religions, the dysfunctional family dynamics, the previous miscarriage.  This was where I was able to help.  Change the focus from one of profound loss to one of loving for this precious child whose time may be limited.  Let her leave the world surrounded by love.  Those words became the mantra! We were able to find a way to help these parents and their family support system to not only stay by their daughter’s side, but also learn to insert and feed her through a tube, take her home, give her two more sisters and become passionate advocates for children born with Trisomy deformities. As a family, they went on to survive three surgeries to repair a horrendous bilateral cleft lip and palate, gastric surgery to insert a feeding tube and heart surgery to close a hole and repair a valve. 

In the community we were able to help establish access to physio, social work, equipment, couples counselling and religious support in another faith to remove the stigma of a mixed interfaith marriage.  There was a whole team of people in the medical field who continued to support these parents as they took on the challenging task of caring for Oka at home.  Did all these things help?  On the surface we would all say yes,  but when Oka’s mother became pregnant for the second time, she went the full nine months  in a state of shock. (manifested as withdrawal)  When I brought her entirely normal looking baby to her, neither she nor her husband could look at the child, and refused initially to accept that she was their own.  She failed to bond with her second child until months later.  It wasn’t until the pregnancy of her third child, when she came to me, in her sixth month that I fully realize that grief does not go away just because time has passed.  Sheela had amniocentesis and  ultrasounds which were all reassuring but still, she was in tears, body shaking, on the verge of hysteria, fearful of the possibility of having another child like Oka.  She said, ‘Judith, I can’t do this again.’  I understood in that moment the profound impact of grief including my own.  Fortunately, all turned out well but it was years before the sharp edges of the traumatic birth were eased.

When Oka was born, she was given 6-8 weeks to live.  If I had said to her mother, don’t worry about this child.  Despite her many complications, she will live a long happy life.  She will change you and your entire family.  She will help you build confidence and become a better parent.  You will find friends and groups and organizations which will support you.   Your husband will find his own strength, and build a house for his family and your children will become advocates for the plight of others and know that their older sister defied the odds.  Everyone Oka touches will fall in love with her and she will become the best advocate for what love really means.  If I had said those words on that first day, Oka’s mother would not have believed me.  At that time, it would have been false and unrealistic hope.  The family needed to live only one day at a time, some days one hour at a time grieving even as they tried to rebuild their life.  If I told her all those things she would have hated me.  But, against all odds, those things happened exactly as I described because she was loved.

Note:  This story of love was one of the driving forces behind my second book, Suspect, Love.  It is dedicated, in part,  to the memory of this delightful girl and her amazing family.

More to come in part three

Femininst Spiritualism

Spiritual Feminism

I am a believer in the matriarchal prehistory. I am a feminist spiritualist. These two
statements feel real to me. They do not represent a false vision of female power
and domination. They are visions of an ancient undocumented society in which
men and women worked in partnership to protect and nurture a fragile,
misunderstood life span, where the supernatural was reality and danger lurked at
every corner.

I am not an intellectual but I love to read. I am not an artist but I can appreciate art in many forms but mostly I am not a scientist where proving the validity of a myth becomes critical. Myth and lies are not synonymous. No one has to convince me that stories which are told over and over and believed to be true are true!
Perhaps their original meaning was lost and perhaps not. What is to be gained from the story is the essence. If women were always under dogs in this world of ours there would have been no need to  systematically destroy their credibility over the last five thousand years. The mysteries of women will always  frighten. Our power to nurture life, in particular, is still as unfathomable to men and often to ourselves, as
any other mystery.

I can say with absolute certainty that many factors brought about these changes in the way that culture has  divided the two genders of humans. We are essentially the same mass of cells. And, so far, we have not  been able to find another way to reproduce our species. Yet we still struggle with the idea of female and  male being equal partners in the life cycle of humanity. We are so blessed. Where is our love?

The millions of women, men and children who died fighting for a women’s right to be respected  and honoured should not die in vain. The ‘burning times’ of witch hunts and the Inquisition was  but one example punishing women’s connectedness to earth and her appreciation of natural  laws in health and healing. What started as a blatant control of religion soon turned into a  hate-filled, fear-based, accusatory tirade against some women and their families for two to  three centuries. Devil worship, magic, sorcery, evil, were all words which could bring women to  trial and punishment. The ultimate sacrifice often included death by fire or drowning.

Women today are still abused, beaten, killed, and used mercilessly even in  so called ‘civilized’ societies. For the last six thousand years, dehumanization  of women has been perpetuated in the name of a deity who happened to be  identified as a male. I doubt that the Goddesses of ancient lore would have  singled out and sacrificed female energy in their quest for power. Even if the  prehistoric life was not idyllic, as least there was the benefit of feminine role  models. Mythology has many stories of women in power, women deities,  and warrior women who fought for human rights. We know that our ancestors  paid homage to the great mother. Earth was seen as nurturing and life giving.

Life cycles were normal, connected to the moon, easily explainable in the context of daily life.  The first menses was celebrated and understood. Women  learned to move in a natural cycle. When did these events become  unclean and dirty? Conception, childbirth and child-rearing were  carried on within the love and support of a community. Life may  have been a struggle but it was a shared endeavour.

Nothing has changed! We may control much of our life today but we still need to honour and appreciate  ourselves. No one needs to tell me that women had a different life before history was written. We were  there, in the cells of our mothers and grandmothers that have been handed down to us. In the context of  history and time, we stumbled but found a way to right ourselves and now we will walk tall again.

As I read the literature that is written by many western – born authors, and read by women who  struggle with understanding their history (or herstory) , I am amazed at how simple it was for me  to believe in a natural and enduring feminine courage and strength. Intuitively, I knew that  despite an unproven and undocumented time in our distant past, women and their mysteries  were the main thread in the fabric of life.


Like many of my country men and women, I thought I learned everything I needed to know in school, especially back in the 50’s when learning knowledge, mostly by rote, filled out school days rather than the technology which seems to dominate the current curriculum.  I believe that both do have their time and place.  After all what was taught 200 years ago would probably not fill more than a year of learning today.

Although I feel like my education was complete, I know now that nothing is as important as being able to apply the information or knowledge or skills to real life.  For example, taking typing lessons way back in the 60’s helped make the transition to computer much easier.  Two finger typing  seems to take twice as long.  I never knew how that choice would affect my life, but being able to type has made a difference and for the better.

Still skills didn’t make up the whole of my education.  History and civics were also important parts of the curriculum.  After school, I travelled to London, England years ago to work and study.  At times, during those years in London, it felt like I was walking through a history lesson because I was able to see where events read about in the books really happened.  I love the application of learned knowledge!

But, what about all that really non interesting Canadian history?  I finally started exploring this great land of ours thirty years ago, with every intention of visiting every province and many of our own historic sites before I got too old.  Well I have reached nine out of ten provinces so far.  There is one more province and the territories still to come.  An early  trip to Québec City helped to begin to put things in perspective and touching the Atlantic and Pacific oceans  which border this nation seemed like a perfect rite of passage for amateur explorers.  I still had lots to see but events changed in my life which put a halt to the travelling. I became an armchair writer instead.

After a long break from road trips, I finally got back on track and I have to thank my grandchildren for being the impetus. ‘Teaching what you know as the way to immortality’  is a millennium saying attributed to Dalai Lama.  Since I often mention my Granny and how much information she left with me, it became clear that my immortality lay with my grandchildren and if I wanted them to carry my wisdom into their adulthood, I should do things with them and help them to learn just as my grandmother did for me.

I must say that making the decision to hit the road again was different.  I would be the only driver.  Our first venture out was pretty successful.  I enjoyed revisiting a couple of places that I had enjoyed with my children.  The shorter trips didn’t turn out too bad and I decided to make a much longer journey with the older boys.  However I was determined that the second trip would be a journey into history.  The nation’s capital was our destination.

Who could not be aware of the significance of Ottawa.  I am a political junkie.  Growing up in Toronto left me jaded about big cities but to go to the capital of our country and step inside the Houses of Parliament was a completely different experience.

We listened to the guide talk about the role of Government, the way in which the buildings came about, their significance, and why each room had its own importance.  As a writer, the words and the stories were awe inspiring to me and not surprisingly to my grandchildren as well.

What was even more strange at the time, was the unanimous decision that the Parliamentary Library was the highlight of the trip.  We saw the changing of the guards, the house and the senate rooms, a monster statue of hockey legend Maurice Richard, The Museum of Natural Civilization, The fabulous Candian Mint,  took an bus/boat ride through the city and yet the library was truly a work of art and well worth seeing.  Who knew that two boys,  who would rather pick up a Game Boy than a book would be enthralled in a Library?

I was excited to learn about the French Kings of Canada before we became a British Colony.  That is a part of history which we never learned.  I am still pleasantly surprised at the genuine pleasure I felt,  not only from sharing the time with my grandsons, but also with the application of knowledge learned years ago and the joy of still being able to learn something interesting and delightful about this country we call Canada.

A Part of History

Being a part of the history of where you live is something that is within all of us. We all contribute in one way or another to the development of our individual communities. Our families are a resource for others and what we do to communicate, help each other, and keep our area safe are important components of living in a particular neighbourhood.
As someone said on TV last night, the need to welcome new members to an established community is an important way of getting to know people who are of different cultures, religions, race, and language. Making newcomers feel welcome feeds generosity of spirit and reduces fear of the unknown.
Yesterday, I was also reminded of the beauty of a larger community in which people are drawn together by things they have in common, such as race or immigration from a particular area, or language because Jamaica, the land of my birth, celebrated its 50th anniversary of independance.

To mark the day, many people from the small island nation pulled together  at a community fete and waved flags, listened to music,  danced, ate, and shared stories. They also  affirmed their committment to the country of their birth as well as pledging allegiance to their adopted country. I wasn’t able to be a part of the celebrations in Toronto but in my own way, I connected with my family roots.
I have already talked about Grannie’s story but there is so much more.

While people celebrated the 50th, I was remembering the 1st such celebration in Toronto.   My parents were an integral part of the planning for the event but I had my own role to play.   For years I had studied music, piano, under the strict eye of a Mr. E.R. Ricketts. When the idea was brought forward of celebrating Jamaica’s first independance, he went to my parents and asked if I could be taught to play the national anthem and perform it for the first time at the celebrations to come.
Well, I was an obediant child, scared of the awesome responsibility but I practiced and practiced so that it would be perfect. It wouldn’t be the first time I played in public but it would be the most important time in the eyes of my family, my community and my teacher.
Indeed, the night at the King Edward Hotel in Toronto seemed to be exciting and filled with the sense of purpose and community I had experienced very rarely. In many gatherings of the ‘West Indian’ community, there was always a little bickering about leadership, although Jamaica, being the largest island, usually took that role.
This event however was to be a wholly Jamaican event with everyone sharing the pride and joy of a budding nation with an incredible 500 years of history already behind it.
I will never forget that night. My mother sang, I played the piano while the sounds of the new national anthem soared from the hearts of those in attendance.
So this writing is a global story, one which is inclusive of Jamaicans living all over and coming together. Out of that night, those who felt a need to be supportive of the community of Jamaicans migrating to Canada, gathered and formed an association which exists to this day.
The Jamaican Canadian Association continues to thrive and provide services to new and old alike.