CI Shorts - Christmas happiness

Baroness Amos in front of a Christmas tree

What’s making the Caribbean and its Diaspora happy this Christmas season? Caribbean Intelligence has been finding out.


Guyana-born Baroness Valerie Amos has been awarded an honorary degree from Middlesex University. Baroness Amos is a Director of SOAS University of London. She told graduates at the university’s first winter graduation “as the next generation of leaders, you have a crucial role to play. You can show that an outward-facing approach – one rooted in making connections across peoples and communities and which values diversity – works”.



  • Trinidad’s infamous Wild Meat Soca Parang Food Festival was held in early December, bringing together many of the seasonal pleasures of party-loving Trinis. Imagine a fete which rolls into one venue Trinidad’s seasonal parang music, plenty of bush flesh and a Carnival countdown soca track. Present this year was singer Scrunter of “Piece of pork for my Christmas” fame. No wonder it will mark 40 years next year!


  • Entries have now closed for Jamaica’s ‘Postcards of Christmas Past’ photo competition. It was run by the Universal Service Fund (USF) which said it wanted to share “Kodak moments of an authentic Jamaican Christmas”. USF had asked for a nostalgic vibe. Prizes included a TV, a laptop and a tablet. We’re presuming there’s a camera in there too.....


  • When a couple of lottery winners in the English city of Coventry wanted to put smiles on the faces of local pensioners, they turned to the Caribbean for inspiration. The Coventry Telegraph reported that Bill and Cath Mullarkey celebrated their first Christmas as millionaires by bringing a taste of the Caribbean to Coventry. They turned to Cath’s native St Lucia to whip up a menu for members of the Jubilee Crescent Community Centre in Radford. The couple had won £1million in the UK’s EuroMillions lottery.


  • ETN News reported that a group of Norwegian sailors have raised US$5,000 to support hurricane-hit Dominica in time for Christmas. The sailors from Oslo invited other sailing enthusiasts to an evening of Caribbean entertainment and talks, with topics ranging from sailing in the Caribbean, tropical hurricanes and the effects of climate change. They hope to encourage other sailing clubs to do the same thing and raise money for Dominica in 2018. Veteran sailor Tuva Løkse said: “A number of Norwegian sailors have, over the years, enjoyed sailing in the Caribbean sea, visiting many of the wonderful Windward Islands. Some of us especially fell in love with the beautiful nature island of Dominica. We wanted to give something back to the warm and hospitable people of Dominica in their efforts to rebuild the island after Hurricane Maria.”

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