Mer­ri­tone fills Melia Braco

Jamaica Gleaner - - ENTERTAINMENT - Mel Cooke Gleaner Writer

Sched­ule of 26th Re­u­nion and Fam­ily Home­com­ing an­nounced

Mer­ri­tone se­lec­tors Richie Clarke (left), Monte Blake (sec­ond left), Mikey Thomp­son (sec­ond right) and Craig Ross pre­pare to cut the cel­e­bra­tory cake at Wa­ter­falls, Liguanea, St An­drew, on Thurs­day evening dur­ing the launch of the 26th An­nual Mer­ri­tone Re­u­nion and Home­com­ing. Monte Blake of Mer­ri­tone speak­ing on Thurs­day evening at the launch of the 26th An­nual Mer­ri­tone Re­u­nion and Fam­ily Home­com­ing.

Mike Henry, min­is­ter of trans­port and min­ing, speaks at Thurs­day evening’s launch of the 26th An­nual Mer­ri­tone Re­u­nion and Fam­ily Home­com­ing.

AT THURS­DAY night’s launch of the first Mer­ri­tone Re­u­nion and Fam­ily Home­com­ing since Win­ston Blake’s death in Fe­bru­ary this year, nat­u­rally there were nu­mer­ous ref­er­ences to him.

How­ever, it was the famed Mer­ri­tone man’s brother, Monte Blake, who de­liv­ered Win­ston’s words to the large gath­er­ing at Wa­ter­falls in Liguanea, St An­drew. Win­ston was wont to say: “I am for all sea­sons and, when I am no longer, I will al­ways be.”

And so it seems so will the sound sys­tem founded by Val Blake and car­ried on by his sons Win­ston, Monte, Trevor and Ty­rone. For Monte was able to an­nounce that the all-in­clu­sive week­end at the Melia Braco Re­sort in Trelawny, start­ing Fri­day, Oc­to­ber 14, has been sold out. Blake promised mu­sic night and day, live and recorded, not­ing that there will be moon­light, the rest up to the merry peo­ple.

The 26th An­nual Mer­ri­tone Re­u­nion and Fam­ily Home­com­ing be­gins on Sun­day, Oc­to­ber 9, with the Mer­ri­tone Gives Thanks ser­vice at Web­ster Memo­rial United Church, 53 Half-Way Tree Road, start­ing at 9:45 a.m. The next day, A Salute to Mar­jorie Whylie, will be held at 5 Keesing Av­enue, be­gin­ning at 8 p.m.

Monte noted that Ja­cob’s Place in Kings Plaza, Con­stant Spring Road, where the Mer­ri­tone Mu­si­cal Show­case will be held on Tues­day, Oc­to­ber 11, was one of Win­ston’s favourite go­ing-out spots.

Monte also said that The Alibi at 31 Up­per Water­loo Road, where Mer­ri­tone Jazz and Cock­tails will be staged on Wed­nes­day, Oc­to­ber 12, start­ing at 8 p.m., was the last venue Win­ston vis­ited “be­fore he left us”.

The reg­u­lar Turntable Thurs­day, which the launch pre­ceded, is a part of the home­com­ing sched­ule set for Oc­to­ber 13. There was ap­plause when Monte said it had been tak­ing place at Wa­ter­falls for 14 years and, be­fore that, was at the Turntable Club on Red Hills Road for 28 years, mak­ing it 42 con­sis­tent years of the event. Two of the dancers take de­light in their moves dur­ing the launch of the 26th An­nual Mer­ri­tone Re­u­nion and Fam­ily Home­com­ing. Deon Hardy (left) and Chris McDon­ald.

Af­ter the all-in­clu­sive week­end, key­note speaker Olivia Grange, Mer­ri­tone’s 26th re­u­nion min­is­ter of cul­ture, gen­der, ends at The Deck, Trafal­gar en­ter­tain­ment and sports, but Road, New Kingston, on Min­is­ter of Trans­port and Mon­day, Oc­to­ber 17, Na­tional Min­ing Mike Henry read her He­roes Day, with Las Lick – ad­dress. Salute to our He­roes and In it, Grange de­scribed Le­gends. “It is al­ways a fan­tas­tic Win­ston Blake as a man who oc­ca­sion at The Deck,” not only cre­ated mem­o­ries but Blake said. also pre­served them. She de­scribed the home­com­ing as “a glo­ri­ous chance to con­nect the young peo­ple with their mu­si­cal her­itage”.

For his part, Henry said he has pre­vi­ously en­joyed what Mer­ri­tone has de­liv­ered and he in­tends to be there for more, be­fore clos­ing with a hail of “Jah Rasta­fari”.

There was mu­sic and move­ment at the launch, with Deon Hardy per­form­ing Dream­land to mu­sic by Chris McDon­ald, who also played for Char­maine Li­mo­nius, who sang Per­fidia. The move­ment came from the dancers Sherene and Com­pany, three young men and two women who added drama to their steps by de­pict­ing in­fi­delity, con­fronta­tion and res­o­lu­tion.

In giv­ing thanks all around, Norma Brown-Bell noted Mer­ri­tone’s busy sched­ule at home and abroad, where the book­ings keep com­ing in and peo­ple are be­ing sat­is­fied. Four of the men who spin on Mer­ri­tone – Craig Ross, Richie Clarke, Mikey Thomp­son and Monte Blake, cut the cel­e­bra­tory cake, then it was on to food and danc­ing in the Mer­ri­tone Thurs­day night style.

MU­SI­CAL HER­ITAGE

With Michael Hall host­ing, en­dorse­ments of Mer­ri­tone’s week of ac­tiv­i­ties by ma­jor spon­sors J Wray & Nephew and the Ja­maica Tourist Board (JTB) were on the pro­gramme. So was

PHO­TOS BY MEL COOKE

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