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Christmas Coffee morning ‘Buy a Blanket’

 Sujue Davis presents

By Amy McTighe

Sujue Cofee Morning Xmas (49)

Sujue Christmas Cofee Morning

Sujue Cofee Morning Xmas (60)

Gvnor Adrian Davis

Sujue Cofee Morning Xmas (42)

Sujue

Mrs. Sujue Davis wife of Governor Adrian Davis, has come to be known as the most successful fundraiser since her time in Montserrat. It has been so whether it is for the Red Cross, hospital equipment or some other charity. On Tuesday, December 16, she hosted a Christmas-themed regular Coffee Morning at Government house. Those present were treated to a musical extravaganza of well known Christmas songs from around the world, which were sung in Chinese, Spanish, English and French.

B ut before the festivities began, there was a short presentation on an important charitable appeal. I hold my hand up as being the person making the appeal, and hope you’ll bear with me as I explain it below.

Last month I got back from the Kurdish north of Iraq, where I was doing some journalism, blogging and humanitarian work. I was so shocked by the refugee crisis that I witnessed there as a result of the brutal advance of ISIS this year.

n one camp, of 120,000 people, I met a little girl called Mariam. She was hiding behind a tent, scared of the crowds of other children. As I walked around the camp, Mariam took my hand and came with me. When I prised her fingers off to use my camera, she put her arm around my waist, just to keep holdSujue Cofee Morning Xmas (14)

Sujue Cofee Morning Xmas (54)Mariam took me back to her tent to meet her family, and they explained what had happened. On 3rd August this year, the family awoke to the sound of ISIS militants entering their village. After a terrifying escape, including near-starvation while they, along with hundreds of thousands of others were besieged on Sinjar Mountain, they ended up in Iraq’s Kurdish north.

They’re safe now, but facing a harsh winter with nothing to keep them warm. You can read more about Mariams story, and other issues facing that region on my blog: www.amymctighe.wordpress.com

Over 1.3 million victims of the conflicts in Syria and Iraq have fled to Iraq’s Kurdish north. The western province of Dohuk, is hardest hit. Normally home to 1.3 million people, it is now supporting at least 820,000 displaced Syrians and Iraqis, and has nowhere to put them.

Sujue Cofee Morning Xmas (44)Sujue Cofee Morning Xmas (22)The skeletons of unfinished buildings in towns and cities bulge with hundreds of homeless families, and informal camps spring up outside nearly every town and along every roadside. Khanki refugee camp, where Mariam lives, shelters over 120,000 Yezidis, but for those outside of the official camp (over half), there is little in the way of drainage or other essential infrastructure, and tents are easily washed away as in the case of these children.

Blankets are a basic necessity for people facing a winter living rough in a region where freezing temperatures are common, yet hundreds of thousands of refugees and internally displaced people have none at all. So I have been working with a local charity, Rise Foundation, to buy blankets to distribute.

At the Coffee Morning I gave this talk, and asked people to donate US$16, £11 or EC$45, to buy a thick, double blanket for a family in need this winter.

Sujue Cofee Morning Xmas (17)Sujue Cofee Morning Xmas (12)I have found that people on Montserrat are so supportive of this campaign because they can fully empathise with what it’s like to be forced out of your home by events completely beyond your control, and to live in rough conditions,  full of uncertainty about the future. This Coffee Morning was no exception and we collected around EC1,600, which has now been donated to the campaign.

There are still thousands of people in need, so this Christmas time we ask you to express your gratitude for the life that you are able to live now, and spread a little warmth and hope to people who believe that the world has forgotten them. You can donate online here, or call 496-9933 to donate by cash or cheque. https://mydonate.bt.com/events/buyablanket

 But back to the Christmas carols. We were treated to an array of songs from around the world. First came music teacher Cris van Beuren and his wife Abi, who sang a song popular in Mexico at this time of year called Las Posadas.

Sujue Cofee Morning Xmas (27) Sujue Cofee Morning Xmas (46) Then we flew to the other side of the world and heard Sujue’s Chinese students Marc de Dinechin, Pamela Holley, Sarah Holloway and Nicolas Tirard and Barbara Field sing the very popular chinese song Yue Liang Dai Biao Wo Di Xin, followed by the Chinese version of Joy to The World accompanied by Marla Mehring on the piano.

Back to Montserrat and we were treated to the beautiful voice, and gentle presence of Shirley Spycalla singing When a Child is Born, accompanied by Ann Marie Dewar. After all our talk of children suffering in Iraq just a few minutes earlier, this was a particularly poignant choice of song, and brought tears to many eyes, with both the beauty of the singing, and the words of the song.

Even more aptly, Shirley followed this with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Pie Jesu, which was written around the times of the troubles in Northern Ireland. Shirley dedicated her song to world peace, and to prayers for a better and less violent world, and then sang her heart out.

Sujue Cofee Morning Xmas (8)After this Beth Breuer stretched her sweet voice to one of my personal favourite carols, In The Bleak Midwinter, another moving carol that touches on the more thoughtful and reflective side of Christmas; an expression of great gratitude and generosity.

After this came the highlight of the morning with The Governor’s wife Sujue Davis herself taking to the microphone and singing a Chinese version of Deck The Halls with Boughs of Holly. I have never, and I believe will never again, hear so many Christmas songs sung in Chinese and this was a real treat, sung expertly, joyfully and energetically by the Governor’s wife, who encouraged us all to join her in the choruses.

After this we got the chance to hear Ann Marie Dewar’s singing, as well as her excellent piano playing (I’m always impressed by people who can do both at the same time). In her warm, lilting voice she sang a childhood favourite of mine – the Caribbean Carol.

Sujue Cofee Morning Xmas (39)We finished up with the powerful carol O Holy Night, which was presented as a medley – Marc de Dinechin, Nicolas Tirard, Pamela Holley and Rosemarie Celius sang a verse of the song in French, then Easton Farrell sang the remaining verses in English with Ann Marie (still playing the piano), and encouraging the audience to sing along with the chorus.

It was an upbeat ending to a carol concert that managed to blend the exotic and new with the old and familiar; to be both light and fun and at times, thoughtful and moving, and to take us on a musical journey right around the world.

END*****

The singers and musicians reprised their performances at the Cultural Centre on Wednesday 17th December, for the benefit of the Montserrat Senior Citizens Association Christmas Party, with a few additions.

Pupils from St. Augustine Primary School sang The Little Drummer Boy and We Wish You a Merry Christmas, both in Chinese. This impressive effort (I wonder how many primary school children outside China can sing songs in Chinese) was directed by Pat Ryan, with Cris van Beuren on piano. There was also a ‘Christmas on Saxophone’ performance by Mr Joseph.

Announcements were done throughout by Cupid, and Mr Easton Farrell closed the concert by inviting everybody to sing Silent Night together.

The elderly citizens of Montserrat seemed to very much enjoy the performances, clapping and singing along, and even hooting on their Christmas horns as enthusiastic accompaniments to many of the performances.

 

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

 Sujue Davis presents

By Amy McTighe

Sujue Cofee Morning Xmas (49)

Sujue Christmas Cofee Morning

Sujue Cofee Morning Xmas (60)

Gvnor Adrian Davis

Insert Ads Here
Sujue Cofee Morning Xmas (42)

Sujue

Mrs. Sujue Davis wife of Governor Adrian Davis, has come to be known as the most successful fundraiser since her time in Montserrat. It has been so whether it is for the Red Cross, hospital equipment or some other charity. On Tuesday, December 16, she hosted a Christmas-themed regular Coffee Morning at Government house. Those present were treated to a musical extravaganza of well known Christmas songs from around the world, which were sung in Chinese, Spanish, English and French.

B ut before the festivities began, there was a short presentation on an important charitable appeal. I hold my hand up as being the person making the appeal, and hope you’ll bear with me as I explain it below.

Last month I got back from the Kurdish north of Iraq, where I was doing some journalism, blogging and humanitarian work. I was so shocked by the refugee crisis that I witnessed there as a result of the brutal advance of ISIS this year.

n one camp, of 120,000 people, I met a little girl called Mariam. She was hiding behind a tent, scared of the crowds of other children. As I walked around the camp, Mariam took my hand and came with me. When I prised her fingers off to use my camera, she put her arm around my waist, just to keep holdSujue Cofee Morning Xmas (14)

Sujue Cofee Morning Xmas (54)Mariam took me back to her tent to meet her family, and they explained what had happened. On 3rd August this year, the family awoke to the sound of ISIS militants entering their village. After a terrifying escape, including near-starvation while they, along with hundreds of thousands of others were besieged on Sinjar Mountain, they ended up in Iraq’s Kurdish north.

They’re safe now, but facing a harsh winter with nothing to keep them warm. You can read more about Mariams story, and other issues facing that region on my blog: www.amymctighe.wordpress.com

Over 1.3 million victims of the conflicts in Syria and Iraq have fled to Iraq’s Kurdish north. The western province of Dohuk, is hardest hit. Normally home to 1.3 million people, it is now supporting at least 820,000 displaced Syrians and Iraqis, and has nowhere to put them.

Sujue Cofee Morning Xmas (44)Sujue Cofee Morning Xmas (22)The skeletons of unfinished buildings in towns and cities bulge with hundreds of homeless families, and informal camps spring up outside nearly every town and along every roadside. Khanki refugee camp, where Mariam lives, shelters over 120,000 Yezidis, but for those outside of the official camp (over half), there is little in the way of drainage or other essential infrastructure, and tents are easily washed away as in the case of these children.

Blankets are a basic necessity for people facing a winter living rough in a region where freezing temperatures are common, yet hundreds of thousands of refugees and internally displaced people have none at all. So I have been working with a local charity, Rise Foundation, to buy blankets to distribute.

At the Coffee Morning I gave this talk, and asked people to donate US$16, £11 or EC$45, to buy a thick, double blanket for a family in need this winter.

Sujue Cofee Morning Xmas (17)Sujue Cofee Morning Xmas (12)I have found that people on Montserrat are so supportive of this campaign because they can fully empathise with what it’s like to be forced out of your home by events completely beyond your control, and to live in rough conditions,  full of uncertainty about the future. This Coffee Morning was no exception and we collected around EC1,600, which has now been donated to the campaign.

There are still thousands of people in need, so this Christmas time we ask you to express your gratitude for the life that you are able to live now, and spread a little warmth and hope to people who believe that the world has forgotten them. You can donate online here, or call 496-9933 to donate by cash or cheque. https://mydonate.bt.com/events/buyablanket

 But back to the Christmas carols. We were treated to an array of songs from around the world. First came music teacher Cris van Beuren and his wife Abi, who sang a song popular in Mexico at this time of year called Las Posadas.

Sujue Cofee Morning Xmas (27) Sujue Cofee Morning Xmas (46) Then we flew to the other side of the world and heard Sujue’s Chinese students Marc de Dinechin, Pamela Holley, Sarah Holloway and Nicolas Tirard and Barbara Field sing the very popular chinese song Yue Liang Dai Biao Wo Di Xin, followed by the Chinese version of Joy to The World accompanied by Marla Mehring on the piano.

Back to Montserrat and we were treated to the beautiful voice, and gentle presence of Shirley Spycalla singing When a Child is Born, accompanied by Ann Marie Dewar. After all our talk of children suffering in Iraq just a few minutes earlier, this was a particularly poignant choice of song, and brought tears to many eyes, with both the beauty of the singing, and the words of the song.

Even more aptly, Shirley followed this with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Pie Jesu, which was written around the times of the troubles in Northern Ireland. Shirley dedicated her song to world peace, and to prayers for a better and less violent world, and then sang her heart out.

Sujue Cofee Morning Xmas (8)After this Beth Breuer stretched her sweet voice to one of my personal favourite carols, In The Bleak Midwinter, another moving carol that touches on the more thoughtful and reflective side of Christmas; an expression of great gratitude and generosity.

After this came the highlight of the morning with The Governor’s wife Sujue Davis herself taking to the microphone and singing a Chinese version of Deck The Halls with Boughs of Holly. I have never, and I believe will never again, hear so many Christmas songs sung in Chinese and this was a real treat, sung expertly, joyfully and energetically by the Governor’s wife, who encouraged us all to join her in the choruses.

After this we got the chance to hear Ann Marie Dewar’s singing, as well as her excellent piano playing (I’m always impressed by people who can do both at the same time). In her warm, lilting voice she sang a childhood favourite of mine – the Caribbean Carol.

Sujue Cofee Morning Xmas (39)We finished up with the powerful carol O Holy Night, which was presented as a medley – Marc de Dinechin, Nicolas Tirard, Pamela Holley and Rosemarie Celius sang a verse of the song in French, then Easton Farrell sang the remaining verses in English with Ann Marie (still playing the piano), and encouraging the audience to sing along with the chorus.

It was an upbeat ending to a carol concert that managed to blend the exotic and new with the old and familiar; to be both light and fun and at times, thoughtful and moving, and to take us on a musical journey right around the world.

END*****

The singers and musicians reprised their performances at the Cultural Centre on Wednesday 17th December, for the benefit of the Montserrat Senior Citizens Association Christmas Party, with a few additions.

Pupils from St. Augustine Primary School sang The Little Drummer Boy and We Wish You a Merry Christmas, both in Chinese. This impressive effort (I wonder how many primary school children outside China can sing songs in Chinese) was directed by Pat Ryan, with Cris van Beuren on piano. There was also a ‘Christmas on Saxophone’ performance by Mr Joseph.

Announcements were done throughout by Cupid, and Mr Easton Farrell closed the concert by inviting everybody to sing Silent Night together.

The elderly citizens of Montserrat seemed to very much enjoy the performances, clapping and singing along, and even hooting on their Christmas horns as enthusiastic accompaniments to many of the performances.