The Ministry of Tourism will be assisting with the training of some 2,000 bartenders in the next fiscal year to meet the demand by cruise lines and other entities.Portfolio Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says the bartenders will help with the marketing of rums made in Jamaica.“This year, so far, we have trained 700 bartenders along with Appleton, and the programme is to train 1,200 by the end of this fiscal year, and then in the new (fiscal) year, to go towards the bigger figure of having nearly 2,000 [bartenders trained],” he said, while addressing day two of the inaugural Jamaica Rum Festival at Hope Gardens, St. Andrew, on Sunday (March 10).Minister Bartlett pointed out that the “training is not just about providing bartenders for our local market, but we have had discussion with the cruise lines and they want 10,000 to 15,000 Jamaican workers to be on board their ships all across the world.”He commended the organisers and sponsors of the first Jamaica Rum Festival.Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (right), looks at Appleton Estate’s Jamaica 50th Independence Rum, during a tour of booths on day two of the Jamaica Rum Festival on Sunday (March 10) at Hope Gardens, St. Andrew.Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Hon. Fayval Williams (partially hidden centre); and Public Affairs Director, J. Wray & Nephew Limited, Tanikie McCarty Allen (left), joined the Minister on the tour.“We have outdone ourselves… . We want this to be an annual event where we bring the people of the world to come to Kingston, Jamaica… for the gastronomy experience highlighting all things rum,” he said.He noted that the festival is in keeping with the Government’s strategy to “drive more cultural products into the tourism mix”.“We’re excited to build out… the sugar-cane value chain that can take us from (the field) to the brewery and then to the palates of the world,” Minister Bartlett said.Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, the Hon. Fayval Williams, who was also in attendance, endorsed the staging of the festival.“This not only speaks to the creativity of the people, who made this happen, but it also speaks to our future and the growth that we can expect in our tourism and all the offshoots of that,” she said.Minister Williams said she was pleased to see the various locally-made products on display.The Jamaica Rum Festival was organised by Appleton Estate in partnership with the Jamaica Tourist Board, the Tourism Enhancement Fund, J. Wray & Nephew, Charley’s JB Overproof Rum, Hampden Estate and Monymusk Plantation Rums.The two-day event provided an array of mixes and blends that refreshed the taste buds of patrons, along with an entertainment package showcasing the island’s reggae and dancehall culture.There were also workshops and seminars hosted by the J. Wray & Nephew Academy; global rum ambassador, Ian Burrell; senior blender, Appleton Estate, David Morrison; and master blender, Appleton Estate, Joy Spence.
A local law enforcement investigator is looking to strengthen ties between small children and those in his profession. He has a message parents on how to keep from hindering this growth.“A lot of the parents say to the kids, ‘You see that guy right there, he’s gone take you away,’” Investigator Marcus Bell said.Bell said he see this in the community often and took to social media to express his concern.“That just makes me upset because I have to tell the kids no I’m not going to take you away,” Bell said.In order to combat this stigma, Bell along with other members of the local police department give out stickers, booklets and Junior Deputy badges to the children they see while out in the community.“Sometimes parents approach me and I talk the kids and I even pick them up, take a picture with them you know give them a toy badge and they love it,” Bell said. “They’ll put it on. Kids are intrigued by police officers. Not all police officers are bad.”Bell, who has worked in the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office for over 12 years, understands that parents are just trying to get their children to behave. But instead of telling children the cops are going to take them away, Investigator Bell wants to point parents and guardians in a different direction.“Once you tell a little kid that, it instills in their mind to have fear in the police and we are here to protect them that’s what I would like to see the parents do,” Bell said. “They can easily just walk up to us, we are approachable. We can talk to their kids, make them laugh, shake their hands, make them feel real comfortable. We are here to protect them, not just take them away you know.”