Wednesday, June 20, 2012

NY Daily News hails 'Souldance'

Lowrie-Chin’s ‘Souldance’ of poetry and social commentary

For a rare and meaningful glimpse into the life and the thoughts of Jamaican public relations veteran Jean Lowrie-Chin, read her book “Souldance: Poems and Writings,” an insightful and inspiring collection of poetry and social commentary.

Lowrie-Chin – known for her distinguished PR and marketing career, her writings for the Jamaica’s the Daily News, Gleaner and Observer and her recent founding of the Caribbean Community of Retired Persons – has taken portions of her extensive experience and weaved then into selected poems, columns, and travel pieces.

Jamaican artist Viv Logan’s work “Cherubs Gone Rasta,” depicting pair of playful dreadlocked cherubs, adorns the book’s cover.

Souldance, from Ian Randle Publishers, is available at selected book stores and at

Sunday, June 17, 2012


My Dad - Joscelyn E. Lowrie FCA

From 'Souldance'

There was great excitement in our house that week. My mother, a widowed young mother of four running a grocery shop in Savanna-la-mar, was baking a wedding cake for Uncle Jos’ big day. Uncle Jos, a relative of our late father, would travel regularly from Kingston where he worked as an accountant, taking us to his beloved St. Joseph’s Catholic Church at Hendon Circle, and bringing us fun gifts.

All week we kept asking, “Who is Uncle Jos getting married to? When can we meet her?” My mother told us he was marrying a lady named Miss Jones and that we would meet her on the wedding day.

On the long awaited day my sister and I were sent next door for our neighbour, Miss King, to help us get dressed. Miss King, an elderly spinster, seemed extremely excited. “What a happy day!” she exclaimed, “Your Mama is getting married to your Uncle Jos!” Frances and I looked at each other in bewilderment, but I was secretly relieved. I had been worried that “Miss Jones” would not approve of Uncle Jos bringing us stuff like hula-hoops and big American apples from Kingston.

 Uncle Jos, our new Dad had encouraged our mother to enrol us at the private Catholic School and we had become converts. The Sisters of Mercy at St. Mary’s Academy admired my father greatly, this brilliant young accountant who took such interest in the education of his stepchildren.

A year after the wedding, when Dad had found a suitable house to rent, we journeyed together to begin a new life in Kingston. He was in accord with our mother that God should always be at the centre of our lives. Prayers were said before meals and at bedtime. We worshipped every Sunday at Holy Cross and attended Alpha Prep then Alpha Academy while our brother Tony went to St. George’s College.

Dad threw himself into the role of father with a gusto that I have rarely seen in biological fathers. Every Saturday was library day, and after we carefully selected our books, we would be taken to the old Oxford Pharmacy for ice cream. No wonder we all went into communications – he made the written word sweet for us! Our school reports were filed with the same military precision he used for his office papers. He used the files to track our progress or lack thereof in various subjects.

But this calm organized Dad had one great aversion: he could not countenance borrowing. The only two times I was punished by him was for borrowing playthings. He measured out the slaps; four in each hand and forever made me allergic to borrowing.

Our father worked with one of the city’s leading accounting firms, and continued studying at night. There was great jubilation when he passed his final examinations to become a chartered accountant. We treasure the Gleaner clipping carrying pictures of him and his good friend Edgar Jones announcing their success.

 Dad set up his own firm but an arthritic condition that started years before, when the English winter seeped into his young bones as he served in the RAF in World War II, flared up with dire consequences. By the time he was 40, my father was confined to a wheelchair and moved his office to our small living room in Pembroke Hall. All the dreams he had of moving us to a “better” neighbourhood, had to be put on hold.

Instead of losing faith, this illness drew my father and the entire family closer to God. Every night we would gather around his bed, and say the Rosary, each of us taking turns to lead a decade. Once during prayers, he gasped and stopped breathing. We prayed more loudly, urged on by our tearful mother, until he started breathing again.

My father confounded his doctors, who wondered how he could continue working full time, retaining almost all his clients although he was constantly in pain. The bones in his neck had fused so he was not able to look down at his writings. He was fitted with periscope-like glasses and kept right on earning and supporting his family.

 It was from Dad that we learned good office practice. He refused to put his signature on any letter that was smudged by an eraser. His files had to be orderly, every sheet of paper punched so that the pages were edge to edge. Our father worked to the day before his death in 1977, and left this world whispering prayers with my mother.

The week before he died, he signed the papers for his youngest to go to University. The month before, he had made his final mortgage payment. “All is now in order,” he had told our mother. “I can die now.”

The late Sister Veronica Doorly wrote in her letter of condolence, “We now have St Joscelyn in heaven.” On the wall facing my desk, is a photograph of Dad – warm, calm, and true. He is our Angel.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Poet Jennifer Lumley: 'Impressive to say the least'

Jennifer Lumley
Photo credit M. Fletcher

Review: “Souldancing” with Jean Lowrie-Chin in New York
By Jennifer Lumley
Published Nov 28, 2011

She warmed the room with her smile like the Caribbean sun and the audience anxiously waited while they basked in the beauty of her gentle presence, a scarf, with the colors of the Jamaican flag, gently cascading down the front of her dress. A little behind her scheduled arrival at Ruder Finn, Inc. because of the unceasing evening rain, her pleasant personality just shone right through and put everyone at ease. Jean Lowrie-Chin, fellow author, columnist and mother, read a few pieces from her book “Souldance” and had the crowd in an uproar at times and at other times reminiscing on the Jamaican paradise that we left behind. It was impressive to say the least.

Her writings are prolific and her book cover design was remarkably authentic – two little caramel colored angels with dread locks and a ribbon with the Rastafarian colors. The art work is obviously Jamaican and brings home a deliberately sweet setting for the 170 pages of writings within. Jean keeps it real. Jamaica has its paradise but it also has its ‘plagues’. David Heron, a Jamaican playwright and actor in New York and good friend to Lowrie-Chin, also read a few pieces and expressed them in a very feeling manner. He got your attention and gripped you for as long as he read.

Dave Rodney, moderated the evening’s affairs. Gail Moaney, executive Vice President of Ruder Finn, did the welcome. Ambassador Audrey P. Marks, whose arrival was also affected by the inclement weather, spoke enthusiastically about the book and recommended it highly to all Jamaicans. Anthony Turner delivered the vote of thanks after folks lined up to get their autographed copies of “Souldance”. Spirits were lifted and souls were fed for having attended this “dance” session...and Lowrie-Chin is ranked as another one of Jamaica’s poetic DJs.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Souldance for Your Soul

Friday, November 18th, 2011 | Posted by Veronica Keitt

If you’re looking for that perfect gift I have the perfect [one] for you. Jean Lowrie Chin’s delightfully charming and yet compelling new book of poetry & writings ‘ Souldance ‘ takes you on a journey into the quintessential Jamaican paradise where she shares stories of her growing up in Jamaica, societal issues and its impact on Jamaican life, and the beauty of a culture that is totally immersed in today’s pop culture.

At her recent New York City launch hosted by Gail L Moaney, executive vice president, Travel & Economic Development, Ruder Finn Inc., Lowrie-Chin dazzles the crowd with her charm, laughter, and infectious spirit. She invites you into her world filled with triumph, pain and a few myths, as she share stories about her childhood and growing up, 911, liberation and love. In her poem “Your Son Too”—which was read by David Heron at the event, she talks about the tragic ending for Lee Boyd Malvo as seen through the eyes of the mother. Powerful—primarily because sometimes we forget about those affected in cases like this. It reads:

Man nice can done

Treat mi chile like a son

Mi boy get a father

To take him to America!

“Ole Lord, Kumbayah”

I hear bout sniper and pray for mi son

Lord, protect him from that wicked gun…

Oh God: The news reach me!

It buckle me knee

Mi boy chain like slave

In the land of the free

Oh Lord Kumbaya

Lowrie-Chin’s writings forces you to look at the world from a non-judgmental, practical sense, while poking fun at the everyday life of rich Jamaican culture and traditions in which she was brought up on. In Jonkunnu Baby” she talks about how she became a Jonkunnu baby after her mother saw a Jonkunnu which caused her early delivery. The audience laughed as they identified with the story—including Chip Smith of the Caribbean BillboardMusicTV who spoke of his personal experience with a Jonkunnu as a child in which he says he still remembers the image as clear as it was yesterday. “I remember the Jonkunnu as a child. It was in the shape of a horse head which clamped down like that” He claps his hands together. “It’s so vivid in my mind,…it scared me as a child.”

Although I would generally delve into mysteries or novels, Souldance, now available on is a page turner and I book I can’t put down. For those who are from Jamaica it will make you want to go home, for those who have never been, you will be packing your bags on the next flight out to explore the rich beauty and culture that Lowrie-Chin so eloquently speaks about.

How wondrous is the truth I found

The soul is not by body bound

It travels like a ray of light

And see with universal sight

And so my soul will keep me whole

When senses fail and steps grow slow

This body is a tiny stage

On which the soul performs a phase

Come, fly beyond the day and night

Sway your soul to strains of light

God’s music falls like sweet soft rain

Takes you past all fear and pain

Clap soul-hands, tap soul-feet

And dance to Heaven’s mighty beat! –Jean Lowrie-Chin

Those in attendance included, David Heron, actor, producer and playwrite, Chip Smith of Caribbean Billboard Music TV, Lester Spaulding, chairman of the Radio Jamaica Group, legal luminary and member of Jamaica’s Electoral Advisory Committee Hon. Dorothy Pine McLarty, and Selma Brown, marketing director for the Caribbean Tourism Organization, to name a few. Sponsors for the event included Rhum Barbancourt, Touch of Elegance Catering, Nakasaki Restaurant and Uptown Vegetarian Juice Bar in Harlem. The Souldance launch was designed by Dave Rodney and Anthony Turner of IMAGES Media LLC, New York.