11 Jul, 2018

Guests of the CHASE Fund were treated to a special musical performance in celebration of the Fund’s 15th anniversary at the University Chapel on July 1, 2018.

The event featured the Nexus Performing Arts Company, the Kingston College Chapel Choir, soprano, Danielle Watson, the Jamaica Youth Chorale, the Lightening Drummers, the National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica and Northern Caribbean University music majors.

The Lightening Drummers opened the show with Arrive arranged by their teacher, Karen Davis. The young drummers, whose members are students of Ardenne Preparatory, received financial support from CHASE back in 2016 to compete in the World Championship of the performing Arts in Hollywood California where they excelled. The confident performance of the young drummers set the stage for an evening of great music.

The National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica (NYOJ), followed with performances of Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s Preludio de Te Dium and the Klaus Badlet composed Pirates of the Caribbean.  The pieces were beautifully performed by the orchestra which is the result of a dynamic after-school music program that has been empowering youth through classical music training.

The evergreen Nexus Performing Arts Company rolled out the old favourites including the Negro spiritual, Steal Away arranged by the Company’s artistic director, Hugh Douse and Glorious Is Thy Name by Mozart.     

The Kingston College Chapel Choir, which is celebrating its 71st anniversary followed with a stirring mix including Canon in D by Johann Pachelbel.  The choir, under the direction of conductor, Audley Davidson, also performed Praise His Holy Name by Keith Hampton and The Prayer.

The Jamaica Youth Chorale performed Noel Dexter’s arrangement of Psalm 24. 

They followed up with Cyaa Ketch Mi Again by Andrew Marshall and ultimately surprised with a choral arrangement of Buju Banton’s, Til Shiloh, to the delight of the audience.

Danielle Watson, accompanied by Dr. Kaestner Robertson, showed off her vocal range with Quando m’en vo from La Bohème by Giacomo Puccini.  Watson’s bold and impassioned performance of Ah! Je veux vivre from Roméo and Juliette, was also well received by the audience.

The audience also got to hear from Northern Caribbean University students Oren Thomas, piano, Sashekia Brown, soprano, Danielle Brown, mezzo-soprano and baritone, Calynton Blake, whose rendition of I Bought Me a Cat by Aaron Copeland, delighted the audience.

The CHASE Fund 15th Anniversary Combined Choir made up of the participatings choirs, was the highlight of the evening. The choir, coordinated by Noel Dexter, conducted by Gregory Simms and accompanied by Cathy Brown on piano and Dr. Kaestner Robertson on organ, produced an exhilarating listening experience with This is My Land by Robert Lightbourne and William Steffe’s Battle Hymn of the Republic…creating a perfect end to the evening of performances.

 In its 15 years of operation, CHASE has funded 3,725 projects totaling $17.0B with $4.3B to Education, $3.7B to Health, $2.7B to Arts and Culture; and $6.3B to Sports via a pass through to the Sports Development Foundation.

The Chairman of the CHASE Fund, Philip Henriques, noted in his message, that the Fund had supported many beneficial interventions that had varying but significant impact on the communities in which they were located and on the lives of beneficiaries.

He highlighted CHASE’s support for music education under its Arts and Culture portfolio.  In addition to building and equipping music rooms in schools across the island, the Fund offers scholarships to individuals and groups to further their study music and the performing arts.

Mr. Henriques thanked the many partners, associates and friends who had worked with CHASE to make a difference.

CHASE Hands Over Laparoscopic Machines for May Pen and Mandeville Regional Hospitals

05 Jul, 2018

The CHASE Fund handed over Laparoscopic Towers to both the Mandeville Regional and May Pen Hospitals on June 19, 2018.  The handover took place at the May Pen Hospital.  CHASE provided funding in the amount of $25.3M for the procurement of the laparoscopic towers and instruments.  Laparoscopy is often used to identify and diagnose the source of pelvic or abdominal pain. It’s usually performed when noninvasive methods are unable to help with diagnosis.  Dr. Ashok Kotagiri Kumar, Medical Officer, Mandeville Regional Hospital (left), demonstrates the laparoscopy machine to St. Andrade Sinclair, CEO, May Pen Hospital (centre), and W. Billy Heaven, CEO CHASE Fund.


CHASE Supports Your View Awards

29 Mar, 2018

CHASE Director, Ian Levy (right) poses with Sly Dunbar and YVA originator, Karen Clarke.    Director levy had earlier presented Dunbar with the Lifetime Achievement Award recognizing him and his “TAXI” producing partner Robbie Shakespeare, for their contribution to the music industry at the Your View Awards held on February 24, 2018 at the Indoor Sports Centre.


Drummer Sly Dunbar and bassist Robbie Shakespeare teamed up in 1975 and have been the driving rhythm behind innumerable songs.  They changed the face of reggae music with the introduction of a harder beat called “Rockers” which quickly replaced the then-prevalent “One Drop” style.


They were also important in developing the trend towards computer-assisted music in the nmid-1980s.  After 43 years together, they still tour and record relentlessly.


CHASE Fund Continues Support for Reggae Month


The Jamaica Reggae Industry Association honoured Reggae pioneers at the JaRIA Honour Awards held on February 25 at the Courtleigh Auditorium.  The JaRIA awards are held annually to celebrate the contribution of some of Jamaica’s most outstanding music professionals, past and present.

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon Olivia “Babsy” Grange, received the Lifetime Achievement Award for her dedication to the music industry.  The award was presented by CHASE Director, Novlette Howell.

The CHASE Fund committed $3 million to support the mounting of the 10th renewal of “Reggae Month” in February.  Contribution to Reggae Month falls under the Fund’s Arts and Culture portfolio.

Chief Executive Officer of the CHASE Fund, W. Billy Heaven, said that JaRIA continues to provide a stage not just for quality entertainment but also the opportunity to learn more about reggae music and the industry.  “I thank JaRIA for encouraging serious dialogue on maximizing the potential of the industry at its Music Symposium, but most importantly I thank them for broadening the participation of Jamaicans by continuing to make many of these activities free to the public,” he said.

The Reggae Month enterprise has been strengthened with the assistance of funding from the CHASE Fund in the sum of approximately $30 million over nine years with special consideration given to the Reggae Industry Honour Awards.


Collie Smith Statue Unveiled at Boys’ Town


A bronze statue of well-known cricketer O’Neil Gordon “Collie” Smith was unveiled in an official ceremony at Boys’ Town, Trench Town on Wednesday, March 21, 2018.

The statue was commissioned by Boys’ Town and finance by the CHASE Fund at a cost of $8.1 million.  The statue was sculpted by renowned Jamaican artist, Kay Sullivan.

Smith, an outstanding cricketer represented Boys’ Town, Kingston College, Jamaica, West Indies and Burnley Cricket Club in England, a short but inspirational career. He died at age 26 in a car accident in England in 1959.  His friend and West Indies teammate, Sir Garfield Sobers, in his recorded his message sent his commendations and quipped that he believed his career was made better because he played his game for both himself and Collie.



Mico University and the CHASE Fund Break Ground for Construction of a new Entrance

20 Feb, 2018

The Mico University College, the oldest teacher training institution in the Western Hemisphere will have a new entrance by April this year. Ground was broken last week for the construction of the new entrance to the institution funded by the CHASE Fund.  The Mico University College is a heritage site with the main iconic Buxton Building recognized as a National Landmark of fine Georgian colonial architecture.

One of the benefits of the redesigned entrance will be a reduction of traffic congestion along the Marescaux Road corridor and is expected to reduce major disruptions to the flow of traffic especially during peak hours.

CHASE’s contribution of $12 million to the development of the new entrance supports the preservation of the character of the original building which was built in the 1890s and is protected by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust.  The initiative falls under the Fund’s Arts and Culture mandate.

Participating in the recent ground-breaking are (l-r) Professor Neville Ying, Chairman of Mico Unversity College; Paulette Mitchell, CHASE Fund Project Manager; Dr. Ashburn Pinnock, President of the University; Sylvester Tulluch, Mico Foundation Chairman; and Laban Roomes, Secretary of the Mico Foundation.


CHASE Fund Continues Support for Reggae Month

01 Feb, 2018

The CHASE Fund is committing $3 million to support the mounting of the 10th renewal of “Reggae Month” this month.  Contribution to Reggae Month falls under the Fund’s Arts and Culture portfolio.

Chief Executive Officer of the CHASE Fund, W. Billy Heaven, said that JaRIA continues to provide a stage not just for quality entertainment but also the opportunity to learn more about reggae music and the industry.   “I thank JaRIA for encouraging serious dialogue on maximizing the potential of the industry at its Music Symposium, but most importantly I thank them for broadening the participation of Jamaicans by continuing to make many of these activities free to the public,” he said.

The Reggae Month enterprise has been strengthened with the assistance of funding from the CHASE Fund in the sum of approximately $30 million over nine years with special consideration given to the Reggae Industry Honour Awards.

Heart Foundation’s screening goes mobile with help from the CHASE Fund

JIS Webmaster
05 May, 2017


The Heart Foundation of Jamaica’s (HFJ) life-saving screening services have received another boost from the CHASE Fund which has facilitated the purchase of a mobile echocardiogram at a cost of J$6.4 million.  The machine was officially handed over yesterday by the Chief Executive Officer of the CHASE Fund, Mr. W. Billy Heaven at the CHASE Fund’s Belmont Road address.

Mr. Heaven noted that CHASE’s focus on primary health care in Jamaica is deliberate and in keeping with the national direction and policy.  “After 15 years of intervention in the public healthcare system, the Fund is now looking at ways that we can have a larger and more lasting impact on the sector particularly as it relates to the provision of cutting edge diagnostic and rehabilitative equipment like the echocardiogram which was presented to the HFJ today”, he said.

Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Jamaica, incapacitating thousands of people – some of them for life – and hampering national productivity. An echocardiogram is a modern technique that allows physicians to evaluate the heart without inserting tubes or wires. The images produced allows the physician to identify various abnormalities in the heart.

The Heart Foundation currently screens over 250 persons per month at their head office. The mobile echocardiogram will enable the Foundation to screen an additional 150 persons per month at their head office and an additional 50 at satellite locations including health fairs.

Executive Director of the HFJ, Mrs. Deborah Chen in accepting the machine said “the Heart Foundation of Jamaica is very happy and appreciative of the donation of this echocardiogram machine.  Presently we have only one machine which limits the number of echo’s that can be done daily.”  She further stated that the additional machine will allow the HFJ to offer this service island wide. “We are particularly pleased that we will be able to offer this service to patients in hospitals where it may not available,” she said.

Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in Jamaica. The Jamaica Health and Lifestyle survey found that 25% of Jamaicans had high blood pressure, 35% had pre hypertension, 12% had high cholesterol while 8% had diabetes. Over 50% of the population is overweight or obese.

“We applaud the Minister of Health for the formation of the Food Industry Task Force in an effort to address the obesity epidemic. If no action is taken there will be an additional 20,000 obese persons each year,” Mrs Chen noted.   She also noted that the HFJ also supports the Jamaica Moves initiative which aims to encourage Jamaicans to increase their level of physical activity.

The HFJ conducts screening island wide and when persons are found to be at risk they are referred for further testing. This may include an echocardiogram. The HFJ also conducts islandwide screening for sudden cardiac arrest, a test which is particularly important for those involved in any athletic activity such as football, track or swimming. After the initial screening some persons may be referred for further testing and again this would involve an echocardiogram.


12 Dec, 2016

tamarlambert_cwa2016Former cricketer Tamar Lambert was named the 2016 recipient of the Courtney Walsh Award for Excellence at an award ceremony on December 7th at the Terra Nova Hotel.  The Courtney Walsh Award Selection Committee chose Lambert from a short list which included female cricketer, Stefanie Taylor and retired football goalkeeper, Warren Barrett.

Lambert represented Jamaica at every level of the game from the time he started playing at Spanish Town Primary School, and to this day remains Jamaica’s most successful cricket captain ever.

He expanded his prowess as a leader from primary level to Jonathan Grant High School, which is situated in the heart of his birthplace, Spanish Town, where he marshalled their troops through one of their most glittering periods on the vast cricketing landscape.

With Lambert at the helm, Jonathan Grant High won the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) Under-14 and Under-16 titles corporate area titles.

Under his stewardship, the school also came very close to winning the premier corporate area title, the Sunlight Cup. However, they lost in the final not once, not twice, but on three occasions. Their nemesis on each occasion, Kingston College. An all-rounder who bats right-hander and bowls right-arm off-spin, Lambert’s greatest successes though were yet to come, as it is while leading the Jamaica senior cricket team that he made his biggest mark.

From 2008-2012, he led Jamaica to an unprecedented five consecutive triumphs in the regional four-day championship. To top it off, the last victory represented a marvelous milestone for Jamaica not only from the historical standpoint, but also that it occurred in the year the country celebrated its 50th anniversary.

All told, Lambert captained Jamaica to six four-day regional championships.

The first one under his direction came in 2005, exactly one year after he was promoted as captain, at age 23, of the senior cricket team. Lambert also led Jamaica to two regional Super50 titles, in 2007 and 2011, plus two play-off shields.

In a newspaper interview published after Jamaica had secured its fifth consecutive title, the soft-spoken Lambert aptly summed up his leadership qualities. “I have been captain all my life, so whatever team I play on, I normally captain it,” he said. “People just see the natural leadership skills in me and I am a student of the game, so they always think that I am the best person to lead.”


Camp Savannah Basic School

12 Aug, 2016

In stark contrast to its condition a few years ago, the Camp Savannah Basic School now boasts a new nine-classroom building with modern fixtures, furniture, and other amenities for the convenience for its more than 200 students and seven teachers. The plight of the School, located in Camp Savannah, Westmoreland – a community which, for many years, was plagued by gang violence – was first brought to the CHASE Fund’s attention by the Jamaica Constabulary Force Community Safety and Security Branch. The institution was initially housed in a large wooden building that was constructed by a team of foreign volunteers after the Wesleyan Holiness Church which it occupied previously was destroyed by Hurricane Gilbert in 1988. The building, which was separated into four classrooms by chalkboard partitions, had fallen into disrepair. The school was over-crowded; students and teachers shared bathroom facilities; and lunch was provided from the home of a community member, as the kitchen had been converted into classroom space. With the CHASE intervention, the institution is now ECC compliant.