Profiles of Heritage Awardees – 2014





Rev. Dr. Alfred Johnson (Village Pastor), is the founding president of the Jamaica Organization of New Jersey (JON-J)(1998) whose goal is to bring together the Jamaican diaspora in New Jersey. In 2011 he was designated ‘President-Emeritus’ of the Organization. Dr. Johnson was a founding member and vice-president of the United Caribbean-American Network of New Jersey (UCAN) and, although retired, continues to serve as chaplain of the Caribbean Medical Mission. He has also traveled to St. Vincent and Jamaica with the Caribbean Medical Mission to provide medical care for the indigent.

In his 48 years of ministry, he has worked all over the world, including Turks and Caicos Islands, Guyana, Nigeria, Jamaica and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In Jamaica he lectured in New Testament Introduction at the Jamaica Theological Seminary and served for seven years as Executive Secretary of the Jamaica Baptist Missionary Society. In 1984, Rev. Johnson was selected to carry the Jamaican Flag before an audience of thirty-five thousand at the opening ceremony of Billy Graham’s first International Conference on Evangelism in Amsterdam, Holland. In 2003 he was the first Jamaican elected Moderator of the Presbytery of Newark. He ministered at Clinton Avenue Presbyterian Church for 21 years before retirement, where his major ministry was OPERATION CHEER, a soup kitchen which provided over 14,000 hot meals annually for needy families in the Newark South Ward. Other ministries included tutorial home-work assistance for elementary school students and GED preparation for high school dropouts.

Rev. Dr. Johnson is also a published author.




Barbara Wilson has been the Chief Director of the Caribbean Festival Committee since its inception over 28 years ago, leading the coordinating and planning efforts of Philadelphia Annual Caribbean Festivals, targeting thousands of people across Philadelphia, New Jersey and Delaware. The Committee awards scholarships to Caribbean and Caribbean-American students.

An active member of the Philadelphia 2010 Census Committee, Barbara helped to get African and Caribbean residents/naturalized citizens counted in the 2010 Census. She is also a member of the African and Caribbean Voters’ Registration Drive. She is an active board member of the Marcus Garvey Memorial Foundation, which deals with the historical and archiving of relevant documentation. Barbara also sits on the Philadelphia Mayor’s Commission on African and Caribbean Affairs, serving as a Caribbean representative. Ms. Wilson sits on the planning committee of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant and Cultural Affairs.

Barbara Wilson is a former president of the Jamaica Progressive League (Philadelphia Chapter).




Daphne Mahoney left Citibank in Jamaica 47 years ago for New York where she continued her career with Citibank and was actively involved in community causes, including visiting ill customers and taking them groceries.

Daphne and friends opened three restaurants at different times, through which not only did the homeless and hungry get meals but a hot pot of soup was donated daily to a neighborhood shelter. About 20 years ago, Ms. Mahoney and friends started an annual Christmas dinner to feed the homeless, the needy and the lonely. It continues at Manhattan’s St. Georges Episcopal Church, dinner and gifts of scarves, gloves and other goodies donated by like-minded persons. More than 250 persons were fed last Christmas. Every first Friday in December the group does caroling and Jamaican food to raise money to assist with the annual dinner. Twenty four years ago she helped to form Heartbeats of Jamaica, to raise funds for poor and disabled children in Jamaica. Mustard Seed Communities was the principal beneficiary and ten years ago she formed Friends of Mustard Seed, to continue the work of Heartbeats of Jamaica. They have raised more than $US400, 000 for Mustard Seed Communities.




Desmond Baker Mr. Baker has been a member of the Wilmington West Indian Association (WWIA) since 1983, and served in many administrative capacities as well as provided assistance to recent Jamaican and other Caribbean transplants to the Wilmington, Delaware area.

He is a member of the State of Delaware Higher Education Commission, Chair, City of Wilmington Planning Commission and Treasurer and Secretary, State of Delaware Hospital Bond Commission. He is the Vice Chair, of the State of Delaware Riverfront Development Corporation and a member of the State of Delaware Workforce Investment Council, as well as a member of the State of Delaware Building Trade Council. Mr. Baker is a member of the Board of Brandywine Gateway Neighbors, and Christina Cultural Arts Center, as well as a Past President and member of the Minority Business Association of Delaware.




Hyacinth Bloomfield is a long standing member of the Jamaica Progressive League and is a foundation member of the Action Committee late Consul General Mr. Gerald Groves, through which needed assistance was provided to the Consulate in its community outreach endeavors. Ms. Bloomfield is also the co-Chair of the Consulate General’s Annual Independence Church Service Committee and is member of the planning team of the Jamaica Independence Celebration Foundation Inc. (JICFI), which plans the annual independence ball.

Ms. Bloomfield is also a member of the United Order of mechanics and a long standing member of the Church of the Good Shepherd and chairman of its Parish Wide Fund Raising Committee.




Jacqueline Haley has a strong interest in community economic development and is a member of the Coalition of Jamaican Organizations MA [COJOMASS] and the Boston Jamaica United Mission for Progress [Boston JUMP]. She serves on the Board of the Caribbean Education Foundation, which is dedicated to the social and economic advancement of Jamaica and the Caribbean through a community-based approach to enlarge youths’ access to quality education.

Since 2006, Jacqueline has been a delegate representing Massachusetts at the Jamaica Diaspora Conferences in Jamaica. As a result, she was appointed to the Jamaica Northeast Advisory Board, working closely with delegates in Northeastern America to identify key areas the Diaspora can impact national development in Jamaica. In 2010 and 2012, she was asked to co-chair the Jamaica Northeast Diaspora Regional Conferences. Jacqueline recently joined the Jamaica National Money Transfer team to further raise the profile of Jamaica in Massachusetts.

Jacqueline Haley is also the Executive Director for Greater Boston Sickle Cell Disease Association, Inc. [GBSCDA] and serves on the board of the Hyde Park Main Streets, providing organizational, administrative and financial oversight to the organization.




Jennifer Chalmers has been in the field of social service for more than 20 years, working with family and children, shelters, residential facilities, and with persons afflicted with HIV and Aids, as well as substance abusers. She is an aggressive advocate for undocumented families and children caught up in the system. Jennifer is founder and chair of Leaf of Life, which assists critically ill children from the Caribbean. Since 1992, the organization has brought more than 200 children to the USA for specialized surgeries, or sent medical teams and equipment to their Islands. To assist them. Leaf of Life has help children from Jamaica Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Barbados, Haiti, St Lucia, Dominica, Grenada and the Dominican Republic.

Jennifer began volunteering with the Jamaican Consulate when Mr. Derrick Heaven was Consul General and continues to so do. She provides assistance to the Consulate whenever her requisite skill sets are needed. She has been helping the Jamaica Independence Celebration Foundation Inc. (JICFI), to plan the annual independence ball, for over 10 years.

Jennifer also helps in the Woodycrest United Methodist Church’s soup kitchen, from which they feed two hundred persons in the Highbridge community every Wednesday.




Karlene M. Samuel Largie, is the Immediate Past President of the Union of Jamaican Alumni Associations (USA), Inc. (UJAA), a Past President of the New York Chapter of the Immaculate Conception High School Alumnae Association and the Secretary and Dance Coach of the NAACP’s New York City ACT-SO program. She is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Braata Productions, an Advisory Board Member of JAMACOB, while also being an active member of several community organizations’ planning committees.

Eight years ago she began to be actively involved with the discussions and activities of the Jamaica Diaspora NE USA…attending the last 3 conferences in Jamaica and as a member of the Planning Committee for the last 2 conferences in the JDNE USA.

Her involvement in community activities began in the late 1970s while employed at Manufacturers Hanover Trust and grew over the years. In the thirty plus years that have passed Karlene has been a beacon of service to her community, her alma mater and her homeland. Not satisfied with contributing to the educational needs of young Jamaicans, Karlene has been involved with several other organizations…mentoring, sharing, and providing leadership and love to the youth.




Pamelia Spencer is a founding and active member of the Coalition of Jamaican Organizations (COJO). She is also founder and president of the Caribbean Queen Foundation, through which she has overseen monetary and material disbursements to many places, including the Jubilee Hospital, Kingston YMCA, SOS Children’s Village in Montego Bay and the Women’s health Project. Pamelia is also a founding member of Caribbean Week Collaborative and was instrumental in establishing the last week of August as an annual “Caribbean Week” in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Pamelia is well known as a print journalist for The Gleaner USA, producer for Boston Neighborhood Network, a local cable access channel and as a broadcast personality on WMBR-FM’s weekly “Jam Session” for more than two decades.A founding member of Caribbean Week Collective, she was instrumental in establishing the last week of August as an annual “Caribbean Week” in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. She also helped to raise funds for Jamaica in the aftermath of Hurricane Gilbert in 1988. Pamelia used to be Air jamaica’s Community Liaison in the metro-Boston area.

She has also been affiliated with the Unity Sports and Cultural Club, as well as the Trinidad, St. Vincent, Jamaica and Barbados (TSJB) Society.




Patrick Beckford has been involved in community service from age 13, when he was elected General Secretary for Conquerors Club in Falmouth, Trelawny. His service continued after he moved to the USA and includes him leading the Friends of Trelawny (FOTA) and being Chairman of the Jamaica diaspora US North East region (2008-2012). During his tenure, the Diaspora movement gained more visibility in the community, as well as in the media, federal, state and local government circles. In May 2011, he was one of five Jamaican delegates to the US State Department’s historic Conference on Diasporas. Patrick organized a Trade Council to engage entrepreneurs and business leaders in the Diaspora and chaired a panel on procurement at the United Nation’s first Conference on Global Diaspora Economy in December 2011. He was also the lead representative at the US State Department’s Global Diaspora three-day conference in May 2011 in Washington.

In 2008, then Jamaica tourism minister designated Patrick a “Jamaica Tourism Ambassador.” He has travelled extensively across North America as a motivational speaker for a number of Jamaican civic, social and business organizations.

That life-long passion was recognized in August 2014 when the Jamaica government awarded him the Order of Distinction (OD).

Patrick has also been a Notary Public for the State of New Jersey since 1997.




Patrick Jolly worked with the Bank of Nova Scotia Jamaica Ltd, where he progressed. Upon graduation he became a banker with the Bank of Nova Scotia Jamaica, Ltd. Here he progressed to the position of Accountant, before migrating to New York City to attend University in 1970.

Having obtained his Master’s degree in Business Administration from Pace University in 1975, he was offered a position of Accountant with Tower Isle’s Frozen Foods, Ltd., his present employer. He quickly advanced to the position of General Manager. The Company has grown in all areas of operations and has the distinction of being one of the largest patty manufacturing companies in the world. In 2011, he was appointed President of Tower Isle’s Frozen Foods, Ltd.

Tower Isle’s is involved in many worthy causes, including The Gift of Life, Inc., a world-wide charity organization which brings children to the U.S.A from all over the world to have corrective open-heart surgery, not available in their countries. Tower Isle’s has sponsored four children from Jamaica, who have had successful surgery and now enjoy productive lives back at home. Mr. Jolly contributes both time and resources to various organizations in the community. He is also an active member of the Manning’s and Clarendon College Alumni Associations.




Roydell Rutty is the President of Trans Caribe Express Shippers, Inc. and continues to be a strong supporter of the Jamaican community in New Jersey. Roy and his team, including brothers and sisters have volunteered and donated goods and services for various organizations throughout New Jersey.

He still ships many items to Jamaica at no cost for several Jamaican organizations and groups and has also donated items such as school supplies and educational materials, including but not limited to computers, desks, chairs, books, medical supplies, hurricane relief materials as well as other needed supplies to Jamaica.

Roy a huge contributor to his family’s non-profit organization, Walkers Wood Youth Foundation that supports Walkers Wood All Age School and the citizens of Walkers Wood St. Ann for more than two decades.


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