JIS News

Jamaica’s Consul General to Toronto, Canada, Anne-Marie Bonner, has described author and communications guru, Easton Lee, as “a master storyteller and a great edutainer.”
She was speaking at the Toronto launch of Mr. Lee’s latest book, ‘Run Big ‘Fraid’, which took place at the University of Toronto’s William Doo Auditorium, on May 28.
The Consul General said Mr. Lee wrote from a cultural tradition that was sadly being lost in today’s world.
“His experiences reflect the cultural diversity of Jamaica, not only because it gives us a slice of Jamaican life from a Chinese perspective, but also because he has been intimately involved in the theatre, public relations, arts and the Anglican Church. All these elements are the foundation of a set of values and traditions that create who we are as Jamaicans,” she said.
The launch was a collaborative effort among the Jamaican Consulate General, Arts and Culture Jamaica (ACJAM), the University of Toronto and Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS).
Paying tribute to his late friend and mentor, cultural icon, Louise Bennett-Coverley, Mr. Lee said Jamaicans are forgetting the teachings of the wisdom of Africa and of China, crediting her with “opening up my ears again to what I heard in my childhood.”
He said the stories in ‘Run Big ‘Fraid’, with names like ‘Bull Muma’, ‘Deadlef’, and ‘Gilnock Race Horse’ are from his childhood, which he heard from “behind the counter” at his parents’ grocery store or from his mother.
Reading some of the stories with Mr. Lee was the inimitable Jamaican actress and educator Maud Fuller, who played the part of ‘Liza’ on the ‘Lou and Ranny’ radio show for many years.
Also in attendance were the President of Arts and Culture Jamaica, Cherita Girvan-Campbell; founder of Arts and Culture Jamaica, Paula de Ronde; Manager of the Jamaica Tourist Board in Canada, Sandra Scott; Director of Gender Studies at the University of Toronto, Professor Alissa Trotz; and Manager of the JNBS Representative Office, Alison Martin.

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