JIS News

The Jamaican community and friends of the Diaspora in South Florida will pay their last respects to late Vice Chancellor Emeritus of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Professor the Hon. Ralston “Rex” Nettleford, OM, at a thanksgiving service slated for next Tuesday (February 23).
The function, which will be held at the Holy Family Episcopal Church in Miami Gardens starting at 4:00 p.m., will feature tributes from representatives of the cultural arts community, the UWI alumni in South Florida, the Jamaican Diaspora, public leaders, among others.
Alumni of the National Dance Theatre Company (NDTC), which was founded by Professor Nettleford, will pay tribute in dance. Former NDTC dancer, Lois Requa-Dunn, said she was elated to be asked to perform. “He helped me fulfill my dream in becoming a dancer. I look forward to giving of my best in dance in honour of a great man,” she said.
Ms. Requa-Dunn, who danced with the group for nearly 10 years, described Professor Nettleford as an inspiration and her mentor. “He always ensured that we were in touch with our goals. I will miss him,” she stated.
The service is being coordinated by the Holy Family Episcopal Church and the Consulate General of Jamaica in Miami.
Consul General Sandra Grant Griffiths, in noting Professor Nettleford’s invaluable contribution to the Jamaican and the wider Caribbean Diaspora, noted that countless persons “were impacted by the profound work, vision and spirit of our beloved cultural icon and educator.”
Professor Nettleford died in Washington, D.C. in the United States on Tuesday (Feb. 2) after suffering a heart attack. He was 76 years old.
A condolence book for the late Professor will be opened at the Jamaica Consulate General in Miami on Tuesday (Feb. 16). The office is located at 25 Southeast Second Avenue, Suite 609, in downtown Miami.
An official funeral service will be held tomorrow (Feb. 16) in Jamaica at the UWI Chapel, Mona campus.
The NDTC will pay tribute to its founder that same day, at the Little Theatre in Kingston, beginning at 7:00 p.m. The campus will also host a special tribute to Professor Nettleford on Thursday (Feb. 25).