Bronx News
Jan 14, 2018

BRONX NEWS: CARIBBEAT: He gives big bucks for his Jamaican alma mater

For business owner Noel Spencer and many other Jamaicans living in the diaspora, thoughts of their island home — and their high school — are life-long undertakings.

Spencer has appealed to both these concerns by generously paying for the building of the Noel Spencer Family Interscholastic Fitness Center, due to open late next month on the Melbourne Campus of Kingston College.

An alumnus of Kingston College, a 93-year-old scholastic institution, Spencer foot the ,000 bill required to build the fitness center, art classrooms and studios that make up the complex.

“We who gained so much from Kingston College have to give back to the institution so that it can better serve the needs of students and the wider community,” said Spencer, founder of the Spencers of Jamaica diversified financial service and a past president of the Kingston College Old Boys Association in New York.

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In addition to the complex bearing his family’s name, Spencer said the art center at the site will be named for his uncle, Kenneth Abendana Spencer, a distinguished Jamaican artist who died in 2005.

The fitness center will complement a new state-of-the-art running track, finished last September. Spencer also contributed ,000 to the completion of the track.

The new fitness center will serve more students than the current facility and the new track eliminates the need to use an off-campus facility.

“They (students) will no longer have to travel all the way to Stadium East to train as everything will be right there at Melbourne Park to accommodate them,” said Kingston College Headmaster Dave Myrie.

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The late punta music star Andy Palacio will be remembered on Saturday in Brooklyn in a concert at Long Island University’s Kumble Theater, 1 University Plaza (Flatbush Ave., between Dekalb Ave. and Willoughby St.), at 3 p.m.

“Watina Through Movement: A Tribute to Our Legend: Andy Palacio,” presented by J-Dove Productions, brings together a select lineup of performers to honor Palacio — the influential proponent of punta, a music of the African and Caribbean rooted Garifuna people of Central America. “Watina” was one of the most acclaimed albums from Palacio, who died in 2008.

The concert stars Andy Ordonez, the Garifuna Jazz Ensemble, Jamie Thompson, Maryam, Abdul Qawiyy, The JDove Dance Academy, Chief Joseph Chatoyer Garifuna Folkloric Ballet of New York and others.

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Tickets are in advance and on the day of the show. Doors open at 2:30 p.m. Visit for tickets or call the theater box office at (718) 488-1624.


“Black Panther Woman,” Rachel Perkins’ documentary on Australian Black Panther Party member Marlene Cummins — following her through activism, art, addiction — opens “AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange” public television series tomorrow on World Channel at 8 p.m.

The series — in its 10th season — features an international assortment of documentary films examining immigration, social justice, the arts and more in the African diaspora.

Nicholas Ashe, star of the Oprah Winfrey Network television show “Queen Sugar,” is host for this year’s series.

Visit for more on AfroPoP other Black Public Media initiatives. For viewing information, check local listings or visit


The life and legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is the focus of the annual Caribbean Images TV tribute to the late civil rights leader, taking place today in Brooklyn at the Hudson River Yacht Club, 2101 Bergen Ave in the Mill Basin section, starting at 7 p.m.

In addition to honoring King, the affair features recipients of Caribbean Images 2018 Leadership Awards and Outstanding Community Service Awards.

Hosted by Caribbean Images TV executive director Peter Pouchon, the event will have live performances by Alegba – King Frantzy; Caribbean Dance Troupe and music by DJ Robert.

For information, call (917) 468-5219 and send e-mail to


The Christian Times newspaper’s Martin Luther King Jr. “An Economic Shift” forum — on strengthening the connection between the African Disapora and the African Continent — will be held tomorrow in Brooklyn at the Rise Center, 38 Waverly Ave. (between Flushing and Park Aves.).

The event, which opens with a 6:30 p.m. with networking session and continues with the forum from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., features the Rev. Dennis Dillon, publisher of the Christian Times; Zienzile Dillon, former head of Public Sector, Corporate and Investment Banking for Barclays Africa; Bertha Lewis, president of the Black Institute; and Rany Baz, president of Archstone Holdings.

To RSVP, visit For information, call (718) 638-6397 or send email to


Last week’s Caribbeat column had an incorrect date for the screening of the film “Charcoal” at St. John’s University’s Manhattan campus, 101 Astor Place. The screening will be held Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. The News regrets the error.

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CARIBBEAT: He gives big bucks for his Jamaican alma mater

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