Job and Careers - Career Hall of Fame


Mrs. Gillian Rowlands (left) and Mrs. Betty-Ann Blaine (right)

Betty-Ann Blaine, woman of faith, woman of formidable courage, children’s advocate and champion of youth, today we honour and recognise your achievements and salute you as a blessed daughter of Jamaica, voice of  children,  woman of god, and true servant leader.

We have felt your passion in fighting to right the many wrongs that besiege our country, but it is your love and constancy in caring, defending and protecting  the children of Jamaica, that we know have been the corner stones of your mission, vision and life’s work.

Today we hail you as Jamaica’s foremost children’s advocate and for your dedicated work in uplifting the youth of our country. And we take this opportunity to recount your achievements and to trace your journey as a leader.

Betty-Ann Blaine, born in Jamaica to Jamaican parents, who crossed the social divide, you forged your own identity, took a leap of faith  and answered the call to serve  God and your country, after much soul searching and personal sacrifice.

A graduate of Medgar Evers College and Hunter College in the USA, with a Bachelors Degree and Masters Degree, your first calling was as a  history scholar.  You could have remained in the United States, where you had studied and worked as a lecturer, yet you answered the call to return to your native land Jamaica, gave up your dream of becoming a Professor of History and answered a higher call to serve and champion the cause of the voiceless and most vulnerable in our society: the children of Jamaica. Starting  by coming to the rescue of VOUCH, which was about to close through lack of funding, you raised funds to keep the organisation alive, and since then you have been raising funds and raising awareness of Jamaica’s most pressing issues, particularly regarding our abused and missing children. You founded Youth Opportunities unlimited in 1991,  Hear the Children’s Cry in 2002 and  its Missing Children Support Programme in 2009. Through your visionary leadership and tireless efforts, those two organisations have made an impact both on the children and youth of Jamaica, as well as on the consciousness and conscience of the Nation. You have helped to develop our youth through initiatives such as the successful Prevent a Drop out Pilot Programme, through other preventative and remedial work and through Parenting and Children Safety Workshops and National Youth Health Projects. You have also consistently advocated for action and legislation to stop and prevent the national crisis of our missing and abused children. You have been unwavering in your belief in and call for a more compassionate, just and righteous society.  You are pioneering a course for Child Care  and related professionals. 

You have been fearless in calling for better governance and greater accountability. This has led you most recently to start a third political party, New Nation Coalition. Notwithstanding the demands of public life, your valuable work as a social entrepreneur and advocate, you are also a columnist, whose Heart to Heart Column is read by thousands of Jamaicans and a radio talk show host who is unafraid to confront the most controversial issues.

Betty-Ann Blaine we salute you as Children’s Advocate, outstanding Servant Leader and woman of courage and faith, as we now induct you into the HKA Career Hall of Fame and present you with our 2012  Award.


Dr. Verene Shepherd (left) and Mrs. Gillian Rowlands (right)

Dr. Verene shepherd, Social and Economic Historian, Gender Specialist, Lecturer, Fellow of the Cambridge Commonwealth Society and Host of Nationwide 90  FM’s Talking History, Chairman of the United Nation’s Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent, prolific author.  Woman of intellect, beauty and humanity, you write   “her story” and make history, the story of a people’s   passage, told   with deep   insight and compelling human narratives. You bring the past alive and place it in our consciousness, so that we connect with our ancestors, our DNA of hope and our struggle and yearning for equity,  human dignity and understanding.

We recognise, value and honour your work and remarkable achievement, particularly in raising awareness of women’s contribution to socio-economic development and in dispelling negative gender stereotypes of women; for making us look at ourselves and our history from  an authentic Caribbean perspective and in so doing enriching  our understanding of our  historical context and role in shaping the African and Indian Diasporas.

Permit us now to trace your story and your distinguished achievements:

Dr. Verene shepherd, born in Hopewell St. Mary, Jamaica, your intellect and scholarship have transcended boundaries of gender and geography and made you a universal citizen. You attained a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Philosophy  Degrees in History from the University of the West Indies;  a PHD in  History from the University of Cambridge and became a Professor in 2001 — the second woman in the Mona History Department to achieve such a remarkable accomplishment.

You were appointed  to the United Nations Human Rights Council´s Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent, to represent the Caribbean and Latin America.   this capacity you have helped in the fight against racism and racial discrimination and have facilitated greater cultural exchange and understanding.

Through your work as a historian, researcher, prolific author, gender specialist lecturer, university professor and custodian of Jamaica’s national heritage, you have   helped to raise our understanding of where we come from, who we are and our potential for the future.  You have also contributed to a world view on race relations and greater understanding of our common struggles and humanity.  For this and all your outstanding achievements, we take great pleasure and honour in inducting you into our HKA Career Hall of Fame.

Pictures from the HKA's Career and Lifestyle Expo 2012

Dr. Verene Shepherd speaking with Courtney Lodge, Director of Strategic Corporate Interventions and Betty-Ann Blaine looking on

Dr. Verene Shepherd speaking with Mr. Courtney Lodge, Director of Strategic Corporate Interventions and Mrs. Betty-Ann Blaine looking on.


Mr. Cedric McDonald, Dr. Verene Shepherd, Mrs. Gillian Rowlands and Mrs. Betty-Ann Blaine (from left to right)



The late Mrs. Ruby Martin

We pause to remember a remarkable woman, who walked with us only yesterday and whose   aura still  makes an  impression on us, as we reflect  on her life and legacy. The late Ruby Martin was a woman of indomitable spirit and dedication, who worked tirelessly and passionately at any undertaking on which she focused her attention.

The Maxfield Park Children’s Home and the Ward Theatre Foundation were two such lucky recipients of her attention and dedication. In a sense both causes were linked by Ruby’s two great loves; the Jamaican people and their right and honour in preserving their dignity, culture and heritage.

Ruby treated the Maxfield Park Children’s Home with the same meticulous attention to detail, as she did   the Ward Theatre.  And both were held in her special custodianship with respect and pride.

 she served with distinction and she demanded much of those who came to serve, or whom she chose to serve alongside her, but she always matched her demands with an equal measure or greater demand on herself and gave everything in her effort to accomplish what she set out to do. This made her a Philanthropist and Cultural ambassador par excellence and she carried the role with beauty, elegance and professionalism.  She was “Ruby Resplendent” and she shone and stood out, with a wonderful clarity and sense of purpose.

 She received national honours and international accolades for her work and came to make friends with many cultural leaders and fellow philanthropists across the world.  Her greatest pride however was “her Jamaica” and it’s heritage and she has charged us to care, value, protect and preserve it, in particular the Ward Theatre, which she considered a wonderful national icon.

Today we honour her memory and pay tribute to her lasting work and memory as we induct her into our HKA Career Hall of Fame and we take this  opportunity in her memory to call all Jamaica to the task of restoring her beloved Ward Theatre our national treasure.

 It is with pleasure that we bestow this Posthumous Citation on Mrs. Ruby martin and invite members of the Board of the Ward Theatre to come forward to honour her  into our Career Hall of Fame.

We now ask everyone to observe a minute’s silence we pause to honour. Ruby Martin’s memory.

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