LGB vows trip down highway to heaven

Leader of Government Business McKeeva Bush publicly declared an intention to get closer to God Saturday night.

The pronouncement came at the end of an evening when a galaxy of singing stars descended on the West Bay Town Hall Field, for a gospel concert in honour of Mr. Bush’s 50th birthday.

The gathering, numbering well over 2,000, shouted as the Mr. Bush said ‘We thought it was a time to praise God and to get closer to Him. And, as for my 50 years, that’s what I plan to do from here on.’

All of the stars shone dazzlingly, but none with the luminescence of Mrs. Carlene Davis, an internationally famous recording artist from Jamaica. For about an hour, Davis, declared her faith in God, through soul-stirring, up-tempo songs.

Earlier, there were musical presentations from a long list of singers and musicians, including well-known performers like Clive and Friends, Rudy Myles and Nina Orrett.

Among the other standouts were Mark Demarcado, a powerful tenor/baritone, whose voice must have carried for miles on the active night winds; Karen Edie, with her mezzo soprano; Nina Orrett of ‘Satin Sheets’ fame; and Devon Edie, whose rendition of ‘Bridge Over Troubled Waters’ seemed to almost have the same communicative quality of the vocal version.

With alternating pictures of Mr. Bush projected onto a huge screen beside her, Sandrina Martin sang ‘You Are The Wind Beneath My Wings.’

On a windy night, that many had earlier found chilly, Charlene Davis’ performance generated a warmth that appeared to engulf the entire field and intensify itself with each successive song. She pranced across the stage with energy, but also with grace and a sense of reverence, as she fed the audience a diet of her standard fare, such as ‘Holy, Holy, Holy,’ ‘Stand Up For Jesus,’ ‘God is Watching’ and ‘My Forever Friend’, plus a few new musical delights.

When she sang ‘May the Good Lord Bless and Keep You,’ she descended the stage and shared an embrace with Mr. Bush.

Following Mrs. Davis’ performance, Mr. Bush addressed the crowd, saying, among other things, that, at 50, he was bigger than he was at 20, his knees, were a little bit worse and his appetite greater than that of two people. But he thanked God that he is wiser.

Mr. Bush said words are not enough to express his gratitude to those who worked to make the evening the resounding success it was. He was also grateful for the outpouring of love from many quarters. He thanked his audience and the sponsors of the event, which he said was not only staged in honour of his birthday, but was an event to raise funds for community recovery efforts.

‘Ivan left us a little bit beaten and while we are not going to be able to fund every call, we are going to do our best to help those people who need help the most. There is, I know, tremendous need. I had to say to someone the other day: ‘look, we’re not out of the woods yet. There are many, many still suffering.’ ‘

The road to recovery is long, ‘but we’re going to get through this, and we’re going to beat this thing called Ivan. It’s going to take some time. What I ask for is patience and understanding,’ he said.

‘Some will be tempted to criticize quickly, but it didn’t take us two days or even five months to build this country and it is going to take us a longer time yet to do the necessary repairs.

He pledged that his Government is going to stick with those who need help recovering from the ravages of Ivan.

He foreshadowed the likelihood of a similar concert in Bodden Town during March and one in George Town in April. He hinted that the female gospel singing superstar will be back for both.