A new Caribbean Voice was launched on June 9, 2017. The curtains opened , welcoming Collette Jones – Chin’s latest creation MAHAICA BELLE RINGS.
Mahaica Belle Rings Chronicles the four , most, memorable years of the Author’s tweenaged life with the backdrop being Mahaica, a little rural village on the East Coast of Demerara, Guyana.
The evening was an eclectic one, as excerpts were recited and dramatized by children who depicted the five stages of the Author’s life as is highlighted in the book. Other creative expressions were rendered in dance and vocals by students of STAGES ANGUILLA, a young theatre Arts group managed by Collette.
Other presentations were made by Pastor Dexter Welcome, Ingrid Fullington, Publisher-Ivenia Benjamin and Natasha Welcome. Janine Edwards was the Mistress of Ceremonies. The highlight of the evening was readings by Collette Jones – Chin who dramatically brought to life a few characters in selected chapters.
The evening ended with the signing of books purchased.
The sudden and untimely passing of her mother when she was one year old brought the author into the loving care of her maternal grandparents with whom she lived for the first 14 years of her life in Mahaica, a rural district in the Country of Demerara Guyana. There she experiences the joys, pains, successes and failures of growing up as a child and pre-adolescent girl in a multi-ethnic community where life was good until the unexpected death of her grandparents. With delicacy and refinement the author explores in graphic details, the psychological changes she experiences when her biggest fear of having to live in Georgetown „the big city‟ with her father and his new wife materializes. The bell that rings in every chapter of this memoir will resonate in the most secret corners of the psyche of every person who has lived or experienced Caribbean life and they too will hear their own bells ring, taking them to emotional places they may have forgotten existed.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Collette Jones-Chin is a graduate of the University of Guyana (UG) with a Bachelor‟s Degree (BA) in Art Education and Painting and of the Burrowes School of Art (BSA), Guyana, with a Diploma in Painting and Graphic Arts. She is as an Educator, Writer, Artist, Dramatist, Arts Therapist, Interior, and Set & Costume Designer who has performed and mounted several one-woman and group exhibitions across the Caribbean Region and in North & South America. She is an Educational Youth and Community Development Expert with training in Human Resource and Operations Management. Collette was instrumental in the establishment of the National School of Theatre Arts and Drama in Guyana where she served as the first Director of Studies, Lecturer of Design and Production Management and Festivals Director. She is the recipient of many Awards in the Theatre & Visual Arts as well as in Playwriting. She is presently the Director & Executive Producer of her own company SENOJ CREATIONS. She is married with one daughter. Mrs. Jones-Chin is currently residing in Anguilla where she established a Community Drama Club for Youths called “Stages Anguilla”. Mahaica Belle Rings is her first book and highlights most of her childhood experiences of growing up in the country-side of Guyana.
“Mahica Belle Rings! And in doing so heralds the emergence of a scintillating new voice in Caribbean Literature. Collette Jones-Chin paints every page with the dappled tones of rural life: race, religion, love, life and death are all confronted in this moving, honest and often hilarious memoir. The perfect Caribbean , “coming of age‟ story. ”
Hon. Mr. Justice Courtney A. Abel (Judge of the Supreme Court of Belize.)
“Mahaica Belle Rings is a delightful read. It is the story of a child going through the rights of passage, burgeoning and transitioning to adulthood. Collette Jones-Chin has brought into her narrative the rustic charm of the Guyanese countryside and the warm insouciance of a people unspoilt by the heady commerce of urban living. In her world, “everyone was a parent, or brother, or sister or some sort of an extended family” where she “felt a strong sense of belonging”; the place was fresh and cozy with the “pitter patter” of early morning rain on a “rusted tin roof”, and “the smell of rain on the fresh dirt”. The characters are colourful and believable. They glide, strut and stumble through the book with purpose and amazing congruity even in opposing situations of conflict and harmony. It is a book well worth writing, and even more well worth reading”.