The dying art of kite-making and kite-flying has prompted young St Philip residents to start a new annual tradition of making and helping to fly kites for community children.
For the second year, old school friends John Jones and Akeem Mason will be coordinating the distribution of kites to children from across the island.
“When I brought the idea to John, I realized he was thinking the same thing,” Mason, 25, said. “We just want to bring back the excitement of making kites and flying them.”
Come Easter Monday, the Kite Flying Extravaganza and Giveback will be held in King George V Memorial Park. It is expected to host children of all ages.
This year John, a professional basketball player on contract in Australia, won’t be at the park but Akeem, a craftsman by trade has enrolled the help of fellow alumni of Graydon Sealy Secondary School – the former Garrison Secondary – some of whom also live in St Philip and youngsters from his district in Marley Vale.
“Last Easter when I was home I didn’t see any kites in the community,” Jones, brother of national athlete Akeela Jones said from Australia. “So I decided it was part of my childhood and I didn’t want to see this cultural practice vanish. I am not there but the event has to go on for the kids.”
The team, which includes popular St Philip DJ Dwayne ‘Prodigy’ Pinder has spent the last week making kites from scratch, starting with the frames. “It is important to give back, especially to children who are in need and tend to feel left out,” he said.
“If you have the resources, you don’t have to have money, if you can bring people together that can help the cause,” he added.
Folklorist G. Addinton Forde, author of the monogram Kites and a judge at the annual kite flying competition at the Garrison Savannah in the late 1980s and 1990s, will also be on hand to assist the young kite flyers.
The event starts at 10:30 a.m. (PR)