Panamanians to mark independence with parade

Panamanian indigenous San Blas natives parade in New York.
Panamanian indigenous San Blas natives parade in New York.

Panamanians from both the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean regions of the isthmus are preparing for the 114th anniversary of their separation from Colombia with a commemorative festivity of the Nov. 3, 1903 independence by hosting a flag-raising ceremony, parade and festival.

Organized by the Day of Independence Committee of Panama in New York (DICPNY), for the 22nd year, since its formation, the organization is again hosting a pre-independence celebration in Brooklyn to mark the historic occasion.

Slated to kick-off on Oct. 7 at 10 am from Franklin Ave. a parade featuring marching bands, folkloric groups, cultural organizations, school and community representatives and elected officials will mark the annual event.

Throughout the route from Bergen Street along Franklin Avenue to President Street beauty queens, flag-waving revelers and colorful costumes will decorate a grand parade which will culminate at Classon Avenue and Eastern Parkway.

There a performance stage will welcome singers, dancers amidst a confluence of vendors, merchandisers, artisans and culinary experts all vying to promote the national specialties that distinguish the isthmus that connects two continents.

Last year, indigenous natives of the San Blas Islands brought their unique handcrafted embroidered ‘molas’ to the parade for the first time.

The distinctive and decorative pattern, unique to the populous, held prominence throughout the day as natives displayed them on traditional garb.

A queen dressed in traditional outfit also added to the pageantry.

Fraternal groups – some of them displaying West Indian/ Panamanian unity flaunted banners identifying them to be Panamanian Jamaica, Panama Canal Alumni, Caribbean American Inc., (best known as PAJACAM).

Grand marshals for the pre-Columbus Day celebration this year are Jose Francis, director producer of “Rinconsito Panameno,” a TV program and New York Supreme Court Judge Shawndya L. Simpson.

Some of the participating bands include — the Panamanian Marching Band of Atlanta, the First Panamanian Marching Band of Brooklyn and the United Panamanians Veterans Band.

Other participating bands from Panamá include: Banda de Musica El Hogar, Banda Independiente Apocalipsis, Instituto Nacional, Instituto Jose Dolores Moscote, Banda Internacional Panamá para Cristo and many more.

Organizers claim the main objective of the organization is to ‘diffuse knowledge in regards to the Panamanian culture.”

Another they said “is to bring Panamanians and other Latin Americans together to celebrate and commemorate Panama’s separation from Colombia which occurred on Nov.r 3 1903.”

For more information about the parade, contact

The World’s Super-Centenarian From Jamaica Has Died

The world’s oldest person has died at age 117.

Violet Moss Brown died on Sept. 15 in her homeland Jamaica where she lived her entire life.

Reportedly, she died peacefully on the Friday afternoon less than a week after being hospitalized following reports she was showing signs of illness.

Reports are that she felt ill and on instructions from Barry Russell, her 85-year-old son was taken to a hospital in Montego Bay which is located miles away from her Duanvale home.

Reports are that she made it clear that she did not want to go.

Russell said he gave instructions for his mother to be taken from her home after she got ill but his mother’s death came as a surprise to him.

Violet Mosse-Brown, the world’s oldest woman, dies at age 117 in Jamaica.

Two grandchildren contend that it was the move to the hospital which may have contributed to her demise.

She was taken “against her wishes” from her residence to a medical facility six days prior, they claim and if she had not been moved she would have been still alive today.

“There was nothing much wrong with her,” Lelieth Palmer, a granddaughter and Florida resident said.

Palmer who has spent a lot of time with her grandmother in recent years reportedly told the Jamaica Observer:

“She was a little dehydrated and a doctor who came to see her said all she needed was a little potassium… so there was no good reason why they had to take her to any medical facility” on Sept. 9 she explained.

“She did not want to go; but later she begged them not to take her unless they were going to take her back home,” Palmer added. “They didn’t take her back, and so they took her away from her loved ones and family members and that contributed significantly to her death.”

Vernon Davis, another of Moss Brown’s grandchildren shared the same sentiments.

“If they didn’t take her from her house she would still be alive today,” the grieving grandson said.

“They took her away from her comfort zone; took away her freedom; took away her dignity, and take her to a strange place where she had no family and friends and didn’t even tell some of us where she was.”

According to Russell, he had given assurances to his mother that he would soon visit her at the capital city facility. He explained that she seemed eager for him to visit and he consoled her saying he would make the trip after the weekend. Catch You On The Inside!

To that he said she responded that the heart was willing but her body was weak.

Seemingly in disbelief of her passing Russell said: “Even the doctors can’t believe it because they were supposed to release her today.”

Born March 10, 1900, Brown’s life ended sadly probably due to the fact she was deprived of family in her last hours and another that a family feud caused a split with one group claiming she was not getting the best of care resulting with an alleged kidnapping from her home without notification to other family members.

Moss Brown’s distinctive longevity earned a place in the Guinness Book of Records and international acclaim earlier this year in April, following the death of Emma Morano, who was born on Nov. 29, 1899 in the Piedmont region of Italy.

Since that announcement, several government officials on the island as well as the Prime Minister Andrew Holness visited her in the deep rural community of Duanvale, Trelawny where she resided.

Governor General Sir Patrick Allen and Opposition leader Peter Phillips also visited the history-maker who was affectionately called “Aunt V.”

As recent as Sept. 3, representatives of the Guinness Book of World Records presented her with a citation and the 2018 edition of their annual record book.

Moss Brown reportedly accepted the award with her usual broad smile and expressed gratitude.

“Jamaica has lost an angel… she was kind, caring, compassionate, and loving,” Dunstan Harper a politician who had known Moss Brown for more than a half century said.

“She was everything that love defines,” the granddaughter of the first recorded Caribbean super-centenarian punctuated.

In this April 16, 2017 file photo, the world’s oldest person Violet Brown poses for a photo at her home in Duanvale, Jamaica. Brown has died in Jamaica at the age of 117 years and 189 days old, on Friday, Sept. 15, at a local hospital. With her death, the Gerontology Research Group lists Nabi Tajima of Japan was the oldest surviving person.
Associated Press / Raymond Simpson, File

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