Friday 16 February 2024

CARIBANA GOING DOWN THE ROAD TO KITCHENER IN LATE AUGUST

 

CARIBANA ON THE ROAD TO KITCHENER

The City of Kitchener is gearing up for an unprecedented summer cultural extravaganza as it partners with the Caribana Arts Group to bring Caribana Ignite to the heart of the city from August 23-24, 2024. This marks a significant expansion of the iconic Caribbean carnival beyond its traditional Toronto roots.
Caribana Ignite promises to be a dazzling celebration of Caribbean culture, featuring a shift from the usual parade format to a street performance and street party spectacle. The event will showcase emerging carnival designers, the rich diversity of the Caribbean, and the vibrant essence of carnival itself.
Mayor Berry Vrbanovic expressed his excitement about the collaboration, stating, “This celebration will contribute to the social, cultural, and economic vibrancy of Kitchener.” The event is expected to bring together communities, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation for Caribbean traditions.
With Carl Zehr Square in Downtown Kitchener transforming into Carnival Village, attendees can anticipate an immersive experience where they can enjoy Caribbean cuisine, music, and arts. The departure from the traditional parade format aims to give festival-goers a front-row seat on the carnival runway, providing a unique perspective on the cultural explosion that is CaribanaTM.
Davina Reid, Chair of the Caribana Arts Group, expressed gratitude to the City of Kitchener for co-hosting the event and highlighted the goal of introducing the region to the vibrant culture of Caribana. Lannois Carroll-Woolery, President of the Caribbean Canadian Association of Waterloo Region, echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the alignment of the event with the organization's mission of promoting the social, cultural, and economic interests of the Caribbean community.
Caribana Ignite was officially announced by Mayor Berry Vrbanovic at a special KW Titans game, accompanied by live performances from the Dance Caribe Performing Company and Acoustic Steel. As anticipation builds, event organizers encourage the community to stay updated on festival details by subscribing to www.kitchener.ca/CaribanaIgnite or visiting www.caribana.com/ignite.


Friday 5 January 2024

BRIEF NEWS CLIP FROM SWEIR RE: INNOCENCE 40 YEARS AFTER MURDER CONVICTION

Breaking news from Innocence Canada.

JAN 4, 2024 This afternoon Robert (Bobby) Mailman and Walter (Wally) Gillespie were acquitted by Chief Justice Tracey DeWare of the King’s Bench Court in Saint John, New Brunswick, 40 years after they were wrongly convicted in the murder of George Leeman
 

Thursday 4 January 2024

Mailman and Gillespie will be appearing before Chief Justice Tracey DeWare of the King’s Bench Court re: murder

Bench Court today 40 years after they were charged and convicted in the murder of George Leeman

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­___________________________________________________________ 

Innocence Canada is announcing that this afternoon, Thursday, January 4, 2024, at 1:30 p.m., Robert (Bobby) Mailman and Walter (Wally) Gillespie will be appearing before Chief Justice Tracey DeWare of the King’s Bench Court in Saint John, New Brunswick, 40 years after they were charged and convicted in the murder of George Leeman.

 

On November 30, 1983, Mr. Leeman’s body was found by a jogger in a wooded area in Rockwood Park, Saint John.  Mr. Leeman was the victim of a significant beating, and his body was partially burned.  Mr. Leeman was living in Saint John in a rooming house when he was murdered.

 

Between January 19 and 21, 1984, the Saint John Police Service charged Wally Gillespie and Bobby Mailman with the murder.  

 

Mr. Gillespie and Mr. Mailman both had strong alibis with multiple witnesses placing them kilometers from the crime scene on the day of the murder.  Nevertheless, they were convicted of the murder on May 11, 1984.  Both were sentenced to life imprisonment without parole eligibility for at least 18 years.  Not for one day since then have they wavered in insisting on their innocence.

 

Mr. Mailman who served 18 years in prison, sadly, is terminally ill.  He is 76 years of age.  He also lives in Saint John. Mr. Gillespie served 21 years of his life sentence in prison and is presently living in a halfway house in Saint John.  He is now 80 years of age. 

 

On December 22, 2023, Justice Minister Arif Virani quashed the murder convictions of both men on the grounds that there was a reasonable basis to conclude that a miscarriage of justice likely occurred in their case. The Minister directed new trials for both.

 

Tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. will be Mr. Mailman and Mr. Gillespie’s first appearance in court since the Minister’s decision. As noted, they will be appearing before the Chief Justice at 1:30 p.m. The courthouse is located at 10 Peel Plaza in Saint John. Mr. Mailman and Mr. Gillespie will be accompanied by Innocence Canada counsel Jerome Kennedy and James Lockyer.