Why did Rae Town go to Sabina? - organiser of popular party explains
Hazel 'Miss Norma' Wright did not allow her two daughters to participate in social events but her son, Derrick Forrester, was given an opportunity to do something monumental.
Forrester, better known as Teddy and friend, Earl 'Senor Daley' Daley, actually motivated Wright to continue the old hits event which emerged out of leisurely playing from a small sound system.
That event became the weekly Rae Town Old Hits party.
Soon, it became the responsibility of Miss Norma and her business, Capricorn Inn. The bar, which still operates on Rae Street, would shoulder the cost of water and light for another 30 years.
"Over 30 other stalls operating tax free would benefit from Rae Town Old Hits party. I have called these same persons together to make a contribution, as little as $1,000, which they started but did not go on for long," Miss Norma said.
She said that there was no unity in the community, especially as it related to persons making a small contribution to the execution of the event.
Some of the stalls would even try to undercut the bar by selling liquor at lower prices.
"Every Monday after the event, the bar would be left to fix something or the responsibility to clean up. I had bills to pay ... and everybody thought I was making something to cover all of that," Miss Norma continued.
Despite the party making the community a traditional hotspot for locals and tourists, issues arose, which eventually led to her moving it to Sabina Park.
She said that she had to contend with early cut-off times because of the police and she began hearing comments that she was not helping the community.
"I have buried and helped people to bury relatives, when people got flood out I bought mattresses. The basic school has also received contributions too, but everybody keeps saying Miss Norma not doing anything in Rae Town," she recalled.
Wright said that she invited community members to a meeting to plan how they could go forward, but nobody showed up.
"That's where I made my final decision. There is nothing more I can do or would try to do," she said. "Through Rae Town Old Hits, we promoted peace instead of violence, decency instead of vulgarity, and jobs instead of unemployment and still do."
The small admission fee ($200) at Sabina Park does not cover the rental of the venue, but Miss Norma is comfortable with it.
But this being the 35th anniversary of the party, there are plans to host a leg of the celebrations on Boxing Day (a Tuesday), following the main Sunday event.
"That (Rae Town) is where we started and I don't want to leave it out at anytime and I still operate my business there," she said.
Rae Town Old Hits still gets a mixture of uptown and downtown audiences.
"My main focus is to cater to the loyal customers and persons from Rae Town still support us at Sabina Park," she said.