Emotional Frederick Morton on Tempo opening: “Quality not quantity”

POSTED: 11/27/12 2:00 PM

St. Maarten – Chief executive officer of Tempo Networks, Fredrick Morton Jr. said that his focus was not on quantity but quality. Morton Jr. was speaking on Sunday night during the launch of his network’s 7th anniversary celebrations. For the first official event, the Rise and Shine opener attracted approximately 200 people to the Festival Village. People were scattered throughout the venue but when Morton Jr. came on the stage rocking to the popular Sizzla song “They can’t keep a good man down…I’m so solid as a rock, they just can’t stop me now,” the crowd drew closer.

Morton Jr. carried great weight on his shoulders going into Tempo Turns 7, especially since the Christian community was divided on its support of the event.  He appeared overwhelmed with emotion and struggled to maintain his composure. On Sunday night, he tearfully said that he had given St. Maarten his all.

“There is nothing left to give. I have put my life on the line to bring the Caribbean forward, remind them of our need to stay steadfast in our love of God.”

He also seized the opportunity to address his critics adding that Tempo is God’s property and through Tempo he is ministering.

“We all have our ministry, just because you won’t agree with my ministry doesn’t mean that it is not a ministry. I am just trying to walk like Christ, I may fail sometimes but I am not perfect.”

His address came late into the night since the event was full of performances by Christian gospel artistes. (See Today report of Monday November 26, 2012)

He noted that the vision of the network was to create hope and inspiration for Caribbean people

“There is nothing on this network that is intentionally done that does not have positivity as its intention. The channel has principles, it is responsible,” he explained, adding that “no church council can stop it, no opposition politics or good or bad mind artiste can stop it.”

The attorney made a case for Tempo’s relevance and Pan-Caribbean reach, stating that the network was only trying to bring forward the greatness in Caribbean people.

“The Caribbean is a force whose time has come on the world stage. How is the Caribbean third world when we are so close to first world? How are we third world when every year 40 million people come to visit our shores? Something is wrong. We have to wake up, we have to stop fighting each other. The crab in the bucket mentality has to cease. Do not allow anyone to call you anymore. Stop fighting against each other’s progress.”

His remarks were tempered with an appeal for people to “Get to know the heart of the man,” before criticizing, forming conclusions or openly distancing themselves.

Morton was then surrounded on stage by clergy members who prayed for his strength and anointed him with oil.

With the infectious Tempo theme song, “And when yuh feel like the Tempo done well its more Tempo to come. Caribbean unite, live good, feel right. We never had nothing like this before, it’s no fighting, no hating, only love in store….Sometimes I feel, like we don’t know our potential we have so much credentials,” the jubilation at the Tempo opening went up to 2:00 am on Monday.

The queen of reggae music and Electric Boogie star Marcia Griffiths and Duane Stephenson of August Town and Cottage in Negril fame were headline acts.

From the time, the music genre changed from gospel to reggae, sections of the audience clammed up. Griffiths made several appeals to them to recognize that reggae music represents positive vibrations and a sound message. She managed to get a few attendees to join her on stage for a line dance of the electric slide. Stephenson closed off the show with sultry sounds of groovy reggae tunes.

Zamar Musical Productions’ Dion Gumbs, Desmond Forde, Javier Honore and Jeremy Brown provided additional entertainment while Tempo darling, local artiste Shanda Webster pulled off a show stopping performance of “Oh How He Loves Me.”

The keynote speaker for Tempo Turns 7 Made in Heaven was Pastor Davidson Morton of St. Kitts. From the moment he began to address the audience, Pastor Morton commanded the attention of those gathered.

He addressed Tempo’s 7 Principles to live by; unity, spirituality, nature, education, work, health and respect. He added that the network within seven short years has meandered its way to the top of Caribbean social upliftment movement but it should endeavor to keep climbing because the sky is no longer the limit. He charged the network to guard its integrity and character.

“I say to Tempo since you are encompassed about such great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight that doth so easily beset you. Run this race with patience. Guard your integrity; serve your gift to the world. There are too many persons who are in service but not providing service,” Pastor Morton said to the approval of the attendees.

In an impassioned speech full of literary devices, Pastor Morton said that he “grieves for Caribbean boys who were getting into gangs instead of God ….and languish over Caribbean girls who are stalked by predators.”

Referring to the wide range of businesses and initiatives under the Tempo umbrella such as music, culture, social awareness, life and style, Inside the Rhythm, Badness Outta Style, Tempo Water, Tempo Kids, Cross Caribbean Countdown, Rise and Shine and Tempo Advertising, Pastor Morton was very generous in giving advice.

“Choose what you want from the menu; don’t scorn what you don’t like.”  The charismatic orator evoked deafening screams and applause from the audience when he made that statement.

His words of wisdom were interspersed with innuendo, Caribbean political history and even the civil rights movement.

“You are your greatest investment; skill can take you to the top but only character can keep you there. Character is priceless, guard it,” he reiterated.

The week of activities continues today with the Badness Outta Style high school and tomorrow with a seniors program at the Harbour called Never Too Old to Tempo. All seniors will be allowed free admittance to the event which features the Mighty Sparrow. Later in the week, concerts will be held featuring regional and international acts. TelEm Group of Companies and the Harbour Group of Companies are also major sponsors of the event.



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