SYDNEY ROBERTS was born in West Kingston in Pink Lane and lived there for over twenty years. He was the second of three children for his mother and one of 25 children for his father. Sydney lived with his mother and attended All Saints Infant and Primary School until he was 11 years old at which time he was awarded a full government scholarship to Wolmer’s Boys School in Kingston.
When he graduated from Wolmer’s 1970 he worked at the Jamaica Railway Corporation from until 1974 as an Accounts clerk. He then went on to College of Arts Science & Technology, C.A.S.T. where he studied Institutional Management and Food Service Management. He then went on to study at the University of the West Indies in 1978 at nights, and on to study Hotel and Restaurant Management in Nassau Bahamas in 1979. He transferred to Florida International University School Of Hospitality Management where he graduated with a bachelor’s of science degree in 1982 and a Master’s of Science degree in Food Service Management in 1984.
After college Sydney worked for Howard Johnson Hotels, and Taco Bell and Bojangles restaurants. He also worked at Miami Dade College as an Associate Professor for five years. He always had a deep love for Jamaican Culture – which he calls his first love and worked in front of audiences and behind the scenes in Jamaica for years.
Sydney was involved in the formation of Jamaica Awareness Inc. in 1982 in Miami with the goal of keeping Caribbean culture alive in the Diaspora. Currently he is the Vice Chair of Miami Carnival Inc. and President of Jamaica Awareness Inc. Over the years Sydney brought numerous plays from Jamaica and showcased various aspects of the culture with the National Dance Theatre Company in America. He particularly wanted to keep the performances of indigenous Jamaican dance troupes to demonstrate our traditional Mento, Dinkie Miney, Johnkannu, as part of Culturama that showcased for years around Jamaican Independence celebrations in America. He was instrumental in staging the first Reggae Festival in Miami and was a crucial foundation member of the Jamaican Jerk Festival.