Outpouring of support for National Labour Day Project at Rudolph Elder Park
Organisations and individuals across St Thomas turned out in full force to participate in the National Labour Day project at the Rudolph Elder Park in Morant Bay.
The main project included the installation of a playground in the park, with swings, a jungle gym and a slide and fencing around the area.
Janice Lindsay, principal director for culture and creative industry at the Ministry of Youth and Culture, explained that the ministry was keen on ensuring that the project reflect the year's theme - 'Labour of Love: Nurturing our Children'. She also indicated that the corporate response to the project was a major factor in ensuring its success.
"The First Heritage Co-operative Credit Union team has been here since morning and they have been working on the playground, and helping around the park. They provided some funding and labour, and assisted in any way they could," she said.
Other work at the park included the installation of concrete benches and tables, donated by the South African High Commission and the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority; whitewashing of the trees, and cement washing of perimeter walls, as well as repairs to the existing fence and gate at the entrance to the park. Fruit trees and shrubberies, donated by the South African High Commission and the National Solid Waste Management Authority, were also planted around the area. Volunteers from communities across the parish, as well as from the Jamaica Public Service VOLTS volunteer organisation, were coordinated by the Jamaica Defence Force to assist with the painting of the gazebos and fountain, and repairs to basic infrastructure, such as toilet facilities, as well as the general clean-up of the beach and other areas of the park.
The Rudolph Elder Park is managed by the St Thomas Parish Council, which along with Member of Parliament Dr Fenton Ferguson, has promised to transform the park into the 'Emancipation in the East'.
Ferguson told The Gleaner that plans are in development to raise funds for the transformation of the park, which will eventually include a running track, a garden, and entertainment centre.
In the meantime, he said $5 million has been allocated to the parish council to continue the work started on Labour Day to improve the park and surrounding areas.