Tue | Feb 20, 2018

August Town holding fast to peace

Published:Monday | February 6, 2017 | 12:00 AMChristopher Serju
Prime Minister Andrew Holness (left) speaks with Professor Archibald McDonald, principal of the University of the West Indies, Mona campus, and Dr Denise Eldemire-Shearer, during a peace in August Town, St Andrew, yesterday.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness yesterday participated in a march through several communities in August Town, St Andrew, as part of a move to build on the peace initiative which resulted in no murders recorded in the area for all of last year.

Professor Archibald McDonald, principal of the nearby University of the West Indies, Mona campus, along with Dr Denise Eldemire-Shearer, Dr Olivene Burke and other members of the Faculty of Social Sciences, participated in the walk, which started at African Gardens, stopped twice in Goldsmith Villa, and ended in Hermitage, before heading back to the community centre.

In a visit to the community last month, Pearnel Charles Jr, state minister in the Ministry of National Security, had appealed to individuals and organisations to share their peace formula, in the hope that it could be replicated across the rest of the country.

"I am hoping that we can sit down and find out exactly what the formula is that has resulted in this success ... so we can repeat it and extend it across our beloved Jamaica," Charles had said.




Since then, however, there have been at least two murders in August Town, but the community has declared that it would not allow the incidents to put a damper on its commitment to peace.

Even though the state minister was not there yesterday, Denise, who identified herself as a member of the Escarpment Road New Testament Church of God, sought out The Gleaner to explain that this was the natural outcome of praying and fasting for peace "years top o' years".

"We never stop pray because we know that God will deliver, and I can attest to it ... and we still praying that our community will be an example to other communities and see that peace can happen, and it comes through prayer and fasting. The churches come together and we prayed and fast and have street meetings and we tell them about Jesus Christ because Jesus is the saviour for the world."

Denise, who did not give her surname, went on to note that the initiative had been fuelled from within August Town and expressed strong optimism that it would be lasting.