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Falmouth mayor disappointed with Rev Nugent's no-show

Published:Tuesday | June 27, 2017 | 12:00 AMLeon Jackson
Mayor of Falmouth Colin Gager.
Rev Devere Nugent

Western Bureau:

Falmouth's mayor, Councillor Colin Gager, says he is disappointed with the recent call by the Reverend Devere Nugent for residents of the Trelawny parish capital to resist the plan by the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ) to do further dredging of the sea, a proposal designed to bring more cruise ships to the resort town.

According to Gager, the outspoken Nugent was invited to a sensitisation meeting where members of the public were offered an opportunity to ask questions and give their input, but he failed to show.

"I am disappointed because Reverend Nugent was specially invited and also to do the opening prayer, and he never came. Several methods were used to invite people with concerns. To now come and call for resistance is not appreciated," said Gager.




However, Nugent, who subsequently preached a stinging sermon about the plan to dredge the harbour, describing it as an act of exploitation by persons who did not care about Falmouth, said his absence from the sensitisation meeting was his first sign of resistance.

In the sermon, the pastor used the biblical story of Moses and the resistance to Pharaoh's edict as the example of what he wanted the people of Falmouth to do.

"I am calling on the churches and people to establish baskets of resistance. We must resist the further dredging of the sea. Let us no longer sit back and be exploited," said Nugent.

"The people who are planning to do further dredging are doing so for their own profit, none of which stays in Falmouth. They don't live here, they don't shop here, and they don't join any church or civic organisation here. It is broad-based exploitation."

However, Gager has labelled the pastor's call as being disingenuous, especially in regards to the pastor's claim that the PAJ was exploiting Falmouth.

"We have a very good working relationship with PAJ. They are in the process of completing a $250-million 204-stall market. They have committed themselves to spend $800,000 to construct a transport centre," said Gager. "Tenders are out for the construction of an Artisan Village. This is among other pledges to come. That could not be exploitation."