Black River to benefit from city-twinning agreement
Launtia Cuff, Gleaner Writer
BLACK RIVER, St Elizabeth:
WITH LAST year's formal signing of an agreement for the twinning of Black River in St Elizabeth and Hamilton, Bermuda; the city's deputy mayor Alderman Donal Smith, who led a five-team delegation said it was now time to set things in motion so that the town and city could start benefiting from the agreement.
The agreement will allow for an exchange of mutually beneficial opportunities in the areas of business, agriculture, sports, education, tourism and entertainment. Upon his arrival in the parish capital, the deputy mayor was given 'the keys' to Black River by chairman of the St Elizabeth Parish Council, Mayor Everton Fisher.
The recent visit of the Bermudian delegation followed a trip to Bermuda by a team led by Mayor Everton Fisher earlier this year. Smith said these types of interactions are necessary if the relationship is to work.
"The reason why we are here is to get that ball rolling. The Internet is one thing. You can email, you can text, but showing up and meeting with the officials that is most important. The only way you can really do business, you got to jump on a plane and come face to face; eye to eye; and that's one of the reasons we are here in person," Smith told Rural Xpress recently.
"Black River and Bermuda, Hamilton, [were] twinned for a number of things. One, in a cultural exchange, we will be able to share in the music of both countries where the Jamaican musicians; entertainers can come to Bermuda, likewise our people [will] come here. Also when it comes to the youth being in the discipline of sport, they will be able to come and share their talents and compete against our [young people]. And then, three, we want to open the dialogue with the agricultural trade that's offered here in Black River to set up a trading agreement for importation of your goods into Bermuda.That's like a three point [aspect] that we will be addressing whilst we are here and also to celebrate with the great people of Black River," Smith told Rural Xpress.
Smith was also keynote speaker at an event.
"[I also came] to be the keynote speaker for the unveiling of the book by honourable James 'Dick' Richards who was a Jamaican who left Black River to Kingston, found himself on a boat going over to London where he served in a cold war in South Africa. Later on, he found himself in Bermuda as a businessman," Smith told Rural Xpress.
The book speaks of the many philanthropic activities of Richards who gave much of his newfound wealth in charitable donations; not excluding ones in Jamaica.
Chairman of the South Coast Resort Board, Anthony Freckleton, said it was important to support books such as these as they highlight elements of our heritage.
"The South Coast Resort Board is embarking on a very significant project on the south coast, and it deals specifically with our heritage and our culture because the international tourism experts have been saying over and over again that the new tourists that will be coming to Jamaica in the medium to long term will be more interested in our culture and our heritage than our sun, sea and sand. Therefore, it is critical that this story be told so that we can have these pieces of inspiration that will live forever," he told Rural Xpress.