Kiwanians give Ocho Rios primary garden reading area
OCHO RIOS, St Ann:
STUDENTS AT Ocho Rios Primary School in St Ann began the new term on a joyful note last Monday, thanks to the Kiwanis Club of the Garden Parish.
The club, under the presidency of Eva Myers, led a revival of the garden reading area at the school, getting several sponsors to come on board to provide six sets of concrete tables with three benches, for the children.
Among the sponsors were the Kiwanis Club, Myers' own Evita's Italian Restaurant, Dolphin Cove, Mystic Mountain, Sagicor Bank, and Ocho Rios resident, Anita Pallenberg.
Myers credited teacher at the school and Kiwanis member, Audrey Sutherland-Grant, for conceptualising the idea, which she, as president, acted on.
She disclosed that Pallenberg, former wife of Rolling Stones member Keith Richards was the first to give a cheque towards the project. Other sponsors followed.
In the end, the tables were engraved with the names of each sponsor, with Pallenberg's being engraved with "Jumpin' Jack Flash" which is a Rolling Stones song that topped the United Kingdom charts in 1968.
"It's my biggest pleasure to see you use these tables," Myers told the students.
Vice-chairman of the school board, Maisy Dixon, while thanking the Kiwanis Club on behalf of the board, pleaded with the students to take care of the furniture.
"I am asking you, this morning, to keep them in good order, I am begging you students to keep them in good order," Dixon stated.
Mayor of St Ann's Bay Councillor Desmond Gilmore, who also spoke, applauded the Kiwanis Club for seeing the need to take on the project, which he described as an investment in the future of the community of Ocho Rios and its environs.
"No amount of money can equal or rival what you feel when you look into the faces of the little ones and see their joy," the mayor observed. But he challenged the children to care for the items.
"If you really want to show gratitude, you need to take care of what you are getting this morning," he stated.
Principal Gertrude McFarlane and head of the guidance department, Christine Badal-McBean, who chaired the programme both expressed appreciation for the gift.
Scores of students, along with Kiwanians and sponsor representatives including Mystic Mountain's general manager Max Patchen, gathered at the location to witness and help in the unveiling of the tables and benches.