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Support pouring in for Clifton Boys’ Home - Boys rebounding from devastating fire

Published:Monday | March 20, 2017 | 12:00 AMChristopher Thomas

Western Bureau:

Thanks to the local and international support they have been receiving, life is steadily returning to normal for the boys of the Clifton Boys Home in Westmoreland, who lost all their belongings in a devastating fire that destroyed the Darliston-based facility two months ago.

According to Reverend Hartley Perrin, chairman of the board of directors for the 55-year-old home, support has been pouring in alongside promises, sparking confidence that, before long, they will be able to rebuild the destroyed facility.

"It is still early days yet, but we are very appreciative of all the support we have been getting," said Perrin, who is also the custos rotulorum for Westmoreland.

"There are persons who are busy planning functions with a view to handing over whatever receipts [funds] they get to the boys."

The boys have also been getting gifts of clothing and books that have allowed them to return to school, which is considered one of the critical components in restoring normality to their lives.


 ... Schools bearing gifts visit boys

Representatives of a number of schools, including the William Knibb High School, have visited the 28 boys from the Clifton Boys Home in Westmoreland, who range in age from six to 18 years, and brought them gifts as well as engaged them in a variety of social activities.

"We get a lot of schools, including students and teachers, coming to visit the boys, and some have promised to come next week and the following week. We are getting a lot of support in terms of moral support," said Reverend Hartley Perrin.

Since the fire, the boys, who are currently housed at the Assembly of Holiness Church in Caledonia, Westmoreland, have had visits from entities such as the Office of the Public Defender and the Negril Chamber of Commerce. Those visits have yielded gifts such as school supplies, bedding, and personal items.

"Everybody is back in school, living more or less normal," said Perrin. "They stay at the Assembly of Holiness Church in Caledonia, but on the weekend they go back to the original Clifton site because it has a playground; so on Saturdays and Sundays, they are there kicking around footballs and entertaining anybody who comes to visit them."


Long-term plan


Despite the positive outlook, Perrin wants the support to continue as the long-term plan is to rebuild the home. According to him, two building plans have been drawn up so far, and surveys of the property are still being done.

"We are busy doing the surveys, getting the estimates, getting the plans drawn based on the topographical surveys, and it is for the board to determine, out of one of two plans that have been drawn, which one will find acceptance and at what cost," said Perrin.