Curphey Home gets facelift
It has been 59 years since The Curphey Home for ex-service men and women was constructed; formerly for war veterans, but now mainly for those who have served in the army and need care.
For years, the home was in a deplorable state and many wondered if the Jamaica Legion had forsaken their responsibility.
Fast-forward to 25 years since the last refurbishing; the National Housing Trust (NHT) has partnered with the Jamaica Defence Force to improve accommodation, bathroom and recreational facilities, solar panel installation, among other areas.
In October of last year, the project began with members from a number of regiments across the island and members of the NHT.
"We saw to it that the space was as homely as possible while ensuring that the finished product will allow for a safe environment and a healthy way of life ... . It was of paramount importance that it was aesthetically pleasing with efficient fixtures and appliances ... ," explained Commanding Officer, Engineer Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Martin Rickman.
At the ceremony marking the culmination of the restoration project recently, Chairman of the Jamaica Legion, Lieutenant Colonel Andre Sewell, expressed that the last major refurbishing was done in 1992. However, the onus is left on the present and future personnel of the JDF to make special provisions, in whatever way, for those who have served.
MAINTENANCE IS KEY
Chief of Defence Staff Major General Rocky Meade acknowledged that any member of the Defence Force can end up at the facility, and as such, its maintenance is key.
"We recognise the service that the ex-service men have provided and their sacrifices ... the ex-service persons of tomorrow are the Jamaica Defence Force service officers of today, and so it is very important that we ensure this institution is maintained," said Meade.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness, in delivering the keynote address, suggested that more be done in terms of the services offered by the home and the development of open spaces nearby.