Sat | Apr 29, 2017

Jango reflects on the good old days

Published:Saturday | March 14, 2015 | 3:00 AM
Hurley Livingston
James Dunbar
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WESTERN BUREAU:

At age 84, James Dunbar, popularly known as Jango, is arguably one of the most well-known persons in Ulster Spring, the quiet farming community in southern Trelawny which he has called home since 1954.

Dunbar, who served the community as a Public Works Department supervisor for several years, could be considered a reservoir of knowledge on matters relating to the community, as he can provide intricate details of the days when Ulster Spring was the epicentre of life in southern Trelawny.

"Ulster Spring was the heartbeat of upper Trelawny. We had everything in place to be a thriving village," Dunbar told Western Focus. "In fact, when you think of it, Albert Town (the new hub) still don't have some of the things we had back in those days. The facility that gave us much pride back then was the hospital."

In recalling the days when the Ulster Spring Hospital was a premier facility, Dunbar said it was an A-class facility, with a master surgeon in one Dr Manning at the control. Back in those days, he recalled the doctor doing more than two surgeries weekly.

"The lives of the people were centred around the hospital", said Dunbar. "They had jobs, good health care and a community that was thriving. We had the public works and the parish council offices; we had a public-health nurse and public-health inspector stationed here. When they closed the doors of the hospital, they also closed down the village," he said.

Like Dunbar, 67-year-old farmer Hurley Livingston, of German Town on the outskirts of Ulster Spring, also had fond memories of the hospital, which was treated with reverence during its heyday.

SPECIAL PLACE

"It was that special place in the town, so we all knew that, when we were approaching, we must be silent, because it is a silent zone," said Livingston. "Doctors and nurses knew everyone in the area, because we all lived as one."

Deloris Davis, who gave birth to her four children at the hospital, said she began noticing the deterioration of the facility on each new occasion she went there to give birth.

"It was noticeable; we were down to six beds by the time I gave birth to my second child, and by the third and fourth, we were down to only three beds. We all witnessed the scaling down," Davis said.