Jamaicans unite to improve communities
Jamaicans turned out yesterday to undertake hundreds of projects across the island as part of the annual Labour Day activities.
Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller led the way when she joined scores of volunteers who turned up to give the National Heroes Park in Kingston a facelift.
The National Heroes Park - the centrepiece of the nation's heritage - was the National Labour Day Project for 2012.
After cleaning the bust of National Hero Marcus Garvey and planting a tree on the eastern side of the park, Simpson Miller hinted to reporters that plans are being put in place to ensure that the facility is constantly maintained.
"I'm not going to say anything now, but it's refreshing to see private-sector partners coming in and trying to help," she said.
Simpson Miller was referring to the Jamaica Broilers Group which, through its annual Fun In The Son concert series, donated a fence that was erected near the southern end of the park.
The central Kingston communities of Rae Town, Tel-Aviv and Southside also received a facelift with assistance from the staff of the Digicel Foundation.
Member of parliament for the area, Ronald Thwaites, joined Digicel staffers and residents as they engaged in several projects to beautify the communities.
"Today is only one phase in a bigger initiative that the Digicel Foundation has in store for the communities of central Kingston," said Lisa Lewis, chairman of the foundation.
Over in St James, several residents came out to clean up Sam Sharpe Square in Montego Bay.
The activities started with a civic ceremony in which a floral tribute was laid near the statues of Sharpe and his followers.
After the ceremony, the volunteers went to work, cleaning the fountain and repainting the areas around it, including the Civic Centre.
Pride and joy
"We are looking forward to ensuring that Sam Sharpe Square becomes a pride and joy to those that have to enter into Montego Bay and Sam Sharpe Square, in particular," said Mayor of Montego Bay Glendon Harris.
Over in Clarendon, students and teachers at Spalding High School used cement to repair the roadway leading to the institution.
The road had been in a deplorable condition for some time.
The Lucea Cemetery was the centrepiece of the Labour Day activities in Hanover.
Mayor of Lucea Shernet Haughton acknowledged that the cemetery was in "very bad condition".
"It is very deplorable. That is why the Lucea Cemetery was chosen as the main parish project," said Haughton.
The St Elizabeth branch of the Social Development Commission said 79 projects were registered across the parish.
CAPTION: Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller (right) is assisted by Christopher Levy (centre), president and CEO of the Jamaica Broilers Group, which, through its Best Dressed Chicken brand, is the title sponsor of the Best Dressed Fun In The Son gospel festival, and Tommy Cowan (left), managing director of Glory Music and co-producer of the festival, in installing a section of the 1,000-ft permanent fence at National Heroes Park as part of the National Labour Day Project. The permanent fence will be a gift to Jamaica by the Best Dressed Fun In The Son gospel festival, which will be held this year at the park on July 14. - Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer