Gareth Davis Sr, Gleaner Writer
PORT ANTONIO, Portland:
THE NEW-LOOK town of Port Antonio is now a spectacle as stakeholders and civil-society groups add finishing touches to decorating the resort area in Jamaican colours ahead of Independence Day celebrations. The initiative is being spearheaded by mayor of Port Antonio, Benny White.
"Jamaica 50 is a big thing. The business community - including banks, supermarkets, hardware stores, and pharmacies - have embraced the idea, and the Jamaican colours are on display on just about every building here," White told The Gleaner.
"Motorists have also bought into the idea and are displaying flags and stickers on their vehicles. I have actually taken it a step further by indulging in an all-out drive to add colour and decoration all over Port Antonio with yellow, green, and black fabric that I have purchased," the mayor added.
The entire stretch of retaining walls along the roadway leading from Boundbrook all the way up to West Palm Avenue and beyond is painted in Jamaican colors. The paint job was carried out by a group of boys from the Port Antonio High School football team, who in return received 15 sets of football gear from Mayor White.
It was a vigil held on July 31 into midnight of August 1 which kick-started the Emancipation Day activities and, by extension, the pre-Independence celebrations. The Emancipation Vigil was heavily supported and was highlighted by the blowing of the abeng at midnight.