Today, we continue to profile companies that have been nominated for the prestigious 2012 Gleaner Honour Award. Pan-Jamaican has been nominated in the category arts and culture.
The close and long-standing association which Pan-Jamaican Investment Trust Limited (Pan-Jam) has had with the fine arts in Jamaica should not be surprising.
Maurice Facey, now in his 45th year as chairman of the Pan-Jam Group of Companies, had the distinction of having been asked by the late Michael Manley, then prime minister, to lead a committee charged with investigating the feasibility of establishing a National Gallery for Jamaica.
Facey was the inaugural chairman of the National Gallery of Jamaica when it opened at Devon House in November 1974. He demitted office as chairman in 1992, and served as a director of the Gallery for a further seven years.
However, Pan-Jam's affiliation with Jamaican art and culture goes beyond the powerful personal influence of its chairman. Support of artists has formed a part of corporate policy from the earliest days of this diverse company, best known for its pioneering role in the development of the multi-storey commercial and residential buildings that did much to create a modern skyline for the city of Kingston.
In the 1960s, as its ambitious development plans were rolled out in quick succession, Pan-Jamaican Investment Trust Limited strongly encouraged the efforts of newly independent Jamaica's artistic community with the adoption of a policy of two and one-half per cent of the development cost of its buildings being earmarked for the acquisition or commissioning of artwork for its new structures.
Support for local artists continued over the years. Not only are the island's finest painters and sculptors and several from the wider Caribbean represented in Pan-Jamaican's substantial corporate art collection, the company has also generously donated important pieces to the National Gallery, including Barrington Watson's 'Mother and Child' and Edna Manley's carving, 'The Faun'. In addition, Pan-Jam has consistently facilitated loans from its collection for national exhibitions and fostered the education and training of young artists.
Since 1984, Pan-Jamaican's corporate social efforts have been channelled through the Cecil Boswell Facey Foundation, named for the chairman of the company's father, a true philanthropist and cornerstone of Pan-Jam.
The foundation has provided a vehicle for continued support of the arts, notably through the provision of scholarships to the Edna Manley College for the Visual and Performing Arts. There have been some 17 Facey Foundation scholars at the Edna Manley College over the last 25 years. Scholars have pursued a number of disciplines ranging from painting to jewellery making and fabric design.
Notable recipients of the Cecil Boswell Facey Scholarship in the area of arts include Miriam Robinson Hinds, the current head of department and assistant director, School of Visual Arts at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. The two most recent Facey Foundation scholars at the College are Mark Samuels (2009-2010) and Esther Chin who is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in fine arts.
"Our corporate outreach programmes have been quite broad, extending to inner-city development, the preservation of our island's heritage sites and the environment. Our Foundation's mandate is to 'promote any deserving purpose for the benefit of the public of Jamaica'," said Pan-Jam chairman Maurice Facey.
"However, our emphasis has been on education. Among our tertiary-level scholarships, apart from those to the Edna Manley College, we have been particularly keen to encourage outstanding students at the University of Technology's Caribbean School of Architecture."
The chairman added, "As property developers, we have been involved in many exciting projects over an extended period. We have always felt that our role in national development, in the changing of architectural standards and modernisation of our capital city inherently incorporated a strong cultural element that should be recognised and encouraged.
"This also takes our discussion into the realm of the 'applied arts' - but as property developers, we do have a close interest in helping to address issues of architectural standards and the aesthetics of our public environment for the benefit of this and future generations."
Incorporated in 1964, Pan-Jam's antecedents go back more than 40 years earlier to the old family company, Cecil B. Facey Limited, a successful general commission agency. Maurice Facey was one of two brothers, the younger being Lloyd Facey, being groomed to take over their father's respected company. In 1958, Maurice Facey engineered the sale of Cecil B. Facey Limited and launched into the business of property development.
Later that year Jamaica Property Company Limited was established as a vehicle for the commercial and residential developments being undertaken at a rapid rate by Maurice, acting on behalf of the Facey family in tandem with various associates. A number of residential developments were initially undertaken in Cherry Gardens, Norbrook, Graham Heights and the famous Drumblair lands in St. Andrew.
In commercial development, Jamaica Property Company began making a significant impact in the old downtown Kingston business district; as well as in St. Andrew in Cross Roads, Manor Park and the newly opened lands of Knutsford Park where New Kingston was being developed.
A merger between Pan-Jamaican Investment Trust Limited and Jamaica Property Company Ltd. in 1966 formed the basis of the Pan-Jamaican Group, as it is known today. Some significant landmarks developed by Pan-Jamaican Investment Trust include the Sagicor Bank Building, IBM, Dyoll, CIBC/First Caribbean buildings and Courtleigh Hotel in New Kingston; the Housing Agency of Jamaica in Cross Roads, Scotia Bank and Air Jamaica buildings in downtown Kingston and the commercial as well as housing developments in the Manor Park, St. Andrew area which first presented to Jamaica the concept of condominium living.
Through its subsidiaries and associated companies, Pan-Jamaican is engaged in property development and management, banking, manufacturing, retail, trade, financial services and investment, agriculture and tourism.
"As our group has grown and evolved, we have remained committed to supporting the arts. In this way we hope to play our part in helping to harness the creative and unifying forces that are critical in the shaping of any society," noted president and chief executive officer, Stephen Facey.
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