Krysta Anderson, Gleaner Writer
The Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort was transformed into a night of sheer grandeur as the beaus and belles of the ball attended a major fundraising banquet and Mayor's Ball in the parish last Saturday night. St Ann Heritage Foundation joined forces with St Ann mayor, Desmond Gillmore, to host this lavish spectacle.
The St Ann Heritage Foundation has made it its mission to foster pride in and knowledge of St Ann and Jamaica's heritage. In past years, the Foundation has used the occasion of the banquet to honour outstanding sons and daughters of St Ann who have distinguished themselves locally and abroad, and this year was no different. The organisation places a strong focus on the life and works of Marcus Garvey and, in particular, the National Hero's emphasis on education.
Under the distinguished patronage of Their Excellencies, the Most Honourable Sir Patrick Allen and Lady Allen, this event marked the ninth annual awards event to be held by the Foundation, with this year paying homage to the 125th anniversary of the birth of the Right Excellent Marcus Garvey, National Hero, and native of St Ann's Bay.
Pansy Johnson, president of Noranda Jamaica Bauxite Partners, as well as the first woman in Jamaica to have risen to the position of chief executive officer of a local bauxite company, was the keynote speaker at the black-tie affair.
Proceeds from the banquet will fund Foundation projects across the parish, including the Marcus Garvey Educational Centre at the St Ann Parish Library; a 'Children of our Village' educational-support programme for academically challenged primary-school children in the parish; a school essay-writing competition; a series of Marcus Garvey lectures delivered by distinguished scholars; trade fairs staged to showcase and encourage local entrepreneurship; and charities supported by the St Ann Parish Council.