Horace Fisher, Gleaner Writer
Described as one of his most important annual engagements, Mayor of May Pen Scean Barnswell and associates fêted 140 residents at the May Pen Infirmary last Saturday with bags full of Christmas goodies, finger food, and Christmas cheer.
Barnswell, who was assisted by members of the Clarendon Lay Magistrates' Association, the National Youth Service (NYS), and the Breadnut Valley Engineering Institute, said he felt privileged to share Christmas cheer with the infirmary's residents.
"This is my second year of sharing a little Christmas cheer with the residents at the infirmary, and I personally consider this gesture to share and care with the less privileged one of my most important annual engagements that I undertake," said the mayor.
"The Christmas treat is a collaborative project with me and the custos but, unfortunately, Mr Shagoury is away. However, the NYS, the lay magistrates, and some of Breadnut Valley Engineering Institute's trainees are assisting with the project," Barnswell told Rural Express.
Joy Anderson, who manages the infirmary, said the mayor's altruism was a wonderful gesture that came at an opportune time of the year for the 78 males and 62 females residents. She also showed Rural Express what she called the Clarendon Parish Council's "extensive refurbishing exercise" at the infirmary.
"The parish council has treated us quite well, therefore, I cannot complain, and Mr Barnswell continues to demonstrate his compassion for the less fortunate by this wonderful gesture here today, and I am certain that the residents appreciate the Christmas goodies," said Anderson.
"As you can see, the infirmary has just been painted, rewired, kitchens refurbished, and a new broiler installed by the council, so we are all spruced up for the holidays," Anderson added with a smile.
The custos's representative, Stanhope Porteous, and colleagues from the parish's Lay Magistrates' Association, explained to Rural Express that the annual infirmary's Christmas fête was one of Shagoury's top priorities. He said while the custos was away, he had, however, sent his best wishes to the staff and residents.
"I am representing the custos here today because he is overseas; but he has nonetheless sent his usual Christmas cheer for the residents and staff here at the May Pen Infirmary," said Porteous.
He said with the poor-house stigma associated with the infirmary, it was important to make the residents feel comfortable and at home, especially during the Christmas season.