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Politicians and residents unite for St Mary Labour Day projects

Published:Wednesday | May 24, 2017 | 12:00 AMOrantes Moore
For Labour Day, Member of Parliament Robert Montague joined the staff from Ian Fleming International Airport to help teachers spruce up Oracabessa High School in St Mary.


Politicians and representatives from several government agencies teamed up with local residents in St Mary on Tuesday for the parish Labour Day project, which included the beautification of three historic sites in Port Maria.

For the project, which was spearheaded by the St Mary Municipal Corporation, volunteers painted, de-bushed, and planted trees on the grounds of Fort Haldane, the Civic Centre, and Claude Stuart Park.

Port Maria Mayor Richard Creary told Rural Xpress: "Today, we are at Fort Haldane, an old British fort which is very significant, as this is where Tacky was able to get arms and gunpowder to launch the rebellion of 1760, which is the first slave rebellion in Jamaica.

"Prior to this project, you would not have been able to see these grounds because they were overgrown. The larger plan is to have a tour of this facility as well as the Civic Centre, Claude Stuart Park, and the Anglican Church, which are all historic buildings. We have formed a committee to look at making that dream a reality because all over the world, tourists are visiting sites that don't have the history we have in our backyard."

Member of Parliament for Western St Mary Robert Montague added: "The Civic Centre is the old courthouse where the Right Excellent Sir Alexander Bustamante was tried and freed, and Claude Stuart was the first health minister and one of the six Jamaicans who signed the Order in Council, which is our Constitution, in 1962, so this whole area is very historic."

Elsewhere in the parish, employees of the Ian Fleming International Airport travelled to nearby Oracabessa High School to help teachers decorate the facility and renovate the driveway.

The airport's manager, Claude Service, explained: "For us, today is about reaching out to the community, particularly the schools, so we saw the need to assist with some facelifting and decided that Oracabessa High would be one of our projects for Labour Day. We are a part of the community and we can't isolate ourselves, so it is important that we come out and fellowship."