St Ann association honours 21 long-serving JPs
Twenty-one justices (JPs) of the peace, each of whom has served the parish of St Ann for decades, were honoured by the St Ann Justices of the Peace Association at its annual award ceremony at the Cardiff Hotel in Runaway Bay, St Ann, on Saturday.
The JPs were given plaques in recognition of their long service.
At the ceremony, Moneague College student Tia McInnis was awarded the Radcliffe O. Walters Scholarship, valued at $100,000, which the association has been offering since 2011.
The list of awardees included several persons who have served with distinction in their chosen professions, which include, among others, education, medicine, law and business. A few of the awardees were unable to attend the function.
Errol Morrison led the list of awardees,in terms of length of tenure, as he was recognised for 34 years of service. Recognised for 30 years were Rupert Brown, Richard Donaldson, G.W. Johnson and Lenworth Sterling; for 28 years, the awardees were Leonie Goldsmith, Zaccheus McKnight, Iris Slack, Lloyd Dr Smith and Custos Emeritus Radcliffe O Walters; while for 26 years of service, those recognised were Dr Horace Betton, Cargil Brown, Cynthia Cunningham, Basil Gordon, Gwendolyn Hamilton, OD, Ramesh 'Jim' Lakhwani, OD, Norma Palmer, Norman Parchment, Joel Slack, James Walsh, CD, and Norma E Walters, educator.
Custos of St Ann Norma L Walters, in her remarks, thanked the awardees, and hailed the voluntary service they give, which she noted totalled over four million man-hours. The custos said the justices of the peace must be applauded for their contribution, and also thanked them for accepting the "small token" being offered as recognition.
"Let us seek to serve well to make an amazing difference; let us work with our heads, hearts, souls and bodies," she encouraged.
James Walsh, who responded on behalf of the group, said it was good to be recognised.
He said the JPs get great satisfaction and fulfilment from serving and the recognition would encourage them to continue their contribution.
Chief Justice Bryan Sykes, who was the guest speaker, reiterated his desire to make Jamaica's justice system the best in the Caribbean in three years and one of the best in the world in six years.
He said clearance rate of cases, case disposal rate, and hearing date certainty were areas critical to achieving this objective. He, too, congratulated the JPs for serving the country.
Meanwhile, McInnis, a Westwood High School past student who is in the second year of the bachelor in secondary education course at Moneague College, expressed delight at being awarded a scholarship.
"I know I will live my vision, my dreams will come true; I promise to create opportunities for students to enjoy learning. I am persuaded that God will see me there. I am overjoyed that people believe in me," she stated, to applause from the audience.