Rotarians honour Westmoreland’s unsung heroes
THE ROTARY Club of Savanna-la-Mar in its most recent community and vocational awards ceremony honoured six outstanding citizens of Westmoreland for their unwavering service in the fields of community development, sports, mechanical engineering, and entrepreneurship.
Sandra Molyneaux, president of the club, said these awards are conferred annually on citizens of the parish who have made significant contributions to the improvement of their communities.
“These unsung heroes have quietly made significant contributions to their communities, predominantly on a voluntary basis,” Molyneaux said at the gala event held at the Hotel Commingle ballroom in the parish capital on Tuesday.
Desmond Malcolm, a mechanical engineer and retired general manager at the Urban Development Corporation stands tall among the awardees for his contribution to the country’s infrastructure.
Angel James, a businessman who operates James Lumber in Waterworks, was recognised and honoured in the category of entrepreneurship for positively impacting the growth of his community through the establishment of a housing development, consisting of 130 units in three phases.
In the category of community development, Dr Kenvin McIntyre, a dental surgeon and acting parish manager for the Western Regional Health Authority, was recognised for providing free dental healthcare service annually to taxi operators, and providing for the educational of over 30 children in Strathbogie, plus engaging in the development of residents in sporting disciplines.
Caniel Scott, a sales executive with Seprod Jamaica for more than 15 years and who hails from the community of Russia, was lauded for service rendered towards transforming and attaining the status of an independent community.
Undaunted by challenges, Scott who has taken on several leadership roles in his unplanned and under-resourced community, was lauded by Rotarians for organising sporting events, training and job placements for several members of the community.
Osmond Robinson, a retired cricket coach, who trained his charges at the then Broughton All-Age School to secure two all-island cricket championship titles, first in 1998 and then in 2016, as well as in 2019 when they secured the second-place spot.
Deceita Turner, in the category of community development, served at all levels of the Bluefields People’s Community Association for the past 35 years. She is also a founding member of the Bluefields Bay Fishermen’s Friendly Society, aimed at caring for the needs of fisherfolks.
According to Molyneaux, most of the awardees over the years have seen the need to remain in their local community instead of migrating elsewhere to “greener pastures”, as they deem serving their communities to be a higher calling.
“Without fanfare, they have all committed their time, their skills and very often their own resources in uplifting our people,” the Rotary club president said.
“The fact that they have been making positive differences in the lives of our citizens and rendering service to their communities is precisely why the Rotary Club of Savanna-la-Mar has chosen to recognise their exemplary work,’’ continued Molyneaux.
She noted that through their individual and collective work they have all affirmed the abilities, competence and resilience in improving and advancing the development of their communities and that their acts of kindness, and unsolicited assistance, demonstrate what it means to be a good citizen.
Glazeter Leslie, pastor of the Savanna-la-Mar Wesleyan Methodist Church, and who was the night’s guest speaker, said the awardees are rightfully being awarded, having overcome the many challenges that life has thrown at them.
“They have not only survived, they have triumphed,” said Leslie, who underlined that men were in the majority among the list of awardees.
“I find it significant that of the six honorees, one is a female and five are men. This for me is significant because we now live in a society that is literally being led by women, so for us to identify five men, it means that all is not lost,” the clergyman said.
He noted that the accomplishment, presence and recognition of these ‘local heroes’ bring into sharp focus the prevalence of negative behavioural patterns in Jamaica in recent times and has served to demonstrate that the country has been suffering from a steady erosion of ethics and ethical values.