Across the Nation
Photo by Angella Chin
Sharon Archer (left), Mineral Heights Citizens' Association secretary, and the organisation's president, Albert Thomas, hold plaques which will be displayed inside a new skills-training centre in the community.
Photo by Rasbert Turner
Avis Green, veteran teacher, being greeted by past student Delroy Beswick at the Harewood Primary School in St Catherine during its reunion on Monday, December 28, 2009 on the school ground.
WILLIAMSFIELD, ST CATHERINE:
The Harewood Primary School in St Catherine is set to return to its former glory, courtesy of funds from its past students locally and abroad.
Built in 1962, the school fell into a state of disrepair.
Since that time, a planning committee was formed by those who attended the institution.
"This school is where it all began for me, therefore we all decided to pool our efforts and return the school to the clean and lovely place it was," reasoned Andre Hylton, a past student.
Hylton, a member of the school board, was one of many who turned out last Monday to say thanks to teachers and give funds of various sums.
His view was echoed by Don Curtis, also a former student.
"Harewood won the award for the best kept school in the island in our time. Things are not looking well now, therefore, it is our duty to give back, " Curtis remarked.
The general consensus last Monday was that the former teachers, who were given plaques, influenced the lives of the students they taught so profoundly that there weren't enough words to describe the impact.
"This is a very special day for me, as I still remember some of these students clearly. To see them as adults now saying thanks is indeed a great feeling, " said 86-year-old Avis Green, who still teaches.
Other teachers expressed similar sentiments about the gesture from those whom they taught.
Among the visitors was Member of Parliament Gregory Mair,who lauded the effort of the past students.
"It is a fantastic idea to have these persons supporting the school this way," Mair said.
The upgrading exercise will take the form of the building of a perimeter fence, repainting, getting furniture and appliances, including televisions and computers.
- Rasbert Turner
PORT MARIA, ST MARY:
Members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force in St Mary did not have to go empty-handed this Christmas season, thanks to United States-based organisations, Carib News Foundation and Jamaica Progressive League.
The gift will benefit not only the police, but the wider community as well.
On Tuesday, both organisations teamed up to donate four computers and a printer to the police to assist in the operations of the constabulary in the parish.
The donation, presented by Dr and Mrs Karl Rodney, was welcomed by Superintendent Dudley Scott, who is in charge of operations in the parish. The superintendent later said he was grateful for the equipment.
'Blessed with goodies'
"We are blessed to be getting these goodies from Carib News Foundation and Jamaica Progressive League and we're extremely grateful," Scott told The Gleaner on Wednesday.
According to the superintendent, the equipment will assist in developing the technical skills and capability of the members of the constabulary in the division and will provide the means and opportunity to improve service delivery.
"This is also evidence of community outreach and shows the collaboration and support, and also the willingness of people to help," Scott said.
"It shows that we still have good people."
The Carib News is a Caribbean newspaper based in Manhattan, New York, while the 73-year-old Jamaica Progressive League, also based in New York, has as its mandate the improvement of life of Jamaicans everywhere.
- Carl Gilchrist
MINERAL HEIGHTS, CLARENDON:
The meeting house of the Mineral Heights Citizens' Association (MHCA) is to be expanded to facilitate a new skills-training centre for the community.
Originally the meeting place of the association, Albert Thomas, MHCA president, said the organisation has chosen to instead use money from winning the Digicel Best Community Competition and Programme in 2008, along with other prize money earned from the National Housing Trust to make it happen. It was the NHT which donated the building in 2004.
The Digicel competition reaped $750,000 while the NHT prize money was $150,000.
$3 million contribution
Access Financial Services has contributed $3 million towards the computer centre, which includes one year of maintenance. LIME will give one year of free Internet service.
The CHASE Fund has also pitched in. In time, when the 15 computers and other accessories are up and running, a small user fee will be charged.
Thomas told The Gleaner that there was crime and violence in Mineral Heights but that the association, which enjoys a close relationship with the local police, has been able to do its part to keep the community relatively peaceful and that stakeholders were committed to dealing with and eradicating the problem.
- Angella Chin