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Eight awarded for contribution to St James' development

Published:Thursday | August 7, 2014 | 12:00 AM

The parish of St James saw eight of its most outstanding contributors to national development receiving the Spirit of Independence Awards during yesterday's celebration of Jamaica's 52nd year of Independence at the Montego Bay Cultural Centre in the Second City.

Seven individuals and one business entity were awarded and publicly recognised for their contribution to the development of St James during the civic ceremony, which was hosted by the St James Parish Council and the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission under this year's national theme, 'This is Jamaica ... My Jamaica'.

News editor for the Western Mirror Carol Heston was awarded for outstanding service in the field of journalism; while senior medical officer at the Cornwall Regional Hospital, Dr Delroy Fray, was awarded for his contribution to the field of health. Western regional officer for the Jamaica Teachers' Association, Evelyn Louise Tugwell, was awarded for her contribution to education.

Pastor and community leader for the communities of Granville and Pitfour, Hortense Kerr, and patron of the St James Infirmary, the Reverend Leroy Sterling, were both awarded for outstanding community service; while the award for philanthropy went to board member of the Montego Bay Community College Guiseppe Maffesanti.

The Rastafari Indigenous Village, which was represented at the ceremony by director Arlene McKenzie, received the award for its contribution to tourism. McLeod Welsh, a farmer of 54 years, who played a role in resurrecting the parish's banana sector, was awarded for his contribution to agriculture.

Mayor of Montego Bay Glendon Harris said, "I urge us to continue to build Jamaica, starting with our little corner ... . Today, we must continue to fight for our country, for it is still worth protecting, and real and lasting independence must be secured."