More Donations to Rehabilitate May Pen Cemetery


Plans for a major overhaul of the May Pen Cemetery have received a further boost as the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC) was on Tuesday (April 13) presented with a cheque of $250,000 by Life of Jamaica Limited (LoJ) toward that project. The donation is the first in a series of contributions from that corporate body.
Speaking at the KSAC’s monthly press briefing where the cheque was presented, Mayor of Kingston, Councillor Desmond McKenzie informed that the Canadian High Commission had agreed to underwrite the cost of the repairs of the cemetery’s administrative office and changing room at a cost of $1.3 million.
In addition, he said, the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) had agreed to cover the cost of repairing the perimeter fence and portions of the road network.
This undertaking has been estimated at between $10 and $12 million. The churches had also been playing their part, as they too had made several donations to the May Pen Cemetery Restoration Fund, Mr. McKenzie noted. Jamaicans overseas have also made significant contributions.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Marketing Officer of LoJ, Michael Fraser lauded the project and urged all members of the private sector to give their support.
Mayor McKenzie made a special appeal to the public at large to support the restoration activities as, “this is an institution that is old and dear and has a lot of strong history and traditions”.
He pointed out that buried at the cemetery were a number of men and women who had “shaped the destiny of Jamaica”, such as, cricketer Collie Smith, and one of the first members of Jamaica’s modern legislative council, Jack Smith. Persons who died in World War II and others who perished in the 1907 earthquake are also buried at the cemetery.
Last month, the National Commercial Bank (NCB) made a donation of $5 million to the Fund and a number of other commitments have been made recently to the cause, including, $250,000 worth of steel from Tankweld Metals Jamaica Limited; all the necessary sand and gravel needed, from YP Seaton; and asphalt from Asphalted Concrete and General Road and Pavings Company Limited. Next week, Caribbean Cement Company will make its presentation of over 100 bags of cement toward the restoration work. Tools Hardware Limited has pledged all the necessary bathroom and toilet fixtures while Brighton Engineering has committed to all the electrical supplies and repairs. The first phase of the project is expected to begin the second week of May.
Persons are asked to make their contributions to the Fund, at any branch of NCB, to account number: 104037178. The financial aspect of the Project is being monitored by the Auditor General’s office.

JIS Social