Activities for Labour Day 2017 got off to an early start on Tuesday (May 23) in the parish of St. James, with a wreath-laying ceremony in honour of National Hero, the Right Excellent Samuel Sharpe.
Mayor of Montego Bay, His Worship Homer Davis, and Acting Custos of the parish, Claudette Bryan, headed the list of city officials, civic and business leaders and residents who were on hand for the tribute held in Sam Sharpe Square.
Mayor Davis, in his address, said “there could not have been a more fitting way to kick off the Labour Day activities than to honour the memory of a son of the soil whose hard work and sacrifices contributed to a free and liberated Jamaica”.
“Today marks 185 years since Sam Sharpe was hanged in this very square,” he pointed out.
“It’s important that as we celebrate Labour Day, we also remember the legacy left behind by this great Jamaican and the role he played in the subsequent abolition of slavery,” he added.
Following the Sam Sharpe Square ceremony, the focus turned to the Montego Hills Police Station, which was the Labour Day parish project.
The facility was renovated to include installation of new bathroom fixtures and windows; painting of the entire building; and bushing and cleaning of the yard.
Over in Barrett Town, volunteers turned out in their numbers to carry out work on the post office, police station, basic school and community centre.
Minister of Tourism and Member of Parliament for East Central St. James,Hon. Edmund Bartlett, who participated in the workday, said he was happy with the large turnout of volunteers. “The spirit of volunteerism is alive and well in Barrett Town,” he noted.
Mr. Bartlett announced that Cabinet had approved $120 million to rehabilitate all the roads leading into Barrett Town, and the project should begin within the next four to five weeks.
“In addition to the removal of zinc fences, which we recently did throughout the community, this road repair should greatly improve both the infrastructure and aesthetic appeal of Barrett Town,” he pointed out.
Major work was also undertaken in Norwood, where volunteers turned out to patch roads and rehabilitate the community centre.
A total of 63 projects were registered for St. James for Labour Day, which was observed under the theme ‘Restore. Preserve. Beautify’.