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Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Anthony Johnson, has said that alumni organisations play a vital role in the advancement of education in Jamaica, contributing millions of dollars to improve school plants, fund scholarships, among other things.
“Your constant giving back to your various institutions, which amounts to millions of dollars, have not gone unnoticed by the Government and in particular, the Ministry of Education. As a result of the assistance from alumni groups, many schools have better amenities and hundreds of students have received financial assistance that has helped to further their education,” he stated.
Ambassador Johnson was delivering the keynote address at the 13th annual dinner/dance of the Friends of Port Maria, New York (NY) chapter, on December 12 at the Holiday Inn in Queens.
He commended the group for helping to improve the landscape of education in the parish of St. Mary, citing the “tremendous assistance” given to the Port Maria Primary School. “Even though you left Port Maria Primary years ago, you have not forgotten where you were nurtured,” he said.

Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Anthony Johnson (centre), enjoys the company of (from left) Thelma Johnson and her daughters Jackie and Mitchell Johnson and Sonji Johnson-Anderson, who are all past students of the Port Maria Primary School in St. Mary. Occasion was the 13th annual dinner/dance of the Friends of Port Maria, New York Chapter held on December 12 at the Holiday Inn in Queens, New York.

Turning to developments in St. Mary, Ambassador Johnson told the group that the Government has been implementing a number of projects in the parish, which will ensure continued growth and progress, socially and economically.
These include development of the Boscobel Jet Port, completion of the Eden Park Housing Scheme, construction of a mini stadium in Oracabessa and the upgrading of community centres.
He said that the plans are in place to improve the parish’s water supply as well as the health service, through the upgrading of the Annotto Bay Hospital; repairs to a number of clinics; completion of the Port Maria dental clinic and the operation theatre at the Port Maria Hospital.
Mayor of Port Maria, Councillor Richard Creary, lauded the work of the Friends of Port Maria, New York chapter, noting that the group “has been doing a wonderful job of giving back to the community of Port Maria, in particular, the Port Maria Primary School, which happens to be my alma mater.”
He encouraged former residents of Port Maria now living in the United States to support the organisation, so that the group can continue to assist the Port Maria Primary School and by extension the parish.

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