Beeston Spring in Westmoreland was named the Best Community in Jamaica at the National Best Community Foundation’s award ceremony, on Thursday (August 26), at the Stella Maris Pastoral Centre in Kingston.
The National Best Community Competition and Programme encourages local governance and sustainable community development through relevant programmes and self-help initiatives, annually. Priority areas judged in the competition are: built environment; socio-economy; hazard mitigation and disaster preparedness; education; health; waste management; heritage and culture; and youth development.
Representing the Governor General, who is patron of the programme, his wife, Lady Patricia Allen, commended the Foundation for the variety of categories in which the communities were judged, saying they fostered wide participation by residents. She said such participation engenders peace, trust and a spirit of volunteerism.
Wife of the Governor General, Her Excellency Lady Patricia Allen (third from left), joins members of the Beeston Spring community in Westmoreland, after they copped the top prize in the National Best Community Competition and Programme, at an award ceremony at the Stella Maris Pastoral Centre, Kingston on Thursday (August 26).
“The National Best Community Competition must, therefore, be seen as part of the renewal and transformation process, as well as an opportunity for Jamaicans to rekindle the mood and lifestyle of times past, when the village operated as a family,” she declared.
Lady Allen also noted that the competition’s focus on sustainability must be lauded for bringing together Jamaicans to build resources for future generations to enjoy.
Lady Allen also presented the top community in each parish, as well as the overall national winner, with the Governor General’s Plaques to acknowledge the progress each of these communities made.
Beeston Spring also received $2 million from Digicel for placing first. Second was Glengoffe, St. Catherine, which received $500,000 from the Jamaica National Building Society; third was Albert Town, Trelawny, which received $250,000 courtesy of the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF).
Wife of the Governor General, Her Excellency Lady Patricia Allen, poses with representatives from the 13 communities which were parish winners in the National Best Community Competition and Programme, as they show off their plaques at an award ceremony at the Stella Maris Pastoral Centre, Kingston on Thursday (August 26).
Parish winners were: Woodford Park, Kingston and St. Andrew; Rowlands Field, St. Thomas; Reach, Portland; Annotto Bay, St. Mary; Sturge Town, St. Ann; Albert Town, Trelawny; Goodwill, St. James; King’s Vale, Hanover; Beeston Spring, Westmoreland; Greater Treasure Beach, St. Elizabeth; Grove Place, Manchester; Mineral Heights, Clarendon; and Glengoffe, St. Catherine.
At the parish level first, second and third placed received $300,000, $200,000 and $100,000, respectively. The cash prizes are to be spent on approved community projects, which will be monitored by the Social Development Commission (SDC), a partner in the initiative.
Communities were also awarded prizes in special categories, such as Most Beautiful Community; Best Culture and Heritage Programme; Most Improved Agricultural Practices; and Best Youth Development Programme. Most of these prizes were copped by Sturge Town, St. Ann.
Chairperson for the National Steering Committee of the National Best Community Foundation, Jacqueline daCosta, said that 232 communities, made up of 1,471 districts, entered this year’s competition.
Applications are already open for the 2010/2011 competition, and will close on October 31, 2010. Judging will take place next year between April and June.