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Minister of Labour and Social Security, Pearnel Charles, has called on Jamaicans to continue to appreciate the invaluable contribution of seniors, to the growth and development of the nation.
“This year’s theme, ‘Seniors Continuing Their Role in Nation Building’, is befitting of the sterling contribution they have made, as it sets the blue print for younger generations, to strive towards the same high ideals. It is therefore important to honour their achievements, and to ensure their dreams and needs are met,” he said.
The Minister’s message was delivered by the Parish Organiser of the National Council for Senior Citizens (NCSC), in Clarendon, Nova Williams Taylor, at the Senior Citizens Awards Ceremony, held at the St. Gabriel’s Anglican Church in May Pen, on September 16.
“While the Government continues on the path of empowering the elderly, it is imperative that we highlight the invaluable and significant contribution that they have made and are continuing to make, to the development of Jamaica,” Mr. Charles said.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the NCSC, Joseph Mahfood, has urged well thinking Jamaicans to do everything within their power, to ensure that senior citizens are cared for and protected, particularly those who lack family support.
“I am calling on caring persons in communities, to have a whole new attitude in embracing the responsibility for older persons, who are without immediate family support systems. In other words, be your brother’s keeper,” he pleaded.
Several seniors received awards at the ceremony, for their participation and outstanding performance in the areas of Sports, Art and Craft, Culinary Arts and the National Senior Citizens Spelling Bee competition.
Ronald Davidson, of the Longville Park Senior Citizens Club, was specially recognised for helping to place Clarendon at fourth place in the National Spelling Bee competition, and for placing first among the men. Mr. Davidson also copped the award for first place in the 100-metre sprint race, at the national athletics meet.
Other seniors who were recognised included Neville Bennett, Samuel Bennett, Edgar Thompson, Roy McKintosh, Gerald Rose, Linda Harris, Beatrice Burrell, Monica Hudson, Rebecca Vassell and Gladys Douglas.
Ruthlyn Francis and Emilyn Thomas, were recognised for outstanding service in the areas of Education and Community Service, respectively.