Chief of Defence Staff of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), Major General Stewart Saunders, says the JDF is on its way to being a totally transformed and more capability driven force.
Speaking recently at the 17th annual fund-raising banquet of the Toronto chapter of the Jamaica Ex-Soldiers Association (JESA), in Toronto, Canada, Mr. Saunders said that at the end of the process, the JDF will be a much different military force in operation.
“The new focus is on our human capital, ensuring that they are educated, trained and in possession of the competences and resources needed to do their jobs. In addition, the right man, or woman will be employed in the right job. Acceptable standards of performance will be at the core of our existence,” said the Major General.
Lauding members of JESA for their involvement in Canada and Jamaica, ranging from an annual bursary programme to assisting the Curphey Home for veterans of World Wars I and II, the Major General also praised JESA for its assistance to the other chapters located in New York and Florida.
“These chapters would not have achieved what they have done and realised their potential for future charity-based endeavours without your outward display of caring, patience, a willingness to assist and ultimately your advice and guidance,” he said.
Consul at the Jamaican Consulate General, Mr. Nigel Smith, added his words of commendation for the organisation.
Bursary recipients Amanda McIntosh (2nd left) and Yanick Allwood (2nd right), seem delighted after receiving their bursary cheques from President of the Jamaica Ex-Soldiers Association (JESA), Toronto chapter, Mr. Anthony Britton (right) and Manager of the Victoria Mutual Building Society (VMBS) in Canada, Mrs. Denise Sinclair, one of the major sponsors.
“The Jamaica Ex-Soldiers Association has sent wheelchairs, clothing, food, medical supplies and books to many needy persons here in Canada, and also in our beloved homeland Jamaica. This gathering is a testimony of the goodwill that exists in our community for this great association,” said the Consul.
The JESA Toronto chapter, under the leadership of Mr. Anthony Britton, was founded in 1992 with former members of the JDF now resident in Canada.
“The future growth and development of our communities and countries are directly linked to our children,” Mr. Britton told the gathering. “Therefore it is our responsibility to ensure that they are equipped with the knowledge and skills that promote educative thinking. In doing so, JESA continues to provide bursaries to well deserved youth in our communities, as well as assisting other organisations in distributing additional bursaries,” he added.
The beneficiaries of this year’s bursary programme are Amanda McIntosh, first year Psychology student at the University of Toronto, and Yanick Allwood, first year student at the University of Western Ontario, doing a double major in Performance Piano and Actuarial Science.
Last year’s bursary awardee, Jeannette Goode, sang ‘What About the Children’, and thanked JESA for giving her funds which allowed her to fully concentrate on her Kinesiology studies at the University of Guelph and making the Dean’s Honour Roll.
Also attending the function were several members from the JDF and the JESA chapters in New York and Florida.