JIS News

The community of Exchange in St. Ann has a new postal agency, which was constructed at a cost of $1.1 million.
The facility, a combined effort of the wider community, started in 1998, when ground was broken by the former member of parliament for the area, Danny Melville, after the closure of the previous agency, and citizens had to travel to the Ocho Rios Post Office to collect their mails.
On Monday, February 2, the postal agency will be opened to the public, in particular, to residents of Exchange and surrounding communities.
Speaking at the official opening on Thursday (Jan. 29), Deputy Postmaster General, Michael Gentles, pointed out that with progressive advances in technology over time, the Jamaican post office has had to expand its role to be a facilitator of communication, identifying with the motto: “Communication for Development”.
Mr. Gentles said that the transformation process, which was ongoing, “has required us to expand our role in communication for development to include social security benefits, commercial services and a community location for disseminating information”.
Noting that commercial services were now offered in post offices, the Deputy Postmaster General said such services included, bill payment with Paymaster; priority mail to the United States of America (USA); newspaper sales, phone card sale, money transfer, fax and photocopy service, Internet access, and small business services from Jamaica National Building Society.
He said as the country advanced with the spread of economically priced communication, the existing network of 308 post offices and 320 postal agencies was able to reach Jamaicans from Morant Point to Negril. “The real value of the postal agency can only be realized if citizens identify the unit as belonging to them, and being cared for and protected by them”.
In his address, guest speaker, Opposition Leader Edward Seaga, said the facility was of great importance to the area, which was the next largest community to St. Ann’s Bay and Ocho Rios, “and the people will benefit from it greatly”.
Noting that without progress in the postal services the Postal Corporation would find it difficult to survive, Mr. Seaga commended Blossom O’Mealy Nelson, Postmaster General, for her dynamic strength behind the improvement.
Congratulating the providers for their hard work, the Opposition Leader said it was always a good thing to do small projects, which would benefit the people.
Expressing gratitude for the facility, Veronica Walters, Deloris Black, and Casilda Johnson, from Exchange, said the agency was well needed in the community and they felt happy that they did not have to go to Ocho Rios anymore for their mails.