JIS News

The round-a-bout situated at the intersection of South Camp Road and Harbour Street, popularly known as the ‘gateway to downtown Kingston’ is being given a much needed facelift on May 23 as part of Labour Day activities.

The work for the day is focused on beautifying the green area, including gardening and bushing, whitewashing of stones, replanting of flowers and trees, and creating a rock garden.

Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, who is participating in the work day, told JIS News that giving the area a facelift is important, especially as efforts to restore downtown Kingston get underway.

“The area is very drab… and it is the entry into (the) city of Kingston and if we are serious about restoring the old city, then we need places of beauty and relaxation. Can you imagine when the rock garden is in place and the trees surround it, it will be the lungs of Kingston,” he said.

Minister Thwaites, who is also Member of Parliament for Central Kingston, highlighted the importance of Labour Day in uniting people in the upliftment and beautification of their communities.

“There is hardly another day or occasion that would be like this where you combine joyful labour and useful work,” he stated.

The work being done at the round-a-bout forms part of the Minister’s contribution to Labour Day and was also selected by Digicel Foundation as part of its efforts to beautify sections of downtown Kingston.

Residents from the communities of Rae Town, Tel-Aviv and Southside; high school cadets; and Digicel Foundation staff are contributing to the day’s activities.

Administrator, Digicel Foundation, Eleen Rankine, said it is fitting that the Foundation has chosen a Labour Day project that focuses on the beautification of this important gateway to downtown Kingston and that gives an opportunity for staff to work together with the communities in the area.

She informed that pre-labour day work was undertaken, which included the cutting down and clearing of the area.

Ms. Rankine informed that as part of the sustainability of the area, the Foundation will be hosting a competition to select designs for artwork that will be included in a mural to be erected at the roundabout in celebration of Jamaica 50. 

Members from the communities of Tel Aviv, Rae Town and Southside will be invited to make submissions of artwork representing what Jamaica 50 means to their community.

The winning design from each community will be displayed on each side of a three-sided monument to be erected in the roundabout.

This year’s Labour Day activities are focused on the cleaning-up of communities, towns, villages, open spaces and the physical environment for the Jamaica 50 celebrations.

It was celebrated under the theme, ‘Step Forward…Make Jamaica Beautiful’.


By Chris Patterson, JIS Reporter