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Former Mayor of Mandeville, Cecil C. Charlton, has been honoured by the Jamaica Library Service and the Manchester Parish Library network for 48 years of service to the organization.
The ceremony was held recently at the Mandeville Hotel in Manchester, with scores of persons in attendance.
In his tribute to Mr. Charlton, Custos of Manchester, Dr. Gilbert Allen, said that, “the footprints made by this icon of a man in this community are bold indeed and indelible”.
Dr. Allen said that Mr. Charlton, or ‘Maas C’, as he is affectionately called, had a goal at almost every aspect of community life and had made a success of most. “He’s a man who can be considered a true role model . of courage and tenacity,” he said.
“The community salutes him most for his benevolence and his philanthropy . his long and faithful service to voluntary organizations, his membership of the Manchester Parish Library committee . and as Chairman for the past 40 years,” Dr. Allen said.
Meanwhile, Director General of the Jamaica Library Service, Patricia Roberts, thanked Mr. Charlton and his family for their service to the town of Mandeville and to the organization.
“From us at the Jamaica Library Service we thank you for what you have done. We look forward to continue sharing and working with you. You are in our hearts and will remain in our hearts and you are very special to us,” she said.
Mr. Charlton joined the Manchester Library Committee as a representative of the Parish Council in 1958, 10 years after the establishment of the Jamaica Library Service.
In his determination to have a new, well equipped library for his parish, he was instrumental in acquiring the site on which the library is located. He was active in developing ideas for the design of the building and initiated the extra funding needed to facilitate construction.
“I remember well his excitement and satisfaction in seeing the parish library moved from the bat-infested building . to its newly built two-storey home,” former Director of the Jamaica Library Service, Gloria Salmon said.
“As a member and Chairman . Mr. Charlton helped to conceptualize and foster the growth of the parish service from eight book centres operated by volunteers to 12 branch libraries, 6 of which occupy their own buildings; 54 book mobile stops throughout the parish, 197 school libraries served by the School’s Library Service from its regional office; and the establishment of the Region 3 headquarters at the Manchester Parish Library, which now supervises delivery of library services to the parishes of Manchester and Clarendon,” she added.
Responding, Mr. Charlton said he felt good serving the library service and to be recognized. “It is the leading of Almighty God why I did it, because if I didn’t do that, who knows where else I could be this evening; so with Christ in the vessel, I’m here with you smiling in the storm,” he said.
“I am very grateful for what is happening this evening. It has strengthened me and I will never forget it,” Mr. Charlton added.