JIS News

A cheque for US$10,000 was yesterday (Oct. 26) donated by the Jamaica Volunteers Association (JVA) to the St. Catherine Parish Council to assist in the clean up and beautification of Spanish Town, St. Catherine.
President of the JVA, Professor Donald Morgan presented the cheque to the Mayor of Spanish Town, Dr. Andrew Wheatley at a special ceremony held at the Parish Council’s office to launch the project.
In 2004, the former Mayor of Spanish Town, Dr. Raymoth Notice, had approached the Association for assistance in restoring historical sites and cleaning the town.
The JVA has made annual contributions to educational, health care institutions and community projects in Jamaica since 1984. The last donation made by the organisation was in October 2004 when US$10,000 was donated to the Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture to assist in the renovation of four basic schools, which had suffered loss as a result of Hurricane Ivan.
Dr. Wheatley said the exercise to be undertaken from November 12 to 13, would see garbage and other debris being removed from the streets and “specially targeted areas” of the old capital. After the clean up, the Mayor said the Council would be putting in place a maintenance programme to ensure that the town was kept clean.
He appealed to members of the business community and citizens to properly dispose of their garbage.Additionally, the Mayor said, the Greendale median strip area would be cleaned and beautified in addition to open lots around the Parish Council and those adjacent to the Spanish Town Correctional Facility.
Other activities include the bushing of empty lots, re-marking of pedestrian crossings, planting of trees and the creation of new pedestrian crossings.
According to Mayor Wheatley, about 500 volunteers drawn from the St. Catherine Parish Development Committee, Spanish Town Area Development Committee, GC Foster College, National Youth Service, the Jamaica Police Academy, Community Development Committees, service clubs and other community based organizations would participate in the clean up exercise.
The activity is being held in collaboration with the National Solid Waste Management Authority, the Social Development Commission, National Works Agency, St.Catherine North Police Division, the Department of Correctional Services, Jamaica Fire Brigade, the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission and the Spanish Town Chamber of Commerce.
In his remarks, Professor Morgan urged the citizens of Spanish Town to unite and put their “strength, thoughts and money” into cleaning and changing the image of Spanish Town.
“Where you find criminals is where you find decay in buildings. When the society starts to disintegrate and disorganized then you find the criminals take over. But as soon as you clean up these buildings, clean up the trash around and clean up the community, the criminals have no where to go,” he said.
Emphasising the importance of the town, Professor Morgan said it was not only the first capital city but the “emancipation city.”
“This is where the proclamation was made for the freedom of our brothers and sisters,” he said, adding that the town could become a major tourist attraction once it was clean.
Criticising the media for tarnishing Spanish Town, Professor Morgan said that the news received abroad about the town was always negative and about “killings”.
“Now you don’t tell me that in Spanish Town there are no good deeds nor any good things that are being done on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis, but instead what we hear is the negative,” he asked.
Continuing, he said, “Those of us who are abroad are tired of hearing reading about the negative things in Spanish Town.”