In a time of global recession and personal financial hardships, there are still some people, who continue to give generously, for the benefit of others.
One such person is 87-year old Stanley Amritt, affectionately called ‘Busher’, a kind and caring banana farmer from the rural community of Highgate in St. Mary.
Mr. Amritt donated $4.5 million for the construction of a computer laboratory and adjoining classroom at the nearby Highgate Primary and Junior High School, which has been named the ‘Stanley Amritt computer lab and classroom’ in recognition of his benevolence.
Principal of the school, Claudette Duncan, told JIS News that the facility, which was officially opened on May 28, was born out of the need to provide the grade 4-9 students with basic computer skills as part of the institution’s improvement plan.
She gladly recalled the day Mr. Amritt agreed to sponsor the project. “I went to…his farm and we were talking about the challenges we were facing at the school, and he offered me a computer. I informed him that my interest at the time really was to get a sponsor for a computer building. So a few days after, he accepted and said that he would do it for me,” she related.
Ms. Duncan said that the student population stand to benefit greatly from the establishment of the air-conditioned facility, which is equipped with 13 computers with internet access, and three printers.
Students from the Highgate Primary and Junior High School in St. Mary are hard at work in their new computer laboratory. The school was the beneficiary of a new computer laboratory and classroom donated by banana farmer, Stanley Amritt, in the amount of $4. 5 million.
“For the students, it means they’ll have more access to research material that they use and so the 1,449 students enrolled will also be able to utilise educational materials and programmes from the internet, especially relating to foreign languages,” she pointed out.
She said that teachers would also profit from its use. “The computer lab will enhance lesson planning for teachers. It also provides easy access to students’ profiles, performance records, medical records,” Ms. Duncan noted.
Mrs. Yvonne Amritt, speaking on behalf of her husband, who does not like publicity, stated that his decision to donate the computer laboratory was to ensure that the students have the necessary skills to compete in an information technology-driven world. “He wants them to be computer literate before they reach high school,” she pointed out.
Mr. Amritt’s philanthropic spirit is not limited to Highgate Primary and Junior High, as he has made generous contributions to different schools in and around his community.
Ms. Duncan told JIS News that the kind-heated farmer has handed over the land and the dwelling house, where his late parents resided, to the Harmony Hall Basic School, which is sited at the property. The school was renamed the Amritt Basic School in his honour. He has also donated land to the St. Mary High School to build a house for the teachers, who live far away.
“As a nearby farmer, we always get bananas and so forth whenever we are having the lunch programme and for whatever functions we have at school,” Ms. Duncan told JIS News, noting that Mr. Amritt also supplies the institution with water whenever there is a shortage.
Mr. Amritt has been a banana farmer all his life and was an export farmer in the 1950s. His 200 acre property, which he acquired from his father, who was also a farmer, employs several persons from St. Mary.