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Alpart bauxite company recently honoured its former communications manager, Mr. Lance Neita, for his role in helping to build harmonious relations between the company and communities in Manchester and St. Elizabeth.
At a function held at the company’s sports club in Nain, St. Elizabeth,
Mr. Neita was lauded by community leaders, civic and political representatives, for his role in the formation of the Community Council, through which the company undertakes programmes in the areas of education, health, sports, youth and community development.
Member of Parliament for South East St. Elizabeth, Mr. Frank Witter, said that “Lance has made an invaluable contribution to the communities around Alpart. He was able to mend fences between the company and the communities. We used to have lots of demonstrations; people blocked the train lines, and with the input of the Community Council, those types of agitations have vanished.”
Member of Parliament for South Manchester, Mr. Michael Peart, stated that the personality of the honouree, and his understanding of rural communities, helped in easing of tensions in the bauxite mining and processing areas.
“Mr. Neita has a remarkable ability to remain cool under trying situations. He has quietly achieved many things for the communities, and has set an example for many to follow,” Mr. Peart stated.
Head of the St. Elizabeth office of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), Ms. Viviene Morris-Brown, for her part, stated that Mr. Neita helped to “champion the cause of culture”.
“As a genuine lover of culture, yourself, you have demonstrated your passion for the performing arts, especially for the traditional folk forms. We admire your sustained effort to ignite that passion in the members of the community council. We have benefitted from your wit, and your sense of humor,” Mrs. Morris-Brown said.
In his response, Mr. Neita said the Community Council “has been the best part of my working life”.
“We have made so much progress in problem resolution, community projects, education, agriculture, water supply, hurricane alleviation and youth development. We have gone way beyond the days when we use to shout at each other, because we resolved that we were going to work together to solve challenges. The bauxite industry cannot move forward without the understanding and trust of the community,” Mr. Neita emphasised.