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The Manchester Cultural Development Committee yesterday (Oct.16) honoured seven of the parish’s outstanding residents for pioneering service in the fields of education, religion, nursing and agriculture, among others.
At a civic awards ceremony held in Mandeville, awards were presented to Beverly Henry and Sandra Forbes for tremendous contribution and years of service to education; Norma Kelly for library services; and Eseta Platt-Thompson for nursing.
Additionally, Sylvia Lyn was recognised for more than 30 years of service as a mortician, while Lloyd Wilkinson and James Bogle were honoured for more than three decades of service in the areas of religion and agriculture, respectively.
The ceremony, which was held in collaboration with the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission, under the theme: ‘Celebrating Our Heritage . The Strength of Our Nation,’ featured cultural presentations from various school groups including Manchester High and Holmwood Technical High and the Jamaica Constabulary Force Band.
In her Heroes Day message read by Vando Palmer, Prime Minister, Portia Simpson-Miller stated that “undoubtedly, ours is a rich heritage: one that reflects the influences of peoples of diverse cultures.all have played an integral role in the unfolding of our colonial and modern history. This mix of cultures reflected in our art form, music and general way of life, truly makes us ‘Out of Many, One People'”.
Meanwhile, in his message read by the Deputy Mayor of Manchester, Councillor Sally Porteous, Leader of the Opposition, Bruce Golding said: “at this juncture in our nation’s life, we must pause and take a fulsome view of whether we have brought honour to and upheld the values and beliefs of our heroes”.
Guest speaker at the ceremony, Head of Psychiatry at the University of the West Indies, Professor Freddie Hickling, urged the citizens of Mandeville to “unite to find a way to put all of our brothers and sisters to work . in a productive way. We can do it Jamaica, let us do it”.
He noted also, that emphasis must be placed on education, because “if children do not learn to read by the time they are age eight, it is very likely they will end up in crime and violence”.