Mayor of Kingston, Councillor Desmond McKenzie, has launched a programme to stimulate Christmas shopping in downtown Kingston this month, describing the commercial area as the “safest place in Jamaica, today”.
“I say it without fear of contradiction, that downtown Kingston and its environs has the lowest crime rate in Jamaica, and is one of the safest places in Jamaica, today,” the Mayor told the launch of ‘Christmas in the City, Downtown Comes Alive’, on King Street, Wednesday (December 9).
Mayor McKenzie said that police records could substantiate the fact that murders, robberies and rapes have been steadily declining over the past five years. He credited the co-operation of the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC), the city’s local authority which he heads, the police, street vendors and the business and church communities for this success.
“I am asking everybody to come and shop, and shop and shop,” he told the crowd at the launch.
Mayor of Kingston, Councillor Desmond McKenzie (second right) having fun with an aquarium of pet fishes being sold by King Street vendor, Shirnett Robinson (second left), prior to the start of Wednesday’s (December 9) launch of the KSAC’s downtown shopping promotion, ‘Christmas in the City, Downtown Comes Alive’. Looking on are: Deputy Mayor, Councillor Lee Clarke (right); and the Gleaner’s Managing Editor, Jenni Campbell (left).
He suggested that other areas of Jamaica which suffer increased crime figures could, “take a leaf out of downtown Kingston’s book and replicate it.”
The Mayor also paid tribute to the sponsors including: Scotiabank; Urban Development Corporation (UDC); The Gleaner Company; and the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce for their support.
The function was chaired by KSAC Town Clerk, Errol Greene. Other speakers included: Chairman of the Kingston City Centre Improvement Company (KCCIC), Francis Kennedy; Manager of Scotiabank’s King Street branch, Michael Shaw; Jamaica Chamber of Commerce President, Milton Samuda; and Managing Editor of the Gleaner, Jenni Campbell. Scotiabank’s Director of Public and Corporate Affairs, Joylene Griffiths Irving, gave the closing remarks.
The programme dubbed, ‘Christmas in the City, Downtown Comes Alive’, kicks off Thursday (December 10) with the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, at the newly refurbished St. William Grant Park.
Other major events include: the Bank of Nova Scotia’s 120th Anniversary Church Service on Sunday; the King Street Parade and presentation of the Key to the City to the BNS on Monday; a Grand Market on Wednesday, which will highlight fashions produced downtown featuring Saints International’s models; the UDC’s (Urban Development Corporation) Feast of Choirs at Orange Park on Thursday (December 17); and the Mayor of Kingston’s Christmas Treat for the Needy on Sunday, December 20.
Scotiabank’s Director of Public and Corporate Affairs, Joylene Griffiths Irving (right), explains her bank’s role in the downtown Kingston Christmas shopping promotion, ‘Christmas in the City, Downtown Comes Alive’, prior to the launch on Wednesday (December 9) to (from left): Jamaica Chamber of Commerce President, Milton Samuda; Deputy Mayor, Councillor Lee Clarke; Mayor of Kingston, Councillor Desmond McKenzie; and Town Clerk, Errol Greene (partly hidden at right).
The Mayor said that the Coronation Market has also been included in the programme and next week Saturday, December 19, Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton, will be special guest. Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding will visit the Grand Market on King Street on Wednesday afternoon.
King Street will be closed for the Grand Market, with tents set up for vendors, and all the fashions on sale will have to be produced downtown. Street side hairdressers will also be allowed to provide their services.
The Mayor said that the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) will provide late night buses downtown during the period, and the Jamaica Public Service Company will install new solar street lights in some areas.