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A concerted effort by the 4-H Movement to recruit new members in St. James resulted in an increase in the registration of clubs for the 2004/2005 administrative year.
Acting Regional Co-ordinator for the 4-H Movement in the Western Region, Barbara Lawrence has said that 67 clubs were registered for the 2004/05 year, which ended on March 31, as against 55 clubs that were registered in the parish for the 2003/04 period. She also noted that membership increased to 4,100 for 2004/05 as against 3,500 for the previous year.
Details of the membership drive were given by Mrs. Lawrence in her report at the 65th annual general meeting of the St. James 4-H Advisory Council, held at the St. Johns Methodist Church Hall, in Montego Bay, recently.
She pointed out that included in the 67 clubs were two community clubs, one college club and three church clubs. She said that training remained one of the most important activities of all the registered clubs within the Movement, with over 1,000 clubbites benefiting from several training sessions in various disciplines.
Mrs. Lawrence said that the St. James 4-H cultural family fun day, dubbed ‘Nyammins and Jammins’ was the most successful fund-raiser put on by that group for the year, and that approximately fifty 4-H clubs within the parish were given grants of $5,000 each out of the proceeds from that event. She noted that the grants would be used by the clubs to procure materials for their training sessions within the schools.
Vice Chairman of the Council, Winston Ritchie, said the group did not consider maintaining a healthy bank account as more important than training for the clubbites. “Financial assets must be used for the training of the students,” he emphasised. He said that the executive members of the organization would be making every effort to improve the achievements made by that body over the last year, which should result in more training sessions for the students.
During the elections at the meeting, only one change was made to the Executive, with Milton Berry being elected the new Treasurer. All other officers, including Chairman, Calvin Brown; Vice Chairman, Winston Ritchie; Public Relations Officer, Marline Stephenson-Dalley and the 17 Council members were returned to office en-bloc.