KINGSTON – Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GraceKennedy Limited, Hon. Douglas Orane, said that the recent murders of his executive assistant, Arlene Lym and her 73-year old mother, Dorothy Lym has strengthened his determination to make Jamaica a better country.
Arlene Lym, who had been working with Mr. Orane since 1987, and her mother were the victims of a brutal murder at their Queen’s Way home in Kingston 10 on Friday morning March 26.
Speaking publicly about the deaths for the first time, Mr. Orane, who is also chairman of the National Child Month Committee (NCMC), said the incident has “doubled my resolve to make Jamaica the kind of country that I would have liked my assistant, Arlene, to have lived in, if she had survived. But certainly, the kind of country that her daughter, will grow up in and become a wholesome adult.”
Mr. Orane, along with representatives of the NCMC and LIME Foundation, were guests at the Jamaica Information Service Think Tank held on March 29 at the agency’s head office on Half-Way-Tree Road.
Discussions focused on up-coming events for Child Month, which will be launched on April 6 under the theme: ‘Our World, Their Future, Our Responsibility’.
Mr. Orane urged the committee members to dedicate its efforts towards helping children, especially those who have had traumatic experiences.
“What I would like for this Child Month is that we dedicate ourselves to those young people, not only those, who are moving ahead in life, but those who may have been touched by tragedy and need a helping hand, to help them to reach to adulthood in a wholesome way,” he stated.
He commended the members of the NCMC for their devotion and determination, noting that the committee is "really a catalyst that encourages everyone, who loves our children to do the best that they can."
The NCMC chairman further urged parents and caregivers to find a way to inculcate good values in their children.
He recounted how the 14-year old daughter of his slain secretary wanted to go to school, hours after learning of the death of her mother and grandmother. Subsequently, he said the headmistress provided counselling for her at school and allowed six of her classmates to accompany her home. Mr. Orane said that she was no longer crying when he visited her later that evening, since her friends had cheered her up.
"To me, that is the epitome of what our children and what we want to achieve from Child Month, which is to find a way to create the values in our children so that on their own they act in a caring and thoughtful way," Mr. Orane stated.
Reflecting on a religious thought sent to him by a friend, which read, “God did not give us children, he only rented them to us for 18 years ,” Mr. Orane urged parents to give leadership and guidance to their children, noting that they only have a short period of time to guide them before they become adults.
GraceKennedy and LIME Foundation are the main sponsors of the National Child Month Committee. National Child Month will be celebrated in May, with activities to extend into November with the observance of International Children’s Day on the 18th of month.
By E. HARTMAN RECKORD, JIS Information Officer