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Nine Portmore residents were presented with awards and had citations read to them at the 2004 Heroes Day Civic Ceremony held yesterday (October 18) at the Portmore Pines car park in Greater Portmore, St. Catherine.
Those who received awards were Patricia McLean, Shirley Whylie, George Nelson, Wavel Hinds, Lester Crooks, Bishop Bradley Dyer, Councillor Leon Thomas, Almeric Cook and Reeshemah Ball. The various categories of awards were Community Leadership and Development, Education, Sports, Philanthropy, and Youth.
Receiving Mayor George Lee’s special award in the Youth category was Reeshemah Ball, a student at Ardenne High School and winner of the Centennial Poster Award international competition.
Before the presentation of awards, the National flag was lowered to half-mast, followed by a minute of silence. Floral tributes were then laid next to photographs of the seven National Heroes, and Heroine by Tanisha Walker, Bobby Brown, Yvonne McCormack, and Councillors Owen Saunderson, Keith Blake, Natalie Campbell Rodriquez, and Colin Fagan.
Speaking on behalf of the awardees, educator Shirley Whylie, who was instrumental in establishing the Portmore Community College, thanked the organisers of the event for “celebrating” the work of people whom she said had worked hard to achieve their goals.
“We feel appreciated and humbled by the award. We never knew that when we were doing the things we were doing, it would have brought us up on a platform,” she said.
Mayor of Portmore George Lee, who brought greetings, told the gathering that the sacrifices and struggles made by “our ancestors have created a people that we can be proud of.” The Mayor challenged the citizens to join hands in making their communities great, noting that there was much more to be done. “The Mayor cannot do it alone, it must take all of us working together,” he emphasised, stating that growth and development had to be a partnership.
“We have done some things that we can be proud of, but there is so much more to be done. Much more can be done, but there are financial constraints,” he added.
Also bringing greetings at the ceremony were State Minister in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, and Member of Parliament for South St Catherine, Fitz Jackson, as well as Mayor of Spanish Town Dr. Raymoth Notice.
The Southborough and Gregory Park Primary Schools, the Bridgeport cultural group and the Portmore Dancers performed items of song, dance and plays. The ceremony was organised by the Portmore Municipal Council in association with the St. Catherine office of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC).

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