The Portmore Municipal Council will be celebrating ‘Jamaica 50’ with a slate of activities to take place over the next several weeks.
The plans were announced at a community forum held on July 12 at the Portmore Heart Academy. Mayor of Portmore, George Lee, said that out of the celebrations, he wants the community to “have a greater sense of unity of purpose”.
While some of the activities will mirror those of the national celebrations, they will have specific focus on Portmore.
Head of the Portmore Jamaica 50th Anniversary Committee, Karen Kennedy-Hewitt, announced that the municipality will have its own Jamaica 50 Jubilee Village.
From August 5 to 6, the open lot across from the Portmore Mall will be transformed into a cultural village with exhibitions, food tents and sizzling entertainment.
The Municipal Council will honour centenarians for their service to Portmore and the nation on August 3. Mrs. Kennedy Hewitt said the Mayor will visit each centenarian to thank them for their service and make a special presentation.
Two monuments will also be unveiled as part of the celebrations. Mrs. Kennedy Hewitt said a recent report revealed that Portmore had some 86 sites of historical interest.
Mayor Lee explained that out of the ‘Jamaica 50’ celebrations, the municipality wanted to “create the monuments…. the historical sites, with an aim of providing an economic opportunity with respect to trails, sites, and with respect to tourism development."
The Council will celebrate the Portmore United Football Club’s victory in the 2011/2012 Red Stripe Premier League, with a motorcade on July 21, beginning at the Ferdie Neita Park. On July 29, there will be a regatta at the Hellshire Half Moon Beach.
On July 31, there will be Emancipation vigils at the Gregory Park Baptist, Hellshire Baptist and Portmore Missionary churches, beginning at 9:00 p.m. and on August 5, the Jamaica 50th Independence Church Service will be held at the Power of Faith Ministries starting at 4:00 p.m.
A flag raising ceremony will be held at the jubilee village at 10:00 a.m. on Independence Day (Aug. 6) and later in the day, a special salute to the Portmore Municipality will be held at Caymanas Park.
Other activities include a push cart derby in the Hellshire Hills on August 12; the crowning of Miss Teen Portmore on August 19 ; and a cricket festival at the Bridgeport Sports Ground from August 25 to 26.
By Andrea Braham