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JIS News

Residents of the community of Newland in Portmore, St. Catherine, came out in their numbers on Labour Day, May 23, to participate in refurbishing the home of disabled community member, Brenetta Blake.

The board house, which she occupies with her husband, is being completely renovated by the Portmore Municipal Council.

The project is one of many Labour Day activities being undertaken by the council in keeping the Government’s focus on assisting the most vulnerable in the society.

Mayor of Portmore, Councillor George Lee, told JIS News that the project started two days ago.

He informed that the activity is “a total makeover of the whole house because it was in a terrible state”, and involved the removal of all its contents, fixing up the rooms, partitions and the roof.

“We want to completely refurbish the house that is in a dilapidated condition. We want to have the house in a very comfortable state so that they can live (comfortably),” Mayor Lee informed.

He said the Council is happy “to do this for this couple and it’s something that in the future, we must look to do more because there are so many (situations) like this throughout Portmore and the country. As local authorities, we have to…from time to time provide this type of assistance,” he stated.

The 78-year old, who is wheelchair bound, told JIS News that she is grateful for the assistance. “I am elated,” she said, while thanking the volunteers.

Mrs. Blake, who has lived in the Newland community for over 30 years, expressed hope that more can be done to improve the lives of the young people and to uplift the community as well.

Pastor Kelvin Colquhoun of the Glad Tidings Church of the First Born, which Mrs. Blake attends, said he is “thankful and grateful” for the assistance for his congregant.

Mayor Lee, in the meantime, told JIS News that the activity is just phase one of a larger project to assist members of the disabled community in the municipality, which is to continue next month when the Council celebrates its 10th anniversary.

He noted as well that over 50 projects were being carried out in Portmore on Labour Day, most of them involving cleaning of public areas and white washing.

The other two major projects in the municipality are the refurbishing of the fire station in Waterford, and rebuilding of a park at the Southborough round-a-bout in Bridgeport.

Mayor Lee informed that as in previous years, tents have been set up beside the 100 man police station where “we issue trees, white wash, drums, top soil (and) fertilizer”.

“We engage the community, partner with the community for the cleaning (and beautification) of Portmore, dealing with greening of Portmore, planting of trees and to let Portmore really come alive in respect to the cleanliness and the environment,” he stated.

Labour Day, 2013, isbeing celebrated under the theme: ‘Lend a Hand… Build our Land’.

Contact: Alecia Smith-Edwards