Residents of communities surrounding the National Heroes Park in Kingston, came out early Wednesday morning to assist with the restoration work being done at the park, which was the national project for Labour Day 2012.
Work at the park, which was spearheaded by members of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), involved washing and refurbishing of the shrines, planting of poui and palm trees, landscaping, and the rehabilitation of walkways and the entrance.
Minister of Education, Hon. Ronald Thwaites, who is Member of Parliament for Central Kingston, where the park is located, was among those volunteering his services.
Minister Thwaites, who helped to paint the walls of the monument in honour of Rt. Excellent Norman Manley, told JIS News that he is happy to participate.
“This is the day when we gather together and do voluntary work. I love the vibe in the community and happy to see many people from Allman Town, Fletcher’s Land and Jones Town gathering at National Heroes Park,” he said.
He said the improvement of the park “is a big signal for the restoration of the city Kingston and I trust that the trees that we are planting will grow and the shrines will be kept immaculate and that more and more people will understand the safety as well as the enjoyment of coming to National Heroes Park."
A community volunteer, did not want to give her name, said she was honoured to be part of the project.
“I feel very honoured to be working here today. I really like the fact that we are looking to beautify our National Heroes Park,” she said. She also called on Jamaicans to get involved in the cleaning of their surroundings. “Volunteerism is the way to go in nation-building,” she added.
Volunteers, including executives of Jamaica Broilers Group Limited, which donated $1 million to assist with the project, also worked on the installation of a permanent fence to separate the monument park from the public space.
Technical advice was provided by officials from the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT), while workers from the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) were on hand to assist with clean-up activities.
By E. Hartman Reckord, JIS PRO