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Residents of Portland have been encouraged by High Court Judge, Roy Anderson to remain steadfast in their efforts to improve the economic viability of the parish and reposition it as a major destination for visitors.
Delivering the keynote address at the launching of the Portland Homecoming week of activities in Port Antonio on June 27, Mr. Anderson said that Portland had a great deal of potential for development, which if realised, would not only make the parish an economic powerhouse, but would also create unprecedented social and economic empowerment for the residents of the parish.
He pointed out that the Portland Homecoming Committee was strategically placed to lead the effort to bring about the developmental revolution needed to transform the parish.
Mr. Anderson said a good example has been set by the St. Elizabeth Homecoming Committee, which has not only acted as a catalyst for the development of that parish, but has been able to bring on board a number of resourceful and influential persons to assist in that process.
He said that Portland also had at its disposal, many “capable sons and daughters” residing within and outside of the parish on whom it could call for assistance in its sustainable development process and he was confident that the parish had the type of attractions and enough human and natural resources to make it a gem among the parishes of the country, once they were used productively.
Mr. Anderson urged residents of the parish to put God first as they sought to build their lives and promote their communities. He also encouraged them to embrace proper values and attitudes as part of their personal development.
Also addressing the function were Custos of Portland, Hon. Roy Thompson, who urged the people of the parish to give full support to the homecoming celebration activities, and Mayor of Port Antonio, Councillor Alston Hunter who commended the Portland Homecoming Committee for planning the events.
The week’s activities began with a service at the Buff Bay Anglican Church on Sunday, June 26. Other events include a week-long parish exhibition at the Portland Parish Library in Port Antonio; tours and sightseeing of sections of western and eastern Portland on Wednesday and Thursday, June 29 and 30; an awards banquet at the Ken Wright Pier on Friday, July 1 and street galas in Long Bay and Manchioneal on Saturday, July 2. The activities will culminate with the staging of the Portland Jerk Festival on Sunday, July 3.