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The Social Development Commission (SDC) rewarded more than 80 individuals and organisations for service to various communities during the staging of its ‘Spirit of Community’ awards ceremony held at the Stella Maris Church Hall in Kingston on Thursday, December 9.
A total of 73 individuals were awarded in the categories of safety and security, philanthropy, community service, community sports, and nation building, while 14 entities were rewarded for humanitarian and philanthropic endeavours. They were all for service to communities across the parishes of Kingston and St. Andrew,
Member of Parliament for North Eastern St. Andrew, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Delroy Chuck congratulated the awardees, noting that they were not just community heroes, but national heroes in many ways.

Member of Parliament for East St. Andrew, Dr. St. Aubyn Bartlett (left), presents Everette Wesly with his award for outstanding service in the area safety and security during the Social Development Commission’s Kingston and St. Andrew ‘Spirit of Community’ awards ceremony held at the Stella Maris Church Hall in Kingston on Thursday, December 9.

“Many of you go beyond your personal challenges and beyond your family time to participate in community activities… but at the end of the day…from your participation in the community trying to assist others, trying to interact and to solve some of the problems in the community…you have a sense of self fulfilment which not many people in Jamaica have,” he said.
He noted that community leaders have played significant roles in some of the improvements and progress that have been realised in certain communities over the past decades, and praised the SDC for rewarding them for their input.
“I have absolutely no doubt that in showing appreciation to the community persons who have played a very important role in the various communities across Kingston and St. Andrew that you (SDC) have contributed significantly to the peace and harmony that we experienced in many of these areas,” he said.
Member of Parliament for East St. Andrew, Dr. St. Aubyn Bartlett in lauding the work of the community leaders, contended that giving service “is not an easy thing,” and that they are deserving of the rewards.

Member of Parliament for East St. Andrew, Dr. St. Aubyn Bartlett (left), presents Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Lena McBean with her award for outstanding service in the area safety and security during the Social Development Commission’s Kingston and St. Andrew ‘Spirit of Community’ awards ceremony held at the Stella Maris Church Hall in Kingston on Thursday, December 9.

Acting Executive Director of the SDC, Dwayne Vernon said the Commission was particularly grateful to the community stalwarts for assisting with the various activities within the communities, noting that the awards ceremony was just one way of showing how “appreciative we are of the things that you do.”
The ceremony represented the culmination of the SDC’s National Community Month activities for Kingston and St. Andrew.