JIS News

Residents of St. Ann turned out in their numbers today (May 23), to participate in various community clean-up and beautification activities, as the parish marked National Labour Day, 2007.
Some 30 projects were registered in the parish and the scope of work included the planting of flowers and trees, bushing of sidewalks, painting of bus shelters and pedestrian crossings, among others. The parish project was the cleaning-up and beautification of the Old Jail in St. Ann’s Bay.
Claudiah Carter, Director of Administration at the St. Ann Parish Council, who was on location at the Old Jail, told JIS News that the work undertaken during the day included the bushing and general cleaning of the area, planting of flowers and the completion of an unfinished bathroom structure.
“The committee decided that we would choose this project because a part of our heritage is right on this site. It is said that this was the very first jail in Jamaica and that numerous slaves died in this jail, so we decided to come down to this area and do some beautification work in honour of our ancestors,” she said.
National Labour Day 2007 is being observed under the theme: ‘Honouring Our Ancestors.Strengthening Communities’.
She informed that money in excess of $100,000 was being spent on the project and the Council would be working in tandem with the fishermen’s association to further develop the area.
“I know that they have approached the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), to see if they can get some funding to make this place to be not only a point of reference for our heritage, but also to promote some tourist attraction, where they can invite tourists to come and feast on the fish that they have caught and provide them with the history of the place as well,” she said.
Mayor of St. Ann’s Bay, Councillor Delroy Giscombe said he was pleased with the number of persons who turned out to work on the project and pledged the support of the St. Ann Parish Council in the future development of the area.
“I want people to understand that Labour Day projects are not so much for the good of any one person, but it is such that people come together and work towards the development of their communities,” he said, encouraging those who reside in the area to continue to keep the place clean after Labour Day was past.
Cowell Pinnock, a 78 year-old fisherman of St. Ann’s Bay, told JIS News that he was happy that the Council decided to focus on the Old Jail as the parish project this year.
“I’ve been fishing from boyhood days and I know a little bit about this old jail. I can remember how my father told me that there was a tidal wave here in St. Ann’s Bay and this building was actually chains away from the sea, but the tidal wave came in and when the water receded the sea kept coming in until it broke away a part of the building and left it in the present state,” he said.
He thanked the St. Ann Parish Council for taking a positive step to beautify the area on Labour Day.
Members of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) also joined with the St. Ann Chamber of Commerce, Medical Response, Tourism Product Development Company Ltd. (TPDCo) and the Rotary Club of Ocho Rios, to give the St. Ann’s Bay Hospital a face-lift.
Professor Roosevelt Crooks, JHTA representative, told JIS News that the aim of the project was to improve the aesthetics of the hospital, so that it could bring about a feeling of wellness to all its users.
“We hope to cover the outside area of the accident and emergency block and the surrounding areas which include the physiotherapy department, the Kaiser Ward and the walkways that lead to the different wards,” he said, adding that the curbs would also be painted and flowers would be planted in specific areas.
He commended the management of Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort in Ocho Rios for making the project a reality and called on the users of the Hospital to assist in taking care of the facility, by keeping the surroundings clean.
Clifton Reid, General Manager of Sunset Jamaica Grande, Ocho Rios, said he considered the project to be very important.
“We believe that a place like this should be aesthetically pleasing and we are not going to stop just at painting the outside of the building, but we are going to seek to twin this hospital with various hotels and service clubs and basically to put in place a situation where we can contribute on a long term basis,” he informed, pointing out that the project would be sustained throughout the year.
Emergency Physician at the St. Ann’s Bay Hospital, Nicole Dawkins, told JIS News that she was grateful for the work that was being carried out by the team from JHTA and the service clubs.
“It should make our patients feel a little better when they come here. Our aim is always to provide quality service, so if we can make you feel good when you come in, then that is a good place to start,” she said.

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