- Serving the St. Elizabeth Poor Relief Committee for more than 35 years, Loxley Aloysius Whyte is humbled by his selection for a national award by the Government on National Heroes Day, October 19, at King’s House.
- Mr. Whyte will receive the Badge of Honour for long and faithful service to the Poor Relief Department of the St. Elizabeth Parish Council.
- Mr. Whyte lives in Black River with his wife, Mavis. The couple has two daughters, Ruth, who is a Professor, and Paula, a Social Worker. He is currently a Deacon in the Black River Independent Baptist Church.
Serving the St. Elizabeth Poor Relief Committee for more than 35 years, Loxley Aloysius Whyte is humbled by his selection for a national award by the Government on National Heroes Day, October 19, at King’s House.
Mr. Whyte will receive the Badge of Honour for long and faithful service to the Poor Relief Department of the St. Elizabeth Parish Council.
In an interview with JIS News, Mr. Whyte says his decision to serve on the Poor Relief Committee was as a result of his love for people.
He notes that his selection for the award came as a surprise and he is dedicating it to the people he has served over the years.
“This award never crossed my mind. I was offered the opportunity to serve and I just thought it was good to give back to the community where I have lived for many years. I feel good that they have acknowledged my service. I will be sharing and dedicating this award to those I have had the honour of serving through the Poor Relief Committee,” Mr. Whyte says.
A retired pastor, who originated from Kingston, he had no idea that he would be living and serving in rural Jamaica. Mr. Whyte says this decision was the best he ever made, as it allowed him to serve Jamaicans who appreciate the service the Committee offers and it is an opportunity to assist in improving the lives of Jamaicans who are less fortunate.
“We work as a team, because it is a committee and I am one of the two representatives of the Board of Supervision. The Committee is made up mainly of Councillors. We conduct what is called surprise visits to the infirmary…and inspect and meet with the staff and the residents to ascertain what is needed to be done to improve the facilities and the service. It is a real way of meeting the people who assist the Poor Relief Department and also to get first-hand reaction from those we serve,” he tells JIS News.
In addition, the Poor Relief Committee members are tasked with the responsibility of monitoring the finances of the Poor Relief Department, and from time to time, meet with residents who receive assistance to ensure that the funds are being spent according to stipulations.
“We are very committed and we do our utmost best. The staff of the infirmary is doing a good job considering their challenges and the financial constraints. The compound of the infirmary is well maintained and as a member of the Committee, I am very proud of our work and the service which we have been able to give to the citizens,” Mr. Whyte says.
Having dedicated the last 35 years of his life to serving the poor, Mr. Whyte remains committed to serving the people of St. Elizabeth and is not even considering to quit.
Mr. Whyte notes that the life of the current Committee expires in two years and if asked to continue serving on a new Board, he will grab the opportunity with both hands.
“Service is my calling and I dare say it has been very rewarding for me to be able to play a role in the improvement of people’s lives,” he tells JIS News.
“I think it is incumbent on everyone of us that we should make our contribution in whatever way we can…but we must serve our fellow men. Youngsters are in need of counselling and the less fortunate sometimes just need someone to talk to. I think we owe it to give back something to our community and, in the end, play our part in making Jamaica a better place,” he adds.
Mr. Whyte lives in Black River with his wife, Mavis. The couple has two daughters, Ruth, who is a Professor, and Paula, a Social Worker. He is currently a Deacon in the Black River Independent Baptist Church.