The national spotlight for Labour Day 2013 will be on the St. Mary Infirmary in Port Maria.
Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, made the announcement at the launch of National Labour and National Workers Week 2013, on Monday, May 13, at Jamaica House.
Miss Hanna informed that work will be done to upgrade the facility, “so that our infirmed may feel loved, cared for and protected.”
The infirmary houses 81 persons, 20 of whom are physically and mentally challenged.
The Minister pointed out that the project will require many hands and urged volunteers to assist.
“We will be refurbishing, replanting and replacing. Our work will concentrate around the vegetable garden, recreation room, chapel, kitchen, plant nursery, the poultry and animal stock, among other areas. Additionally, it is our plan to bring young people to groom and entertain the inmates,” she said.
Miss Hanna emphasised the need to lend a hand to the most vulnerable.
“Our focus must therefore be on the disabled, the infirm, the weak and helpless, those at risk, children and our senior citizens if we are to progress into a viable economy and an equitable society. We have to foster within us a greater love for each other, protecting those in need and caring for those who have served before us,” she said.
National Labour Day and Workers’ Week are being celebrated under the theme: ‘Lend a Hand… Build our Land’. The commemorative activities are being spearheaded under the Ministries of Youth and Culture; Local Government and Community Development; and Labour and Social Security.
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller officially launched the event on Monday at Jamaica House, where she announced that National Workers Week will be observed from Sunday, May 19 to Thursday, May 23.
In the meantime, Minister of State, Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Colin Fagan, said his Ministry will be facilitating the registration of projects through the Parish Councils and the Social Development Commission (SDC). These entities will be active in the mobilsation of communities to volunteer and participate in projects, he said.
Mr. Fagan also informed that the NSWMA is on alert and will be making special arrangements for the removal of garbage and other debris generated as a result of the work.
He encouraged owners of trucks and equipment, such as front end loaders to aid in the clean-up activities.
“You can lend your contribution to Labour Day in this effort. In fact, everyone can contribute in some way, no matter how small, to make a difference in someone’s life,” he added.
The State Minister outlined a number of projects that will be undertaken by Parish Councils islandwide to commemorate Labour Day 2013. These include work on the Mandeville Regional Hospital, Manchester; Roaring River Early Childhood Institute, Westmoreland; Charles Gordon Market, St. James; and Spanish Town Market, St. Catherine.
Work will also be undertaken to: build two houses for homeless persons in St. Thomas; repair steps to the Port Antonio Hospital, Portland; renovate Green Island Library, Hanover; erect partition of classroom blocks at St. Mary’s All Age School, St. Elizabeth; repair the Golden Age and Worthley Girls Homes in the Corporate Area; and to paint bathrooms at Central Police Station.
Labour Day and Workers’ Week 2013 are being celebrated against two significant milestones, the 40th anniversary of the declaration of Labour Day by former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Michael Manley, and the 75th anniversary of the birth of the modern Trade Union Movement, following the labour riots of 1938.
Contact: Andrea Braham