Labour Day 2012 activities got underway on Wednesday in the St. James capital of Montego Bay, with a special wreath laying ceremony at Sam Sharpe Square in honour of the National Hero for whom the area is named.
Five wreaths were placed at the feet of the Sam Sharpe statue, which stands in the city square, one each by Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier, who was representing Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson-Miller; and Opposition Spokesman on Housing, Water and Environment, Dr. Horace Chang, representing Leader of the Opposition, Andrew Holness.
The others were laid by Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Glendon Harris;
Miss Margaret Brown, representing the Kensington community, where the 1831 Sam Sharpe rebellion started; and Principal of the Sam Sharpe Teachers' College, Dr. Asburn Pinnock.
Following the brief ceremony, activities got underway in earnest to clean and beautify the square and the nearby St. James Parish Library park, which are the main activities for the parish.
This is in keeping with the national focus for Labour Day 2012, which is the cleaning of communities and public spaces under the theme: ‘Step Forward…Make Jamaica Beautiful’.
With more than 120 registered projects, and several other unregistered activities, hundreds of volunteers from various groups and organisations are expected to participate in the day’s events.
Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Glendon Harris, told JIS News that the support from the general public is very evident, and expressed the hope that at the end of the day, Montego Bay and the country in general, will be a much more beautiful place.
Over in St. Ann, which has some 50 registered projects, the cleaning of the capital town of St. Ann’s Bay has been chosen as the parish project.
Mayor of St. Ann’s Bay, Councillor Desmond Gilmore, in outlining the scope of work being carried out in the town, said that the focus is on the network of drains, on which work started earlier in the week.
“The whole drain network, we are going to be cleaning. We are cutting the verges from the highway to the drains, doing some painting, patching roads, just about everything,” he told JIS News.
Mayor Gilmore said the public support for the Labour Day activities has been “tremendous,” noting that the Ministry of Health is providing assistance with mosquito and rodent control.
Meanwhile, several persons from service clubs and other groups are engaged in the cleaning of Clark’s Town square, which is the parish project for Trelawny. Several others are participating in the estimated 60 registered projects in the parish.
Mayor of Falmouth, Councillor Garth Wilkinson, said that Clarks Town was chosen because it represents the main link between the northern and southern sections of the parish. He contended that “if that area can be cleaned and have it looking good, it would make the job of cleaning the rest of the parish so much easier”.
Mayor Wilkinson said the plan is to eventually have a cleaner parish in general.
By Bryan Miller, JIS Reporter