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Ten retirees of the Westmoreland Parish Council, who together served for 206 years, were honoured for dedicated and meritorious service at a function held on Thursday (Nov. 24) at the Commingle Hotel in Savanna-la-mar.
The list of honourees, headed by Joan Housen, who served as Planning Coordinator for 29 years, were presented with citations, plaques and gift packages.
Other awardees were David Johnson, 27 years; Geraldine Haughton, 25 years; Victor Foster, 24 years; Myrtle Saddler, 19 years; Burzella Williams, 18 years; Daphne Summerville, 17 years; Evlyn Smith, 17 years; Ronald Johnson, 15 years and Seymour Whitter, 15 years.
The function was part of activities organized by the Westmoreland Parish Council to mark Local Government and Community Development Month in November.
Mayor of Savanna-La-Mar, Councillor Delford Morgan, in his address, lauded the retirees for their years of service, noting that, “the development of any society was the sum total of the collective efforts, endeavours and service of its productive people”.
“No society can grow or develop unless its people are put to meaningful work. We are gathered here today to pay homage and to honour a few good men and women, who have given sterling service to this parish,” he said.
President of the Negril Chamber of Commerce, Wayne Cummings, who was the guest speaker, called on the Parish Council to lobby the government for meaningful changes to the sugar industry in order to guarantee its survival.
“Probably the most sensitive trade discussion with implications on this parish would have to be the talks between sugar producing states of the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries and the European Union, as they hammer out a stay of execution on the price reductions on sugar,” he said.
Mr. Cummings suggested that the Council could “offer Westmoreland as a fertile parish for new technological improvements in planting methodology to build capacity to meet market requirement.and maybe we can even be the first to offer the space, hands and municipal support for investment in a co-generation facility to sell electricity to the JPS (Jamaica Public Service) grid”.