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DESPITE a decrease in participation, there were a number of activities across the island yesterday as Jamaicans joined hands to carry out Labour Day projects to enhance and rehabilitate recreational sites and play areas for children.

National focus was placed on the Rudolph Elder Park in Morant Bay, St Thomas. This is not the first time the site, rich in history, received major attention, as some eight years ago the park was given a $2-million facelift, inclusive of the installation of sanitary facilities and LED lights.

Dr Janice Lindsay, principal director of culture and creative industries in the Policy Division of the Ministry of Youth and Culture -- which spearheaded Labour Day activities -- said with only $150,000 allocated to each parish project, corporate Jamaica played a significant role in the activities carried out at the park.

"We needed them (corporate Jamaica) on board... or we could not have done half of what we have. We are very happy with how corporate Jamaica, and other areas, have really responded," she told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

Dr Lindsay said another remarkable development was the response of ordinary Jamaicans. "I've never seen this kind of response. People reached out to us," she noted, pointing out that 400 volunteers were expected, but up to late afternon at least 600 had registered, inclusive of community groups, led by the Social Development Commission. She noted that army and police personnel were also among the volunteers.

"We are pleased that we got through so much of the scope of works," she said, adding that, although it was not anticipated that there would be any unfinished works, uniformed groups such as the National Youth Service, guided by the parish council, would complete any work that was left unfinished. "But for the most part, we will be finished. One of the important things is that the site is managed by the parish council, so there has to be accountability," she stated.

The works included the installation of play equipment for children such as monkey bars, swings, and slides; as well as 12 concrete benches; and face basins; and fencing. Trees were whitewashed, the gazebo painted, and fruit and ornamental trees planted.

"The project has come together really well," Dr Lindsay said. She noted the importance of the children's play equipment, which was sponsored by the National Housing Trust and First Heritage Co-operative Credit Union.

The other parish projects included bushing, and cleaning at Cedar Park, Portland; levelling of the playfield at the Palmer's Park Playfield and Community Centre, in St Mary; beautification and enhancement works at the Widow's Mite Children's Home, in Murray Mount St Ann; and painting of the Hague Community Centre and repairing of the retaining wall at Uriah Rowe Park, in Trelawny. Additionally, installation of equipment was slated for a kiddies park in Cornwall Court, St James, as well as beautification works for the Jerusalem Heights Community Centre in Westmoreland, and the Willoughby Basic School in Cascade, Hanover.

Work was also carried out at Grove Mount Early Childhood Institution in Grey Hound, Manchester; Manning's Boys' Home in Southfield, St Elizabeth; the Raymonds Community Centre in Hayes, Clarendon; the community-based rehabilitation programme, 3D Projects Limited in Spanish Town, St Catherine; and a park in the Waterford community of Portmore municipality.

Back in the Corporate Area, in addition to the parish capital project at the Jamaica Christian Boys' Home, eight health facilities were given facelifts.

The Government this year allocated $4 million for Labour Day activities, which were carried out under the theme, 'Labour of Love: Nurturing our Children'.

{lightgallery type=local path=images/galleries/labourday2015 previewWidth=120}Tertiary Scholarship Awards{/lightgallery}

-- Alphea Saunders

Tuesday, May 26, 2015 - Jamaica Observer



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On August 1, 2012, Churches Co-operative Credit Union and GSB Co-operative Credit Union merged to form the new entity First Heritage Co-operative Credit Union Limited (FHC). This decision culminated the process of discussions that began in October 2010 when the idea of the amalgamation of the two Credit Unions was born.


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