Residents of St. Thomas are happy with the work done on Labour Day (May 25) to beautify and rehabilitate the Rudolph Elder Park in Morant Bay.
“I am happy they chose our park for the National Labour Day project. It is full time now we have something like this in St. Thomas, because we too are a part of Jamaica,” Marjorie Francis said.
In an interview with JIS, Miss Francis, said that she was happy for the cleaning up of the park, so that “children can come out and play and enjoy what it is we have here in St. Thomas.”
She said that she is looking forward to bringing her family “to sit down and enjoy the park.”
Vice President of the Lay Magistrates Association, St. Thomas Chapter, Valda Wright, was also elated for the refurbishing work.
“I’m thrilled to be a part of this development and importantly, to see the number of persons from the different organizations who came out to help with the project. Normally, this is a parish that not much is here in terms of entertainment and leisure time and so I’m excited about the project,” she said.
Ms. Wright was among the 600 volunteers who turned out at the park to assist in various areas of the project.
Similar sentiments were echoed by another resident of the parish, Herma Lawson.
“I’m happy that our park is the National Labour Day project. It is of utmost importance and I’m happy to see the number of persons here working,” she said.
Custos of St. Thomas, Marcia Bennett, was also in attendance to lend her support.
“This means a lot to the people of St. Thomas and it is going to benefit all of us. A recreational park was well needed, and we have put in place major maintenance,” she said.
Principal Director of Culture and Creative Industries in the Policy Division of the Ministry of Youth and Culture, Dr. Janice Lindsay, lauded the support and turnout of citizens to work on Labour Day.
“It is a remarkable development in the response of ordinary Jamaicans. I’ve never seen this kind of response. People reached out to us,” she said.
Dr. Lindsay noted that some 600 volunteers had registered to assist, adding that personnel from several community groups, the Social Development Commission, the Jamaica Defence Force and the Police were among the volunteers.
Work at the park included the installation of monkey bars, swings, and slides for children; the installation of a perimeter fence and concrete benches, which were donated by the South African High Commission and the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority. Activities also included the whitewashing of tree trunks, the painting of gazebos and the planting of fruit and ornamental trees.
By Jemisha Hibbert
Photo by: Yhomo Hutchinson