Community Faithfuls in Portmore Rally to Spirit of Labour Day ; Safety and Aesthetics the focus of Projects

Labour Day Community Roundup

Men painting pedestrian crossing (Not actual photo)

Men painting pedestrian crossing (Not actual photo)

Labour Day was observed on Monday, May 25 this year and in the true spirit of the day community faithfuls across Portmore turned out to contribute their labour and time to various projects, many of which it seems were devoted to beautification of their communities and the creation or restoration of community parks.

Here is a round- up of activities and outcomes I observed in the general Portmore area from Labour Day 2015.

Thanks to the efforts of the 2 East Sabina Citizens association, students of the Greater Portmore Primary school can now safely cross the Braeton Parkway main road that separates the 2 East and 2 West communities. On Labour Day, a group of citizens painted a brand new pedestrian crossing at the entrance to the school. They also painted the sidewalk and cleaned debris and garbage from the community park. According to Selvin Hemmings, president of the 2 East Citizens Association, the aim for creating the school crossing is to make students more visible to motorists, thus increasing the children’s safety.

Another citizen, Brian Canaan expressed hopes that the Labour Day project might instigate greater involvement of community members and the rebuilding of a community vibe.

The garbage-free community park, which was closed briefly due to the lack of maintenance, is again now open to children and adults who want to access its recreational and walking trail facilities, Mr Hemmings revealed.

Paint for the pedestrian crossing was donated by the Portmore Municipal Council.

A trek around other Portmore communities as Labour Day progressed also saw more activities unfolding. The 4 East Kensington area now has a newly constructed bridge to mitigate against flooding which according to residents at the project site, generally affects residents during heavy rains. Cement, steel and refreshment for this activity were provided by the Portmore Municipal Council.

In the true spirit of Labour day, a few Labour Day faithfuls in 3 West  also wielded their machetes and weed blowers as they attacked overgrown foliage and weeds in the community park.

The community entrance at Newton, Braeton area is looking much brighter after citizens applied a fresh coat of paint, while the folks in Bridgeview turned out in small pockets to sweep and paint curbs, and plant flowers in efforts to beautify the entrance to that community.

It was also a labour of love for the parents and teachers of the Christian Gardens Basic School who delivered on the Labour Day theme which this year focused on “Labour of Love: Nurturing Our Children.”  The perimeter walls of the school received a facelift and other beautification work was done on the property  creating a clean and stimulating learning space for the little ones.

Waterford rewarded with Recreation Park

portmore mayor

The official Labour Day Project led by the Portmore Municipal Council took place in the Waterford community this year and saw the creation of a  recreation park which will serve children and the elderly in that community. The park will also offer a green oasis to the community.

Some $2 million of the local government and municipal funds will be spent to develop the Waterford project. The Jamaica Information Service (JIS) reported that the day was spent carrying out preparatory work such as the fencing of the area, laying of topsoil and irrigation work.The project included the planting of grass, trees and construction of swings, slides, jungle gym and benches.

Safeguarding the welfare of the nation’s children was the focus of activities for National Labour Day 2015, under the theme: ‘Labour of Love, Nurturing Our Children’

The Waterford community was favoured this year because of the outstanding tax compliance of property owners in the Waterford division. It was reported elsewhere that residents turned out in their numbers, along with Acting Mayor Leon Thomas and other council officials to beautify the park that was established by the municipal council to reward Waterford for paying their property taxes. “The community of Waterford was very responsive in paying their taxes, so we reward them with this park where they can take their kids to play and have fun,” Thomas told The Gleaner.

Quiet Day

Overall, it was pretty quiet in Portmore with little traffic or persons on streets except for the few persons working in pockets at various sites.  In the Gregory Park area, the most movement seen were of young men and a few girls heading towards Caymanas Track, my taxi driver informed me, to see horses race.  In Waterford, a resident told me that the music I was hearing was a private cookout party in progress.  People treated Labour Day this year as a holiday, and  from all indications (I didn’t get to tour Hellshire to see what was happening on  the beach) spent much of the day at home.

How do we explain the unenthusiastic support for Labour Day activities this year among Portmore residents, and especially the nonchalance towards community building amongst the youth? And who or what is responsible for this? Share your comments below.

Overgrown Canals in Greater Portmore pose Health Threats

This week we had some rain in Portmore, and with a recent notice by the Ministry of Health that Jamaica is again on high alert for another another mosquito borne disease, this time the Zik-V, it is understandable why we in Portmore would be happy but concerned whenever the rain falls over here.  Rain tends to bring with it swarms of mosquitos.

With this threat making residents in 2 West Sabina and  3 East Chedwin and surrounding communities nervous, we are wondering when the Council will get around to cleaning the canals that extend from the bridge at the 2 West entrance and extends along the front of 3 West community.

The conditions for mosquito breeding are increasing everyday as there is now a build-up of sludge and water lilies in the canals creating a stagnant pit. In the 2 West section of the canal that runs between the Greater Portmore Primary and Greater Portmore High school there are now thick rushes growing 10 feet tall that needs to be cleared so the water in the canal can run freely.

I hope the Portmore Municipal Council will attend to this pronto. Those of us who got the Chik V would prefer to avoid its unwelcomed and equally dreaded cousin, the Zik-V.

People Mentions

Before I go, let me wish a speedy recovery to my good friend, Mr. Ellis, Hellshire Estate resident and a serving elder at Hellshire who is in the University hospital at this time. I hope he is listening because the entire Hellshire family is praying for him.

To his wife, Sis Ellis, daughters, Andrea and Andrene, and grand children who are missing Grandpa terribly, chin up. God is in control. Bro Ellis is a founding member, and may I say the longest serving member of the Hellshire Seventh Day Adventist church and is such a sincere and humble servant of God that you can very well understand our sadness that he is not well at this time.

Shout out and  Birthdays

Happy belated birthday to his grandson, Malique Morgan who celebrated his 7 year birthday on Wednesday last week. Special hello also  to my little friends from Newland SDA who may not have heard my shout out last week: Jevaughn Wallace, the little 11 year old fireball preacher who set the place ablaze last Sabbath at the Newland Children’s Day, Giselle Sappleton, my 96 friend Evelyn Boodal, all the children of Newland and the Merene Stanley Brown led team.

Salute  to frequent listener to this programme, Mrs Maiselyn Harris of Portmore SDA Church. Good morning Sis Harris. To all of Portmore, have a fantastic week, and keep listening.

Blogger, Karen Taylor takes you out and about the town of Portmore to get a first hand view of what and where things are happening and help you learn the culture of this young city. Go to the About Page to read more about what to expect from the blog.

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