Government's commitment to the development of St. Mary was underscored by Minister of State for Local Government, Hon. Robert Montague, at the Annual St. Mary Anglican Church Fundraising Dinner on Saturday, November 7.
The function, held at the St. Mary Parish Church Hall, Port Maria, was highlighted by the honouring of 11 members of the church for outstanding service.
Honourees were: Etriana Thompson, Ruby Henlin, Leila Goffe, Wycliffe Lawrence, Carlos Walker, Verona Lawrence, Mureen Smith, Derrick Blair, Dorothy Duhaney, Stanley Donald Clarke (posthumously) and Gloria Goffe (posthumously).
They were each awarded a plaque and a citation in recognition of outstanding service.
Mr. Montague, who deputised for the Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, said that the development of St. Mary was integral to the overall development of the country. He added that, as such, Government has been implementing a number of projects in the parish, to ensure continued growth and progress, socially and economically.
The projects include: the provision of a tractor service programme, through the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), to assist farmers; a potato production project to help reduce the importation; the improvement of the parish's health service, through the upgrading of the Annotto Bay Hospital; repairs to health clinics in a number of communities; completion of the Port Maria Dental Clinic; and the commencement of feasibility work for the re-opening of the operating theatre at the Port Maria Hospital.
Other projects include the development of the Boscobel Jet Port, completion of the Eden Park Housing Scheme, construction of a mini stadium in Oracabessa and upgrading of community centres.
Declaring that plans are afoot to put the Hunts Town Water Supply System into operation before Christmas, the Minister of State said that the St. Mary Parish Council will also be upgrading a number of its water supply systems, to ensure that more people in the parish are assured of an adequate and reliable supply.
Mr. Montague said other initiatives from which the parish will benefit include the construction of well needed bridges in Eden Park and Georgia, and the implementation of a $265 million dollar water improvement project covering Port Maria, Oracabessa, Day's Mountain and Mason Hall. This project is scheduled to commence in the first quarter of next year.
In congratulating the awardees, Mr. Montague said more Jamaicans should follow their examples, as their lives demonstrated the kind of community spirit Jamaica needs, if it is to continue to be a great country.