Week 46 (2001)



The Manchester Parish Council has earned the distinction of being one of the most innovative and efficient local government institutions in the country, residents of the parish have been given every opportunity to participate in the business of governance and now that a workable administrative system is in place, Mayor Williams needs to embark on an aggressive campaign to attract new businesses and residents to the parish.
Why? Well with the soon to be completed Old Harbour bypass, residents and merchants who are currently under siege in Kingston and St. Andrew, now have a viable alternative, Mandeville and surrounding areas, lets face it, it will take the same time for a businessman on Constant Spring Road to deliver his goods to other parts of Kingston and St. Andrew as it would take from Mandeville, once the bypass is completed, give and take a few minutes.
It will also be easier to travel from Mandeville to New Kingston than from upper St. Andrew to New Kingston, so why not relocate? A joint initiative by the Parish Development Committee and the Manchester Parish Council to attract members of those two pretentious organizations; the Private Sector. Organization of Jamaica and the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce could kick start a planned expansion of the town of Mandeville, what do you think.?


Albert Francis awarded by FAO

Alframec Limited of Hatfield, Manchester is being awarded the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) medal for its outstanding contribution to the mechanization of the Cassava Industry in Jamaica.
Managed by Mr. Albert Percival Francis, Alframec has been in operation for over forty seven years, with the major thrust of its work concentrated on designing and manufacturing machinery and equipment for use in various agricultural-related activities. The company specializes in the production of machines for processing of cassava-Graters, Hydraulic and Screw Presses, Peelers and Stoves. It also re-conditions, repairs and modifies machines for bammy manufacturers, large and small.
During the past decade, Alframec has made a significant contribution to the mechanization of the cassava processing industry and has designed, fabricated and installed equipment for the major players including the Flower Hill Bammy Project, Twickenham Industries, Tijule Co. Ltd., St. Bess Bammy Enterprise, The Food Technology Institute and Tropical Tuffles. In addition Alframec has provided engineering services to the bauxite industry, bakeries and the coffee industry.
In keeping with the established criteria for this award, the company has significantly increased the number of persons for whom it has provided direct employment over the past five years, from 6 to 36.
In addition to providing training for its clients, Alframec has forged direct linkages with cassava processors, farmers, Governmental and Non-Governmental Organizations, RADA, SRC, Commodity Boards and International Agencies, such as The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). In recent years, Alframec has also upgraded the efficiency levels of its machinery to ensure the delivery of cutting-edge service to Jamaican agro-processors.
Mr. Francis currently bemoans the fact that he does not have the capacity to train more young people due to the current economic climate in the country.
Mr. Francis, a devout Anglican and a product of Pear Tree, Manchester, has been happily married to wife Sandra for forty years, a union which has produced two daughters, Sandra and Rosanne. Mr. Francis is a Past President of the Rotary Club of Mandeville, Past President of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Hargreaves Hospital, Member of the PSOJ Environmental Committee, V/C United Nations Associations of Jamaica and the representative to the World Federation of United Nation Association.
Mandeville Weekly is extremely proud of the achievement of Mr. Albert Francis which underscores the fact that pound for pound our indigenous expertise is incomparable in the world, keep up the good work sir.


PDC strengthens Democracy-Minott

Chairman of the Manchester Parish Development Committee (P.D.C.), Mr. Jackie Minott has said that the PDC, set up in each of the fourteen parishes, is an integral aspect in the strengthening of the democratic process in Jamaica.
Speaking recently at a luncheon hosted by the Rotary Club of Mandeville at the Golf View Hotel in Manchester, Mr. Minott said that the P.D.C. provides an opportunity for individuals to express their views as they relate to development in the respective parishes and to prioritize infrastructure upgrading. These priorities are forwarded to the parish council to be implemented.
The PDC was incepted in 1999 as part of the Local Government Reform process and consists of among others, representatives from communities, schools, private sector, civic groups and government agencies.
In an interview with the Mandeville Weekly, His Worship the Mayor of Mandeville, Councillor Horace Williams said that the members of the Manchester P.D.C. have been showing much interest in the development of the parish.
Noting that in fulfillment of their objective to promote physical and economic development, the P.D.C. has established several projects, the mayor said that the Ministry of Local Government need to seriously start putting in place funding for those projects. He noted however, that the funds would have to be disbursed from the parochial revenue fund, managed by parish councils.


Shrimp Festival for November 25

The shrimp farming community of Slipe in St. Elizabeth will receive a boost with the third staging of the Shrimp and Craft Festival which will be held on Sunday, November 25, 2001 at the Cashoo Ostrich Park in Lacovia. An exciting array of craft products utilising indigenous material will also be showcased.
The festival was created to primarily highlight investment opportunities in the community of Slipe and its environs, focussing on the ways of preparing and using the shrimp product and utilising indigenous material in the making of a variety of craft items.
The event is among the many community festivals which have become increasingly popular among Jamaicans and visitors alike. The Ministry of Tourism and Sports, the Jamaica Tourist Board, the Tourism Product Development Company and a number of corporate sponsors are giving their support to the Shrimp and Craft Festival.
"Events such as the South Coast's Shrimp and Craft Festival demonstrate that there is a large scope for expansion of our product based on the authentic lifestyle and creativity of our Jamaican people across the island," Mrs. Fay Pickersgill, Director of Tourism said.
Since the festival's inception, thousands of patrons from all walks of life have thronged the quiet rural town of Lacovia in pursuit of the tasty peppery delight, "peppa shrimps" in its many forms, curried, parched or garlic.
Already, over forty (40) exhibitors have registered their participation, setting the pace for what is expected to be a grand showcase of shrimps, craft products as well as a host of other local foods.
Entertainment will be packaged for the whole family. The line up of entertainers will include Byron Lee and the Dragonaires, Merritone Disco and local talents. A fun-filled day has also been planned for the children including all-time favourites, merry-go-round, bounce-about, ferris wheel, face painting and much more.
Ample parking facilities and bus shuttle system leading to and from the venue will be provided.


Lionel Town Hospital gets Utility Vehicle

The Southern Regional Health Authority (SRHA) recently presented a spanking new Toyota Hilux pick-up to the Lionel Town Hospital in Clarendon, to be used as a utility vehicle.
For several years, members of staff at the institution have suffered much inconvenience having to borrow utility vehicles from as far as the Black River Hospital in St. Elizabeth, to assist in carrying out some of the functions of the hospital.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony held on the grounds of the hospital, Dr. Michael Coombs, Technical Director, SRHA, said that the authority remained committed to the delivery of efficient service to the 85 health centres and five hospitals in the region.
Director of Operations and Maintenance at the SRHA, Herschel Ismail, in presenting the key for the vehicle to Hospital Manager, Miss Beverley Douglas, urged that care be exercised towards it which will be used, to among other things, transfer medical supplies and transport members of staff to important seminars and other relevant events.
Miss Douglas in her reply stated that the presentation of the new vehicle is the materialization of a dream for the hospital. The vehicle is valued over $900,000.
The Lionel Town Hospital which is over 65 years old has an average occupancy rate of 65%.


Lack of Ambulance in Whitehouse raises Council's concern

Government's failure to make available a new ambulance to the Whitehouse Health centre has become a contentious matter at the Westmoreland Parish Council. For more than three years, Councillor for the area, Ivan "Bob" Pinnock has been insisting that a new ambulance for Whitehouse has become an urgent necessity in view of the untold suffering among the poor people.
Health Minister John Junor promised over a year ago to send a new unit to the area, however, after a long delay, an old defective vehicle was sent. Both Mayor Ralph Anglin and Councillor Pinnock advised that the old ambulance be returned to the Ministry.
Councillor Pinnock who has been coming under increasing pressure to bow out from the political stage, told the monthly meeting of the Council that there are some persons who have been trying to undermine him and marginalise his representation for the division but according to him "someone will pay dearly politically for this."
It was the opinion of Councillor Marcus Whyte that Councillor Pinnock will only get a positive response if he organises a roadblock demonstration among residents of Whitehouse. Something ought to be wrong, he said, when nothing can be done in this country for the poor without a quarrel. Councillor Earle Brooks said he understood the frustration of Councillor Pinnock because local authorities like the Parish Council are not being accorded the respect and recognition due to them.
When asked whether the Prime Minister, P.J. Patterson, the Member of Parliament knew about his request for an ambulance, Councillor Pinnock responded that if he didn't know, it simply meant he isn't reading the newspapers since the press has consistently carried it.
Meanwhile, the long awaited traffic lights for the town of Savanna-la-mar could be installed soon, if the responsible authority keeps its end of the bargain with the Council.s Roads and Works Superintendent Aalbert Stewart said the preparatory work is being finalised to facilitate the installation.


The Sacredness of Nudity

What is nudity? Can we all agree that it is another word for ''nakedness''? Putting cultural and personal interpretations aside, it is clear that nudity is the excessive exposure of one's uncovered body that allow for unusual attention to be drawn to a person and for lust towards the person to be created by those sex organs and other body parts seen.
The sexist norms of most societies around the world threaten women who have the right to determine their own sexuality, reproduction and exhibition of nudity. Outside of the fact that women should be morally motivated, in almost every culture, they have been put under more pressure than men to practise what is perceived in that culture as right. Many women have grown up with the idea that the loss of virginity before marriage is an ultimate disgrace not only to themselves but to all women, while men are allowed to be as sexual as they want to be before marriage and are only seen as men gaining valuable life lessons.
In fact, for men, marriage has always been an option while for women it is seen as the only means to gain ultimate respect and security in the world. As if the struggle to abstain from sex is not enough, women are put under more pressure to be well-adorned, flawlessly beautiful and sexy at all times, while the men can look any way they want to look. Men have been acting like prostitutes for years, exposing their sacred nudity to women they are not married to and other men...


Festival Queen Hosts Educational Workshop

Suzette Edwards, Miss St. Elizabeth Festival Queen 2001, hosted the first of sixteen Educational Workshops at the Manning Boys Home in Southfield, St. Elizabeth on Saturday November 10, as part of her project as festival queen for the parish.
Over the next seven months, Miss Edwards will be hosting other workshops on etiquette, speech and culture among others.
Presenters at the Workshop, Mr. Wilbert Rowe and Mr. Hylton Grace, Parish Officer and Co-ordinator respectively at the Youth Now Organization addressed the over thirty wards at the home on sexually related matters and personal development.
According to Mr. Rowe, proper hygene, exercise and dieting are very important aspects in the process of growth.
He implored the wards to exercise as well as to engage themselves in relaxing activities in order to enjoy a more comforting state of being.
Mr. Grace urged the youngsters at the home to abstain from early sexual engagements, however he said that in the event that the desire to be sexually active, they should practice safe sex.
Ms. Edwards, who launched her educational workshop in September of this year, said she was impressed with the level of participation at the first workshop. As part of her project, the St. Elizabeth Festival Queen works with 21 of the boys at the institution. She wishes to thank the Jamaica National Building Society for their kind sponsorship of her first workshop.


Contract signed for Phase Two of South Coast Sustainable Development Program

(Continued from Mandeville Weekly Issue 43)
Ms. Barbara Scott, Program Co-ordinator at the PIOJ and Mr. Stephen Stone, Environmental Specialist at IADB, also participated in the signing. Other representatives of the TPDCo: the Ministry of Tourism and Sport and the Planning Institute of Jamaica were present.
The feasibility study is part of a larger Master Plan for the South Coast, financed by the IADB.
Giving further details on the project, Mr. Binger explained that the feasibility study would facilitate the development of engineering and architectural designs, and quantity surveys relating to tourism development; fisheries management and protected areas management. It will also undertake to institutional strengthening and regulatory reform.
He noted that this phase of the project followed a re-feasibility phase, which produced a full assessment of the physical, biological, social and economic resources of the south coast. A comprehensive Geographical Information System (GIS) Data Atlas of the area; sustainable development guidelines to assist in evaluating future development proposals on the south coast and identification of potential investment projects which will enhance the economic and physical development of the south coast on a sustainable basis.


Timely Thoughts

Before relating His model prayer, Jesus declared, "But when ye pray, use not vain repetition, as the heathen do for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking."
This brought to mind, the short prayer of Jabez in 1 Chronicles 4 - "Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me!"
This prayer is short, specific and to the point, and found favour with God, for the verse concludes,"And God granted him that which he requested."


Dear Andrea,

I am fourteen years old and attend a high school. I live with my father alone now because my mother migrated to the USA when I was ten years old. My father employs a helper who does all the domestic chores at home. My father is very kind to me and tries very hard to supply my needs. However, recently I find him a bit too affectionate especially at nights when I am in my bedroom. He sometimes comes there after I have had my bath and is in my nightie. I wear very simple night clothes, and I find him staring at my body. He sometimes offer to lotion my back, but I and afraid and so I shy away from him. He brushes and combs my hair sometimes. I am getting real concerned because I have read articles of fathers molesting their daughters and am afraid that since mother is away and I am the only one at home he will try that with me. One night he mentioned that I am growing to look like my mother. My mother has a nice sexy body and I am really fulling out in the right places. Andrea, what do you think?


Dear Concern,

There is nothing wrong with you being fully aware of how your father is behaving. You are very sensible for your age, therefore you will be cautious in the manner you also behave at home. Your father might just be overly affectionate towards you and might be trying to be the perfect father in your mother's absence. He might be thinking that you need a mother's love and attention so he is acting like both to you. Because you have a knowledge of how fathers should behave with their daughters you will have no trouble finding out when he deviates from the normal behaviour. In the meantime, cover up your body so he will not be tempted when he sees it. One day when you read articles on fathers molesting their daughters, you could share them with your father with a view to discussing it, then you will get an idea of how he feels about that. If there is any development that will enhance or satisfy your fear don't be afraid to contact me, then you will be further advised.