A Bitter Sweet Moment – Brian Perry Awarded For Service To EwartonDecember 28, 2022
Brian Perry is ecstatic to be among persons awarded for the decades spent helping to make his community a better place.
He hails from Ewarton, St Catherine.
“Life growing up in Ewarton was very interesting; Ewarton has always been a quiet community,” he said, adding that residents relied mainly on farming as a livelihood when he was a child.
Farming is still one of Perry’s passions and so he spends a lot of time representing and mobilizing farmers in his community.
For that, and other reasons, the Ewarton Community Development Committee (Ewarton CDC) honoured Perry on 24 November 2022.
“I think I was born with a spirit of service; I have always served; I love to serve,” he told The Beacon. “Service is like a bug and, when you are bitten by that bug, it is kinda difficult to stop serving.”
Perry got the award coincidentally on the day before he laid his mother, Miriam Wilmot, to rest.
In light of that, he was unable to attend the awards ceremony held at Bramwell Clarke Park and Sports Complex in Ewarton.
“It’s a bitter sweet moment for me,” he said while expressing gratitude for the award.
At the awards show, the Ewarton CDC also honoured June Thompson, Dalfin Brown, Beverly Jobson-Grant and Leslie Bowen.
It publicly highlighted their specific areas of community service.
The highly influential group, in relation to Perry, declared: “Over many years, he (Perry) has volunteered and served in various organizations and communities.”
Reflecting on his journey as a volunteer, Perry stated that, after graduating from Ewarton High School, formerly Ewarton Secondary, he was minded to learn a skill. But his mother wanted him to do something else.
She took him to a family friend, Owen Brown, better known as Sergeant Brown, who recommended that he volunteers with the then People’s Cooperative Bank, also known as Ewarton PC Bank.
“That’s where my volunteerism actually started in the community [in 1989]; I went to the bank,” Perry recalled.
“Over a period of time, I helped to oversee the amalgamation of the Ewarton PC Bank with the St Thomas In The Vale PC Bank. Then we transformed the branch – bring in Western Union and do some other things there.”
Perry’s involvement with the financial institution created a number of opportunities, including a meeting with then educator Beverly Jobson-Grant, who later became councillor for the Ewarton Division.
Perry, acting on the encouragement he got from Jobson-Grant, joined the Ewarton Community Development Organization Committee (ECODOC) when it was about to start.
He also was instrumental in the birth of the Ewarton Farmers Group, which later became the Ewarton Farmers Cooperative. He is now the organization’s chairman.
Perry’s service through agriculture also saw him becoming a member of the Ewarton branch of the Jamaica Agricultural Society as well as the Rural Agricultural Development Authority.
“I have just been involved in anything in the community that offers growth and development to the community,” Perry asserted.
His service was not confined to Ewarton.
He did a stint as chairman of the Linstead Development Area Committee (LDAC) through which he helped to host and promote the Linstead Ackee Festival. That event was re-branded the Linstead Ackee and Jerk Festival.
Perry went on to become a member of the St Catherine Parish Development Committee, where he represented the LDAC.
He is also a former president of the Ewarton JBI Aluminium Community Council Benevolent Society, and former president of the Ewarton High School Past Students Association.
With a solid track record of community service, Perry encourages other people to become involved in volunteerism.
“I would encourage any one to volunteer because it is something excellent to do,” the Ewarton Primary School alumnus said. “Volunteerism is not just for resume’; you have to want to assist people – to make a difference. You have to want to help somebody.”
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