LINSTEAD: Community group honours outstanding volunteers

December 26, 2019 0 By Horace Mills

Ruby Tenn collects her award from guest speaker Samuel Heron.
Tamara Graham receives her award for significant contribution.
Abagale Blackburn collects her award.
President of Linstead CDC Devon Smith (centre) enjoys a special moment with his parents.
Politician Hugh Graham addressing the gathering
Matilda Cobourne is among the top four awardees.

In an atmosphere where volunteerism was touted, the Linstead Community Development Committee (CDC) in St. Catherine honoured a number of its volunteers, including four top stalwarts.

The top four honoured on December 18 during the organization’s 20th anniversary dinner are:

  • Ruby Tenn – The longest serving member of the Linstead CDC. She is now First Vice President of the group, and is also a Justice of the Peace.
  • Tamara Graham – President of the Linstead CDC Youth Arm. She was awarded for outstanding leadership and long service.
  • Matilda Cobourne was awarded for outstanding contribution and service to the Linstead CDC Youth Arm.
  • Abagale Blackburn was awarded for long service and outstanding contribution towards the administration of the Linstead CDC.

Guest speaker at the event, Samuel Heron, who is also Parish Manager for the Social Development Commission (Greater St. Catherine), congratulated the Linstead CDC for its invaluable community work.

He told the gathering at the Community Resource Centre in Linstead: “These 20 years have proven that there are many Jamaicans who are still willing to share some of their already much-demanded time to reinvest into heir community, their parish and their country.”

Heron, who further reasoned that volunteerism is under threat, urged the Linstead CDC and other genuine volunteers to always put people who are in need at the forefront of their thrust.

“This decent gesture of volunteerism as we have heard for many years is under threat; some may say it’s at a terminal stage of illness.

“In this era of instant gratification, you post a picture; you get a ‘like’… Let us never forget that the most important stakeholder is the citizen; it’s the person in need…” Heron further posited.

The volunteers in earshot got additional encouragement from Hugh Graham, Chairman of the People’s National Party machinery in St. Catherine North West.

He urged persons – including politicians like himself – to not quit although volunteerism is often a ‘thankless’ job.

“It is usually what is the next request, and it’s not ‘thank you’ for the one that came before… Thank you to persons who really put themselves out there to be cussed everyday – for persons to be dissatisfied with everything. It really means a lot when persons put themselves up and take that level of abuse,” Graham further said.

His political opponent, Newton Amos of the Jamaica Labour Party, was absent from the event where he too was slated to speak.

Devon Smith, who has been President of the Linstead CDC for some 18 years, expressed gratitude to the people and organizations that have been supporting the group’s goodwill.

“I know what it is to be kicked and boxed and thumped at the front, but, when you lead with integrity, that’s what makes the big difference,” he declared, adding that 2019 was a ‘lovely’ year for the Linstead CDC.

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