Councillor Garriques: Linstead people were ‘very excited’ about Christmas

January 6, 2023 0 By Jamaica Beacon

Several areas were spruced up and more than 100 residents provided with seasonal jobs in preparation for Christmas in the Linstead Division of the St Catherine Municipal Corporation, according to Councillor Herbert Garriques.

Nearly $2 million was allocated to him.

Garriques explained that $800,000 was received from the St Catherine Municipal Corporation, $1 million from the Ministry of Local Government, and $75,000 from the Member of Parliament through the Constituency Development Fund.

The funds were expended on various projects such as the clearing of shrubs from roadways and the clearing of drains.

“The de-bushing was done by over 120 people who got even a little one-day pay; some got more than that. While the men used the whackers to de-bush, the women and men actually raked the grass, bagged them and all of that,” he said.

The de-bushing was extensive.

“De-bushing took place all over [the division] – Heathfield, Wakefield, Banbury, Victoria [and] all the housing schemes… All the communities were de-bushed,” Garriques told The Beacon.

He said the two drains cleared in the division are located respectively at Vanity Fair and Bronx Street.

“The people were very excited about Christmas and rightfully so because we would not have had any Christmas in two years. And so the people were happy that they got a chance to be out in the streets,” Garriques reasoned.

The government had banned public gatherings for the better part of two years in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

With those restrictions lifted, Garriques was able to host a Christmas treat and a tree-lighting ceremony at Rose Duncan Park in the heart of Linstead town.

“People were happy that we were able once again to have our Christmas tree lit. And we had a little treat for the kids. It wasn’t as big as we were accustomed to; we did not have a lot of toys available naturally because the money was not available this time to do all of that. Nonetheless, the people came out and they had fun,” the councillor added.

Some of the children who attended the Christmas treat in Linstead

During the tree-lighting ceremony, he thanked residents for their unwavering support.

“I finally want to say thank you for having given me the opportunity to serve you, and as long as Christ has breath blowing in me I will serve you until I hear a voice say ‘Serve no more’,” Garriques said while lauding the various stakeholders who have been helping to make Linstead a better place.

Among them is a team of Charlemont High School students who, along with their school’s Visual Arts Department head Janeek Nesbeth, carried out a beautification project at Rose Duncan Park ahead of Christmas.

Residents were implored to not park their benevolence at the end of the Yuletide season, but to take it into the new year and beyond.

“Let that peace and care and love resonate with us…” said one of the guests at the tree-lighting ceremony, Roojae Kirlew, who also is councillor for the Mount Industry Division in the St Catherine Municipal Corporation.

He added: “I just want you [residents] to remember those who are less fortunate among us. And it doesn’t have to be a $500 [gift]; it doesn’t have to be a $1,000; it doesn’t have to be $2,000 or $10,000. It can be just any little thing that you have that you believe somebody else who is less fortunate might need. Give it to them… I am one of those persons who believe that the more you give is the more you receive… And if it is not you who get it [back in return], your children will get it…”

Other stakeholders who attended the ceremony included Linstead’s new town manager Peter Hewitt and Chairman of the St Catherine Municipal Corporation Norman Scott.

Scott commended organizers of the event.


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