“It’s very important because of the direction it has taken and the momentum it has gathered to take us to where we are now,” said Dr Miller of the centre. “The names I’d called in my presentation namely John Fothergill, Muriel Gordon, Ken Clarke, SJ Campbell, those were the persons who actually signed the contract to purchase these six acres of land and to build this community centre. “But as kids, for them to have gotten the funds to buy it, they had a lot of fundraising dance and our job as children was to gather the bottles because they say that’s where the profit is to buy the place.” This was the mid-1970s, but in 1976 the people approached then Member of Parliament Rudyard Lawson, who supported the initiative wholeheartedly, the noted attorney informed. “He gave the first set of money, buy the material and pay the contractor. But he said you guys must put in the labour. And we all get together and that’s how the first piece went up,” he said. The facility will be used for training thousands of residents and host community functions, while a committee is already in place to manage the day-to-day operations. Dr. Miller said: “It will be the centre point for all community activities. Of course later on we will develop the playing field and a multipurpose court and so on. So this is a good start.” Hearing such plans to preserve the facility is refreshing to the ears of Joseph Williams, who is the senior vice-president of generation at the Jamaica Public Service Company. Williams has spent most of his 27 years at the JPSCo’s Old Harbour Bay facility where majority of the island’s electricity is generated and is acutely aware of the culture of the community. Speaking to Old Harbour News, Williams says the community needs to “show appreciation by taking care of it (the community centre) because this is not the first time that there has been investment in improving this – not to the extent that TSK has taken it, certainly… “But we were not pleased with how the community took care of it,” he added in reference to previous attempts made to restore the centre. “I’m not saying it’s the entire community, you know it just take a small number of persons to destroy it. “So they can really demonstrate this time that they really appreciate this. And this will certainly encourage more persons to do things like these and identify true potentials from this community that can just do a lot for the community of Old Harbour.” The construction of the facility lasted five months with over 200 volunteers and majority of the skilled labour utilized drawn from the community.
“Any company that JPS works with, we encourage them to really participate in the community; but I must say TSK went way beyond what would normally be done, so we are very pleased with TSK,” Williams said. “I am also very impressed with the employment they have provided for this area. I am very sure that for future projects of this nature that JPS will be considering TSK based on their performance to date.” Residents are expected to enjoy an array of benefits associated with the renovated facility which has been expanded by an additional 160 square-feet. “The community centre will be able to facilitate more training in areas of welding, plumbing, drapery making, CXC classes and for community functions for meetings and engagements. “Currently there are ongoing programmes for housekeeping, commercial food preparation and construction classes,” said Rev. Nembhard, one of the main crusaders of the project. The partnership between TSK and the Old Harbour Bay community began earlier this year when South Jamaica Power Company (SJPC) – a JPSCo subsidiary – signed a contract with TSK for the construction of the 190 megawatt power plant in Old Harbour Bay, St. Catherine. This power plant is expected to be in full operation by late 2019.
Student nurse Sonia Thompson was kept busy before pausing to talk to us. “It helps us how to really get a feel of how to deal with the clients that we go out to meet on a daily basis,” she told Old Harbour News. Thompson’s colleague Shadae Biersay, a fellow student nurse, says being outdoors has a positive effect. “In the hospital it’s a different setting. In the hospital you tend to find patients sad, while out here everybody is up and active and interacting… so it’s a better feel,” Biersay said. “I am happy to serve people because I like to see people healthy and happy.” And even a few nurses got the time to enjoy a little pampering on the day. Vanessa Dayes had no intention letting this opportunity pass, telling Old Harbour News “the truth is usually, I don’t get it done at all”. After getting all dolled up a chirpy Dayes said: “Everything is going good so far; it’s a great experience. I don’t start my duty as yet, so I’m just enjoying the moment.”
Some persons banged the door, yelling at the man to get out but he responded by shouting that he was “waiting on mi money!”. Cops at the Old Harbour Police Station, adjacent to the bank, were called in to address the delicate situation with due consideration given not to damage the bank’s property or hurt the man inside. The cops eventually managed to use a piece of 2”x4” board to prised the door open and lift the latch inside. The man ran out shouting “officer nuh lick mi, a mi money mi want” to the amusement of onlookers.
In effect, the JNHT has retaken the day-to-day management of the castle without giving any reason, Finnikin opines, noting that this all happened a month the grand groundbreaking ceremony for the $5.4 billion Villages of Colbeck development. “You may have noticed our (OHDAC's) deafening silence over the past months on plans for the CCHPP. We have been silenced by a" knockout" or "kick out punch" by the Heritage Trust from the site effective June 1, 2017,” said Finnikin. “Since then we have sought justification for their decision and have received none,” he continued. “OHDAC responded by letter seeking clarification of email given that ownership was never an issue. There was no response “During this time personnel from the Trust continue to poison the relationship with OHDAC, the Trust and the caretaker, unofficial messages continued to include instructions for us to retrieve OHDAC’s lawn mowing equipment only.” He added: “Then the NHT groundbreaking ceremony invitation - note we weren’t contacted by our partner the JNHT about this. All other times before when a request for use of the castle was made of the Trust, they would refer enquirers to OHDAC- whether for a tour or the filming of a movie etc. not this time. I believe for the reason I stated above - the smell of NHT money. “OHDAC planned a protest to coincide with the groundbreaking ceremony to bring attention to the heavy handed and dissatisfactory approach by the JHNT and others including the Minister of Culture who has not responded to three letters sent to her, also to the Prime Minister. “NHT asked us not to protest because they are not in conflict with us or vice versa and they will seek to convene discussions with the JNHT and us. “JNHT convened meeting with OHDAC at their offices to reiterate that OHDAC has no lease because they are considering other options. Asked why is that? They responded (saying) ‘due to dissatisfaction with our management of the place’. Asked how we have never received correspondence to the effect? The response was ‘no correspondence meant dissatisfaction’. Asked about their plans, they replied ‘they don’t have one at the moment. “Incredible! But OHDAC who has a plan was booted. In concluding Finnikin said: “Don’t get me wrong. I believe the JHNT reserves the right to do what they want, which must be in the best interest of preserving the site and showcasing same to our people and others. “What I detest and vehemently oppose is their approach, which is heavy handed and show scant regard for the principles of good governance, formality, ethics and conduct reflecting an agency of government. Their disrespect to OHDAC and by extension the people of Old Harbour must not be tolerated and those agents of the state must be enlightened about what is acceptable in communication, relationship and partnership building.”
“They are overwhelmed, plus they have ongoing cases at court that they have to be attending to,” says the veteran crime fighter. Crime fighting efforts are further compounded, he said, with the massive construction boom the area is experiencing at present. Several persons are migrating to Old Harbour seeking job opportunities with the number of inhabitants inching closer to 60,000. And with an increasing population springs new and bigger challenges for the police. More criminals are migrating to the area, they say, pointing to the recent shootout with the police, resulting in the deaths of wanted men ‘Demon’ from Ackee Walk in Kingston and Montego Bay gangster Paul ‘Jay’ Lewis. “The population is getting bigger. So it is putting more pressure on the police to respond to domestic disputes and all other issues, plus your core duties that you suppose to do,” said Miller who has been head of the division since March 2016. The veteran cop, who is scheduled to go on pre-retirement leave come January, after 38 years of service, argued that had those 17 officers been replaced, their crime fighting efforts would be more effective. “I would be able to put out even one extra patrol on each shift because I have a car now that is underutilized. If we had more police officers we would be able to cover a wider area and manned the area better,” he said, noting he has consistently put those concerns to the high command at the St Catherine South Division. “We have hot spots and right now we have to concentrate our efforts in the town area like Burke Road and ‘Africa’. So the ops (operations) vehicle cannot leave out of that space unless it’s a dire emergency. “At Old Harbour Bay we only have 12 people and if it wasn’t for the Marine Police I don’t know how we would manage,” Unsurprisingly those concerns are not unique to Old Harbour instead it is a microcosm of a national plight facing the constabulary for many, many years. But not all hope is lost as stated by Anglin, who attributes “60 per cent” of cleared up cases to citizens co-operating with the police. “I must thank the citizens of Old Harbour and will use this opportunity to encourage more persons to come forward and help us fight this monster call crime, which is a major threat to all of us.”
The prospective tenant made contact with the two, who claimed to be the owners of the New Harbour Village III property up for rent, via telephone numbers listed in the advertisement. A deposit of $70,000 cash was requested by the couple and the complainant told to meet them at the St Jago Shopping Centre, Spanish Town on October 11, 2017. After making the deposit the complainant received a set of keys for the house, but to her dismay she was unable to enter the house when she went to the premises a couple hours later. She immediately phoned the so-called landlords but her calls were never answered. The matter was reported to the police the next day and fortunately for the complainant the suspects were held on October 13 after they were spotted walking together in the town.
According to the chief investigator, the CIB team is yet though to establish a legitimate connection between Kelly’s death and a previous incident involving Johnson. He said in August of last year, Johnson and Kelly’s son had an altercation in which the latter was stabbed by the former. It is further alleged that months later Johnson attacked Kelly, who shot him with his fish gun causing serious damage to his lungs. The matter was allegedly settled between both parties without pursuing it through the courts with a portion of the agreed sum paid over to Johnson. But the police said they are unable to ascertain or confirm if the outstanding balance was paid over to Johnson, who will face the court later this month.
The investigation intensified thereafter and formal charges were laid last week against 24-year-old Percival Campbell, otherwise called ‘Percy’ or Prezi; Junior ‘Spoogy’ Campbell and Corey Black alias ‘Corey Blacks’ or ‘G-Man’, who has been incarnated since 2016 for a series of crimes committed. All three men are from Old Harbour Bay, while Percival and Junior are not related despite bearing the same surname, the police said. “Based on the investigation we have pieced together so far, the suspected mastermind behind the killing of these two men is already in State custody on charges of robbery, illegal possession of a firearm and wounding,” Anglin revealed to Old Harbour News in an interview. “Our investigation also revealed that the instruction from the mastermind behind bars to both men, who executed the killing, was to take the money and kill the men who came to purchase the illegal guns.” The three men charged a scheduled to face the court this week.