Wednesday, February 21, 2018

An appreciation service was held on Sunday the 26th of June at the Ludford Mount Baptist Church, Bois Content to honour the retiring principal of the Bois Content Primary School.

Kathleen Jones, who has been principal of the institution since 2012, will officially retire on 21st April, 2017 after going on eight month’s pre-retirement leave.

The appreciation service was planned by teachers of the school in collaboration with the Parent Teachers Association (PTA) and attended by friends and well-wishers from the wider community and further afield, as well as various other churches in the area; also teachers and students from the school along with members of Jones’ extended family.

The service was officiated by host pastor Rev. Arnold Parkinson, who gave the welcoming address, before Rev. Lenford Newell, chairman of the school board, delivered the statement of purpose.

“I hope that the moment spent together here will resonate in our minds for many generations to come... as we celebrate this great milestone,” said Rev. Newell.

Tributes were also offered by a number of persons, including Frederick Bailey, member of the school board; Valerie Peters, member of staff; Shinelle Gayle, a student of the school, and Paulette Jackson of the Parent Teachers Association (PTA).

Jones, described as a strict disciplinarian, was nevertheless lauded as being well-loved and respected by her students and staff.

Calat Davis-Harris presented Jones with a plaque bearing a citation which read in part: “We laud you for the sterling contribution you have made and the indelible mark you have left on the sands of time.

“You have served with distinction, dignity and integrity. With diplomacy and determination, you have executed your duties well. Your desire for success, candid opinion, words of wisdom and encouragement has carried many through copious challenging moments and to you, we are eternally grateful.”

Responding afterwards, the proud yet humble teacher thanked all who had gotten together to pay tribute to her and said that she had so many “treasured and indelible memories” of her years in the field of education and that her life had been made richer by virtue of her service to humanity.

Rev. Orville Vassell, who presented the sermon, encapsulates Jones’ contribution to the education sector and the community by juxtaposing her work to the Biblical story in St Luke Chapter 21 which spoke of the widow who humbly gave two small coins which was all that she had, but in reality had given more than the large sums given by the rich and affluent who gave mostly for show.

In 1977 Jones embarked on a teaching career at the Moneague Teacher’s College where she gained a school certificate before returning in 1993 to acquire a teaching diploma. In 1999 the Bois Content Primary alumnus and native was successful in completing her bachelor’s degree in education, specialising in learning difficulties.

Prior to, and during her period of studies, Jones, who is the mother of twin boys, taught at the St Jude’s and Pembroke Hall primary schools. But it was at her alma mater where she left a lasting legacy, a journey that began in 1984.

Regarding her retirement, Jones, a devote Christian, said: “I plan to do part-time ministry with the Jamaica Baptist Union and enter into entrepreneurship in farming.”

“I am thinking about doing a biography at some point,” she added.

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Published in Feature

More than 5,000 residents of Bellas Gate, St. Catherine and surrounding communities will soon enjoy improved water supply to their homes, with the upgrade of the Goldmine Water Supply System, being undertaken at a cost of $75 million.

Ground was symbolically broken during a ceremony on Friday, July 17, to start the rehabilitation works which are to be carried out over six months.

Speaking at the event held at the Bellas Gate Primary School, Prime Minister the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, assured that the Government is fully committed to doing all it can to ensure that the water services throughout Jamaica are constantly expanded and improved, to serve the needs of citizens no matter where they live.

“(The project is as a) result of my insistence that the constituency of West Central St. Catherine deserves attention and that as a Government, we must provide greater social services to the people of this part of Jamaica,” she said.

Mrs. Simpson Miller noted that over the years, the Goldmine Water Supply System has fallen into a state of disrepair, and is now in need of major rehabilitation. These works, she said, are even more critical as the existing system is severely affected by the extreme drought now affecting the country.

“The fact is that the current state of the water supply system is making the severe effects of the drought worse for the people of this area. As we improve water management, it is important that we improve the capacity of this system to provide a reliable supply to the people,” she said.

The Prime Minister noted that this rehabilitation project is one of several initiatives the Government is undertaking to better manage water resources so that the country can cope better with drought situations.

“Even while we pray for the current drought to be broken, as your Government, we are doing our part to bring better water supply to more and more Jamaicans including here at Bellas Gate and surrounding communities,” she said.

The Prime Minister further expressed pleasure that despite financial difficulties, over the past three years, the National Water Commission (NWC) has invested some $20 billion on water projects for both major and rural communities all across Jamaica.

Member of Parliament for West Central St. Catherine, Dr. Kenneth Baugh, welcomed the project, deeming it a “landmark occasion”.

“It is something that we have desired for the longest while (and) it is going to make a difference (in the lives of citizens).

The project will entail: repair of the water channels to increase water volume from the sources; installation of meters to measure the inflows at the Goldmine Spring source; replacing and upgrading of filters at the plant; and repairs to the retaining walls and access bridge at the plant.

Installation of stand-by pumps, are to be undertaken as well. The project will also involve upgrading of the motor, starter and electrical works for the relift pumps; and repairs to the Bellas Gate/Cocoa Ridge Tank.

The NWC has awarded the contracts for the works to Alcar Construction and Haulage Company Ltd., Champion Industrial Equipment Ltd., and Florida Aquastore. Engineering supervision is to be provided by Rural Water Supply Limited.

Published in News
Wednesday, 18 March 2015 11:13

Teaka vows to keep musical career ticking

Down, but definitely not giving up. Magnum Kings and Queens female contender Teaka didn’t get beyond the first round of elimination, but is nonetheless happy for the exposure.

“I was truly bless to perform on that stage... not the end at all because I can do all things through‪ Christ‬ who ‪strengthen‬ me. Thanks to all for the supports that I have received,” she said.

Born Rodina Cole in Bois Content, St Catherine Teaka’s talent was obvious to her peers and family. But her shy nature ensured her qualities remain hidden. Still inhibited, Teaka has decided to be bolder than ever, earning herself a place on the weekly Saturday night live show on Television Jamaica.

Getting this far was a nervous journey for her she told Old Harbour News in a recent interview, as it was at the third time auditioning that she finally got accepted.

“First audition I did a song called ‘Boy How Yuh Fi Dis Mi Suh’ and Miss Kitty said she wants to see me at a next audition because she wasn’t hearing what I was saying which was true,” said the 27-year-old.

“I was very nervous,” she confessed.

Her next audition stop would be Portmore but the performance was even worse, nervousness again her main downfall. A third bite, though, at the proverbial cherry brought Teaka’s success in Kingston, her gun touting gangster laden gig Dead A Ready earning herself a ticket.

“That song they (the judges) say was ‘too bad’,” she recalled.

Teaka’s quest to stardom didn’t just start this year, she told Old Harbour News. In 2012 she accompanied her brother, Rice Bag who also deejays, to an audition but by sheer coincidence ended up performing before being eliminated in the third round of the preliminaries.

Her friends continued to urge her to enter seriously, and she eventually conjured up the confidence in a giant leap of faith.

“Mi always a get people a tell me to enter because dem always a seh mi have it like that. Actually the first time I entered Magnum I didn’t enter for real enuh. A mi artiste brother mi follow to the audition and I was in the line with him and never know that mi reach up to the front. So mi just sing a song. Mi and mi brother got through but dem call me and never call mi brother. Dem time deh mi not even have five songs. But the reason why mi get eliminated dem seh mi nuh have no confidence,” she said.

“This time around mi know mi can do it. It’s something that I love,” she added.

Well, it wasn’t to be for this talented damsel.

As one who idolizes global star Beyonce, Teaka vows to continue her musical journey and establish herself as a trailblazer, breaking down barriers that will pave the way for other upcoming female artistes.

She said: “I know that persons would probably say ‘but this girl don’t rate Jamaicans’. But I like Beyonce. I haven’t seen any female like her so young and can manage her thing. She gets a lot of Grammy awards. And then the next thing that I really like about her is that she dances while performing, which I really like to do because that was my first passion before I actually started to deejay. So if I should become the next big thing in Jamaica, I would have a thing where I dance while I perform.”

Popular local talent show Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall is in its eighth season and has brought joy to many Jamaican communities and also to the lives of once unknown prodigious artistes.

Published in Entertainment

Bois Content Primary are the first beneficiary of the Primary School Sanitation Project in having its outdated pit latrines replaced by flush toilets.

Yesterday in ceremony at the school located in the northern section of St Catherine South West, Education Minister Rev Ronald Thwaites said the occasion represents the government’s intention to totally eliminate pit latrines in schools.

“Today, we are in this place (Bois Content Primary School, which serves) as a stepping stone to the other schools that we have contracted with Food for the Poor, to make these changes. We are beginning to realize that dream,” said the Minister, who had given his commitment after visiting the school last year.

The new sanitary facility at Bois Content Primary (Photo:Aaron Fogah/FogahStyles Photography)

Bois Content Primary served as the pilot and also the official launch of the project in which the government through the Ministry of Education has embarked on a major $100 million project aimed at installing flush toilets at primary schools islandwide.

The Primary School Sanitation Project, jointly undertaken with charity organization, Food for the Poor, will initially target 50 institutions, where renovations will be carried out over the next three to four months. Work at the remaining schools is slated to take place later in the year.

Under the initiative, Food for the Poor has committed to constructing new sanitary blocks, which will comprise: water harvesting facilities and closets; toilets; urinals; and wheelchair access ramps, among other features.

An additional three schools are earmarked for similar improvements, which will be funded at a cost of six million dollars by the JN Foundation.

Principal of Bois Content Primary Kathleen Jones (back row centre) and her students share lenses with General Manager, JN Foundation, Saffrey Brown (left, back row) in a photo-opt (Photo: Aaron Fogah/FogahStyles Photography)

Food for the Poor Chairman, Andrew Mahfood, said the organisation is pleased to undertake the project, while stating that 50 more schools should be completed in April or May.

He said in addition to the new sanitary facilities, Bois Content Primary also benefitted from the installation of electricity; a newly build mathematics centre; and general painting work at the expense of Food for the Poor.

South West St. Catherine Member of Parliament, Everald Warmington, in expressing gratitude, urged the students, teachers, and residents of Bois Content to ensure the facilities are properly maintained and preserved.

He also implored other institutions to emulate Food for the Poor and JN Foundation, by partnering with the government to deliver quality services and other provisions for citizens.

Minister of Education Rev Ronald Thwaites (left) and St Catherine South West Member of Parliament Everald Warmington having a light moment (Photo: Aaron Fogah/FogahStyles Photography)

In her remarks, JN Foundation General Manager, Saffrey Brown, said the organisation welcomed the opportunity to be involved in “this inspiring and heart-warming project.”

“This launch is a demonstration of the recognition of a socially-focused partnership, as we join together to implement solutions for the upgrading of sanitary blocks for our students…one school at a time, until we can say ‘mission accomplished’,” she added.

Board Chairman of Bois Content Primary, Rev. Lenford Newell, also expressed gratitude on behalf of the students and staff.

“We are, indeed, happy (for) this very special gift and for being the first (beneficiary under) this programme,” Rev Newell said.

Published in News

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