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n Sunday July, 24th, an anxious yet, curious crowd of young professionals and successful individuals gathered on the grounds of the Rio Nuevo Great House. The event, hosted by the Member of Parliament for Western St. Mary, Hon. Robert “Bobby” Montague Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries and commenced at 10:00am. It was a day of fun and educational activities which was geared to inform youths of programs being offered to them. Other Ministers of Government attended, such as: Hon. St. Aubyn Bartlet – Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, Hon. Andre Franklin Minister of State in the Ministry of Health, Hon. Lawrence Broderick – Minister of State in the Ministry of Mining and Energy. They shared information as well as answered questions that were put to them.

“Gimme Likkle Bickle”

Breakfast was then served. A mix of traditional Jamaican food, like ackee and salt fish, run dung, corned pork, roast breadfruit, boiled bananas, etc., were on the menu; all of which was on the house, along with any beverage of your choice. After a few more education and informational sessions, lunch was served. Cray fish soup, curried goat, roti, jerk pork and chicken, festival and stewed conch were some of the items that they indulged in. Those who were too full to go back for seconds occupied themselves with different activities like, football, domino, dancing to the music or simply chitIn the midst of introductions, welcomes and hellos, a domi- chatting with others. After the lunch period, they ennating group of men, headed by the Hon. Prime Minister joyed live entertainment by Tanya Stevens and deBruce Golding, arrived to share in the activities. Although lighted in the give-a-ways of phone cards and small short, his speech was effective and clear. He spoke of electrical appliances. ways in which young people should strive to elevate themselves and maintain a good sense of maturity. Mr. Golding stated that his aim was not to speak to the group of professionals but for them to speak to him. Hence, various questions from different individuals were thrown out to him and of course, they were all answered to their satisfaction. The question of how the Government could help to change the public’s view of farmers was one of the things that kept everyone talking. After a few minutes, he said farewell and left for another event.

“Round up” The day was an overall success and everyone went home with information that they found beneficial and helpful. Many were thoroughly entertained and thought the day was fun, interesting and different from any other “ole boring” forum.

The picture here can be synonymously attached to any rural community in Western St. Mary, as the Hon. Robert (Bobby) Montague has been opening centres like this all around the constituency. This commune named Decoy can be found a few miles outside the vicinity of Jeffery Town, a small farming district striving for progress. There was a need for a community centre within the area, which was seen through a community meeting with the social development commission (SDC). A man of the parish was called in, the Member of Parliament and now Agriculture Minister, Mr. Montague. He organized funding through the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) which is designed to improve the effectiveness of Members of Parliament, as a designated funding mechanism for constituency projects. This funding was used to construct the centre with an estimated cost of two million JMD; however more money was needed to furnish the building, again the MP stepped in and acquired the help of the European Union who donated an additional six hundred thousand to the cause. All factors contributing to the picture you see today. The opening ceremony for the centre was held on its grounds, on Wednesday July 20, 2011. With community spirits high and a massive turnout the ball got rolling at 5 P.M, during the short duration of the function (2 hrs), much was accomplished. There were various items done by community members, showing there appreciation for the work that had been done. Ms. Claudean Panton, president of the CDC brought greetings on behalf of the citizens, all looking eagerly on. It was time for the guest speaker who was State Minister responsible for Local Government Shahine Robinson; she spoke on the importance of the CDF, challenging critics who say that it is a waste of funds, she said, “the CDF is vital to the growth and development of constituencies.� On the heels of her departure, a massive applause was given by the audience, giving way for their MP, Mr. Montague who commended the efforts and community spirit of the citizens , also handing over a brand new lawn mower, balls and books which will be used in the up coming summer programmes. The centre will be in use right away as a homework programme and also culinary lessons will be conducted there.

Local government reform has been pioneered by Robert Montague; this has been a process that has put aspects of the government back into the hands of the people, Community development committees have been set up in major communities of Western St. Mary have been empowered, citizens organizations, youth clubs, neighbourhood watches, farmers groups have all been strengthened, resulting in an awakening of the consciousness of the residents of Western St. Mary. We have seen tremendous support for youth activities and young people. Three recording studios are supported by the CDF, investment in our community radio station JET FM continues, youth clubs have been strengthened with the help of the SDC, giving young people renewed hope, youth entrepreneurship is being supported with the provision of a JBDC officer in the constituency every month, resulting in one young man being awarded the Prime Ministers’ Youth Award in entrepreneurship. The Robert Montague SDC 6-a-side football competition has promoted excellence in performance and the youth continue to strive.

New Recording Studio in Three Hills RTS Record studio from THREE HILLS has been creating quite a buzz on the entertainment industry, with several rhythms on the airwaves and a number of recording artists, the young record label is poised for bigger and better things. Top artists who have voiced for RTS label so far are CAPLETON, TEFLON, JIMMY RILEY and HEAVYMAN. NICKY SILK has been rehearsing constantly at RTS for his upcoming European tour and young song bird T-Essence has been enjoying heavy rotation on top radio stations and her career is set to go places. In a

For years Western St. Mary has been neglected when it comes on to numerous aspects of its development, it’s Member of Parliament Bobby Montague has been working assiduously to assure the well needed improvement. One such crucial need, was the need to develop the health facilities to enable better service and Health Care for the citizens of St. Mary. Mr. Montague with the assistance of Jamaicans living in Canada donated million dollars worth of Wheelchairs, mattresses and blood pressure machines to develop the Health Care facilities in his constituency. It was at the Retreat Health Centre that was newly refurbished that Minister Montague presented some boxes of assorted medical supplies, wheel chairs, blood pressure machines along with some modems to school that has never seen internet service in their entire existence as an institution. This event was attended by the relevant authorities namely the St. Mary Parish, The North Eastern Regional Health Authority (NEHRA), the St. Mary Health Department and members of a newly form group of young individuals representing for Councilor Merdel McKenzie-Rattigan known as the Green Team. It made Minister Montague overwhelmed with joy to see yet another success as it represented another major landmark in the process of development for Western St. Mary. This function was a true demonstration that Minister Montague is committed to the people of Western St. Mary and Jamaica at large. He also declared that he will continue to work for the development of healthcare and education in the communities. So we can rest assure that without a doubt, of all the needs of the people of Western St. Mary at hand, Mr. Montague, will do, the impossible.

“This function was a true demonstration that Minister Montague is committed to the people of Western St. Mary and Jamaica at large. He also declared that he will continue to work for the development of healthcare and education in the communities .”


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