MAY PEN, Clarendon - Three unsung heroes were recognised by the parish of Clarendon for their contribution to community development at last Monday's Heroes' Day ceremony on the grounds of the May Pen courthouse.
The awardees, Albert Samuel Jackson, King Lyon and Veronica Elaine Watson, were presented with plaques courtesy of Custos Williams Shagoury and gift baskets from Nestlé.
Additionally, centenarians Ida Archer and Victoria Williams were presented with certificates of recognition and Nestlé gift baskets.
"The people of Clarendon recognise and salute your exceptional commitment to community development and your service to the parish," a citation from the Clarendon office of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), and the Clarendon Parish Council read.
Jackson, from the historic community of Chapelton, is a respected educator, who taught science at his alma mater Clarendon College for over two decades. He now operates Jackson's Agriculture and Farm Store - the only one of its kind in Chapelton - but the highlight of his life has been his philanthropic endeavours.
"For the past 48 years Albert Samuel Jackson has dedicated his life to the advancement of his community," the citation continued. "Through his business and farming practices Mr Jackson has assisted with the schooling of numerous needy children in the community of Chapelton," it explained.
Lyon, from Raymonds Dam in south-east Clarendon, was born in the United States, but migrated to Jamaica in 1972 after meeting his wife Nelleta.
Described as "a true visionary and champion for community development", Lyon founded the Raymonds Dam Citizens' Association, geared towards improving the living conditions of over 100 families who occupied land in the Raymonds Dam area.
"Mr Lyon successfully lobbied the principals of the Rural Electrification Programme to provide electricity to the area," the JCDC wrote. "Not satisfied with this extraordinary feat, he treaded on and championed the need to improve solid waste management in the community, (and) for the first time garbage collection became [regular] in the area," the special tribute said.
Watson, a teacher by profession, is said to be a founding member of the Jamaica Red Cross and has served the organisation in various capacities.
"For 30 years, Veronica led, empowered, challenged, and inspired the members of the Clarendon Red Cross to soar to new heights of excellence" and improved the lives of vulnerable people by mobilising the powers of humanity... During her reign as chairman of the Clarendon Red Cross she was instrumental in the construction of 20 houses and 22 bathroom facilities after the [passage] of Hurricane Gilbert and other hurricanes in recent years," the tribute said.