MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Mandeville businessman and new president of the Rotary Club of Mandeville Basil Cameron says the Manchester Fire Department is the service club's main project for 2012/13.
Cameron told Jamaica Observer Central that the fire station is "always short on equipment" and "the sky is the limit" as Mandeville Rotarians embark on fund-raising efforts to support the organisation. Cameron took over as club president in July from ordained priest and educator Reverend Kenneth Thaxter.
The Fire Department apart, the ongoing Brooks Park Development Project will be among those receiving attention from Rotarians during the year.
Also, the August publication of the club's newsletter announced that some Mandeville Rotarians and representatives from Junior Achievement Jamaica met last month "to discuss a cooperative effort to have Junior Achievement programmes taught in selected schools in Manchester".
Junior Achievement Jamaica is a non-profit organisation which seeks to empower young people by teaching, in an age-appropriate way, topics such as personal development, work readiness, financial literacy, and entrepreneurship.
Rotarians say that starting in September, Bellefield and Bishop Gibson high schools along with the primary section of the Hatfield Primary and Junior High School will be beneficiaries of the programme, with the aim of increasing the number of schools participating in coming years.
Support for the Mandeville Regional Hospital with equipment for the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer and upgrading of toilet facilities at the Snowden Primary School in South Manchester are among the other Rotary projects, Cameron said.
The Rotary movement is an international body that thrives on the motto "Service above Self."
Rotarians say that during the last year, Thaxter's administration was able to meet a range of needs within Manchester. Among the achievements were:
* The donation of US$10,000 towards the development of the Haemodialysis Unit for kidney patients at Mandeville Regional Hospital made available through proceeds from the annual Rotary Roast;
* Presentation of the Ambassadorial Scholarship to Lanisia Rhoden of the Rotaract Club of Mandeville (a Rotary-sponsored service club for young men and women between the ages of 18 and 30) for a master's degree in Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom;
* Securing funds to repair the ceiling at Waltham Basic School;
* Completion of a clinic for the Harry Watch community in North West Manchester;
* Donation of books to educational institutions such as the Manchester Parish Library, and Albion, Bellefield, McIntosh Memorial and Old England primary schools;
* Recognition of Pamella DaCosta-Pinto and Hugh Nash of the Manchester community for sterling contribution to culture and community development, respectively, at the Club's Vocational Awards function.
"We get these things done because we don't stand alone. We work with other Rotary Clubs," said Cameron.