Operation restore reputation

MP Kellier urges Cambridge residents to take back community

Observer West reporter

Thursday, December 27, 2018

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — With just a few days to go before the end of the year, Member of Parliament for St James Southern Derrick Kellier is calling on residents of Cambridge to make it their new year's resolution to restore the reputation of the community which has been tarnished because of crime.

“We want everyone to come together with a determination in 2019, to put 2018 behind us, learn from the experience, and try to ensure that we start moving from the bottom now all the way to the top,” said Kellier, who is the seven-term Member of Parliament.

“Today, when you hear about Cambridge you hear about some bad things. We are in the news because of bad things: gunmanship, badmanship, donmanship, and all those kinds of things. We want to change that image and put back Cambridge, as a positive.

“When you hear about Cambridge you must hear about something positive. We want the values and the attitudes...good positive, attitudes to be inculcated, especially in the young people so we can build back the base of the community for the future.”

Cambridge was once the stomping ground of the Ratty gang, which was led by Ryan “Ratty” Peterkin, who was shot dead during a confrontation with members of the security forces in Westmoreland earlier this year, after he fled the area following the State of public emergency in St James. Following Peterkin's demise, his alleged accomplice, Delano “Prekeh” Wilmot, took over leadership of the gang and is reportedly continuing to wreak havoc in Cambridge and surrounding communities. Wilmot remains at large.

Speaking during his annual Christmas treat at the Cambridge Community Centre on Saturday, Kellier implored the youths to utilise the facility, which houses the Cambridge Boys and Girls Club, for sports and other recreational activities as a vehicle to regain some level of respect to the community.

“I would like to say to you, ladies and gentlemen and young children, that although it is the home of the Cambridge Boys and Girls Club it is for the entire community, whether it's church, school, any organisation, you can get the use of the centre whether it's for sports or whatever,” he pointed out.

“This court (all-purpose court at the facility) is a full-size international court. Any international netball match can be played here by any team from Australia, England, New Zealand anywhere over the world, it is a full-size court. You can also play basketball on it, you can play lawn tennis on it, and volley ball,” he explained.

He also urged the parents to “re-inculcate” values and attitudes into their children.

“Parents you are going to have to stand up on your feet. I know a lot of you would like to sometimes, but you (are) weak. Well 2019 must be a year when you pass a resolution that you are going to be strong. You are going to ask the help of the Lord to strengthen you to build better families that are more resilient, so that we can rescue the generations to come,” Kellier encouraged.

“We can't afford for our community to be going down with only bad report at all time.”

The residents were treated to meals and gift packages.

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