ST JAMES, Jamaica - Labour Day activities were well supported in St Ann, notably at the St Ann’s Bay Hospital, where the learning centre at the paediatric ward was renovated by representatives of the Carnival Cruise Line vessel, Carnival Horizon.
From as early as 9:00 am, 20 crew members from the world’s largest cruise company, in tandem with volunteers from Jamaica Vacations (JamVac) and Chukka Caribbean Adventures, gathered on the ward with paint brushes in hand and reading material for the children.
They were greeted by an equally enthusiastic group of hospital staff, led by Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Delroy Morgan, who later join the Carnival crew in cleaning up the ward and making repairs in the learning centre, before making way for a tree-planting exercise. They later returned to read to the young patients.
“We are so grateful for Carnival’s participation in our Labour Day volunteer project,” Morgan said.
“Carnival’s improvements will ensure that we can continue to provide critical educational and psychological support for our young patients while they recover at a newly renovated learning centre,” he added.
The CEO said he was also grateful for the participation of Chukka and JamVac, noting that it was yet another example of public and private sector partnership “and something which has gone a long way in making us one of the best health facilities in the region”.
Senior Vice President, Government and Destination Affairs, Carnival Corporation, Marie McKenzie, said the cruise line was happy to have participated in the Labour Day activities, describing Jamaica as a friend and loyal partner to the Carnival organisation.
“This is the country of my birth also. Jamaica will always be dear to my heart, and it was a pleasure being here today with the children and hardworking staff at this facility,” she said.
Member of Parliament for St Ann North Eastern, Marsha Smith, said it was a joy seeing the smiles on the faces of the children, especially when they were being read to by the Carnival team.
“I was also particularly happy with the planting of trees, knowing that in years to come they will have a positive impact,” she added.
JamVac’s executive director, Joy Roberts, noted that Carnival has had a longstanding relationship with Jamaica and has been contributing and doing a lot of voluntary work in several of “our public facilities”.
“This is just another example of some of the things that Carnival has been doing in relation to Jamaica,” she said.
Meanwhile, over at the St Ann Infirmary, volunteers spent the day painting and giving the facility a much-needed facelift.
Mayor of St Ann’s Bay, Sydney Stewart, said the work done was of utmost importance, noting that the infirmary houses some of the most vulnerable in society and who have as much right to live out the remainder of their days in a safe and comfortable environment.
“It was indeed a beautiful and rewarding day,” he added.