Some 110 fathers were celebrated Saturday morning in Duhaney Park, St Andrew, ahead of Father's Day yesterday. The event, put on by the Duhaney Park Community Development Committee, honoured fathers who were deemed dependable and involved in their children's lives.
“We recognised that fathers are almost never recognised. And, in the middle of that you have some good fathers out there. You really do have some good fathers. So we did some screening for some good fathers in the community and decided to just honour them. We actually did it for Mother's Day last year. We couldn't do both of them this year because of funding,” Earl Jones, president of the Duhaney Park Community Development Committee told the Jamaica Observer in an interview.
“It was wonderful. We gave out 110 packages, and they were happy. And, it was mainly young fathers in the community. It was well received and greatly appreciated.”
He said the packages served as tokens of appreciation towards fathers in the trying times brought on by the unprecedented novel coronavirus.
“They were some nice little packages. Everybody can feel comfortable. Everybody get at least two pounds of rice and sugar. In the packages we had rice, cornmeal, flour, mackerel, sardine, sausage, tissues, soap, and so on,” Jones said.
One man, who gave his name as Everton, told the Observer that he appreciates the gesture, after receiving one of the packages yesterday.
“It feels good. Generally, Father's Day is just another calendar day. There is not a lot of highlight or talk about Father's Day every year, so this kind of recognition was really appreciated.”
Another father related that: “Fathers just as necessary. You have man out there weh a look after dem yute. So, when the day comes it nuh really hurt nobody fi show the man dem some appreciation. Nuh real father nah dweet fi the attention, but just like how the deserving women get them shine on Mother's Day, we need our respect too.”
In the meantime, Jones noted that members of the committee had begun talks of having the event as far back as last year, but were initially worried that the novel coronavirus pandemic would pose a challenge in terms of both sponsorship and execution.
“We started preparations from last year. One of the times we were a bit indecisive based on the fact that COVID is a thing and we have to beg to make this thing work. And, we recognised the fact that a lot of people [sponsors] nuh have the support to give us right now but we pulled through. We finally pick up back again and decided that we have to do it. We have to do it even if it is just 50 people,” he said.
Jones added that the committee relied largely on Jamaicans in the Diaspora, who once lived in the Duhaney Park community, to make the event a success.
“Over the years, Duhaney Park has established some linkages with some of our expatriates… people who used to live in Duhaney Park. And, as a result of that, they always come on board and support us. We actually got close to $100,000 from overseas and we got some support from Food for the Poor and other people within the community.”
“Because of that we were able to give out the 110 packages and we still have some stuff left back that we can give to some people in need. It might not be as much as the packages we gave to the gentlemen, but we can give out something,” Jones stated.