Jessups Community Center OpensWritten by Curtis Morton
It was indeed a historic moment. Contractor Rudolph Nisbett handed over a bunch of keys to the Premier of Nevis, the Hon. Joseph Parry who in turn escorted long serving senior citizen, Ms Anita Byron to accommodate the symbolic cutting of the ribbon which made the opening of the first ever Community Center to be built in Jessups village, official.
The ceremony for the grand opening was held at the brand new Community Center on Monday 27th February. It was the final opening ceremony involving Community Centers across the island and the ‘Jessupians’ as they were affectionately referred to by the afternoon’s chairperson, Mr. Ashley Farrell, are all confident that they got the best one of the lot.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Farrelll referred to three key words: IMAGINE, BELIEVE and ACHIEVE. He made reference to a dream becoming a reality after some persons imagined, believed and now achieved. In closing he made a clarion call: ‘Let this Community Center connect the present and the future to what we had in the past.’
The singing of the national anthem by Shaniah and Shanie Williams preceded his remarks. Pastor Jennifer Weekes delivered the invocation and the members of the audience sang together the song ‘It is truly wonderful.’
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Social Development, Mr. Alsted Pemberton gave an overview of the project. During his remarks he pointed out that the new building was a two storey structure which can comfortably hold 130 to 150 persons in the auditorium. It also contains a large kitchen, complete with an extractor fan, a computer room, training room, reading room, and library. It also has a cistern capable of holding 20,000 gallons of water. The building was completed at a cost of 1.3 million dollars EC.
The Hon. Hensley Daniel, Minister of Social development then addressed the impressive gathering. He once again outlined the numerous programs coordinated by his Ministry and noted that they covered all ages and genders. He pointed to the programs for the seniors, the homework assistance program, the Reading Starts with You program and many others. He beseeched the community members to take care of the building and use it for their immediate and long term development.
Kaige Williams, a young man from Jessups then thrilled the gathering with an impressive address during which he lauded the foresight of the Nevis Island Administration for committing to providing Community centers for the further development of the community members. He also applauded the efforts of Mr. Ashley Farrell who personally sought after his academic progress and indicated that community members should be like minded.
Director of Community Development, Mrs. Janette Nisbett-Maloney also delivered brief remarks and used the opportunity to elaborate on the positive use of the Community Center.
Premier and Area Representative, the Hon. Joseph Parry then addressed the gathering. He spoke to the potential and possibilities of Community Centers and lauded the people of Barnes Ghaut for their innovations in launching an exhibition, which featured old time relics and pictures of members of the community among other things. He also had words of commendations for the Hon. Hensley Daniel for the work he is doing and also beseeched the villagers to take care of the building.
‘Jessupian,’ Mrs. Trecia Daniel who is incidentally the Manager of Caribbean Cable Communications was the presenter of good news when she indicated that her company will install free Wi-Fi internet access to the Community Center. This was received with warm applause.
The program, although somewhat lengthy was certainly not boring as the villagers got an opportunity to showcase their wide array of talents. This included song, dance, an instrumental and even an exciting dramatic presentation.
Mr. Anthony Nisbett blessed the building and Mr. John Hanley delivered the vote of thanks.