On February twenty-fifth, Boys’ Town received a newly refurbished multi-million dollar multi-purpose building Thanks to the efforts of past president Audley Deidrick, the Rotary Club of St. Andrew decided to help develop their indelible impact on the surrounding community. They chose a few projects, in particular. The projects align with Boys’ Town’s well-known premise of fidelity through faith, education and sports.
Rev. Dr Henley Morgan aptly opened the event by gracing the proceedings. Dr Morgan has supported the ongoing efforts of Boys’ Town for many years. He is an active member of the greater Trench Town community. Dr Morgan stated that he is always ready and willing to offer prayer when called on. He blessed all organizations “committed to lift up those at the base of the social and economic pyramid.”
Boys’ Town Introduction
If anyone wants to educate themselves about the greater Trenchtown, they have to speak to Mr Trevor Spense. As the Chief Executive Officer of the Boys’ Town development Committee, he has historical knowledge of the area. Mr Spence always has information that leaves you wanting to know more.
Appropriately, in his address to the gathering at the opening ceremony, Mr Spence provided information about the community. Mr Spence stated, “It’s interesting that we start with the National Anthem because Boys’ Town has a close connection with the National Anthem. The impact of its members recognizes every time we speak or sing our national anthem. The author of the National Anthem and the founder of Boys’ Town are one in the same person.”
Mr Spence was speaking of Father Hugh Sherlock created Boys’ Town as a haven for youth to excel through education and sports When expounding on the National Anthem, Mr Spense state that, “it is a prayer of praise that Father spoke about and the original tune is actually a hymn that later was changed But, ‘Strengthen us the weak to cherish’ Father said that was about Boys’ Town and Trenchtown An ‘weak’ did not mean those who are feeble, but those who needed to be served and protected, in particular, the children And that was his passion, and that’s the passion of Boys’ Town.”
Conext of Rotary Club Project
Mr Audley Deidrick gave context to the projects that the Rotary Club of St Andrew have taken on at Boys’ Town. He made it clear that Boys’ Town is in no way just a project for him or the Rotary Clubs. Since the seventies, he has supported ‘Colour Red’, so it was no transition for him to support Boys’ Town now, as he has never left. “Then I saw what richness this place represents [i.e.] Ambassador Theatre, this facility [and] other areas of the community, I said, ”I want to be a part of transforming this community”, stated Mr Deidrick. In 2018 as the Rotary Club of St Andrew president, Mr Deidrick made his major project in Boys’Town. That began the solidifying relationship between the two community development organizations.
The fast track refurbishment of the now Gloria Brebner building was an answer to the decommissioning of the main building in the complex. The significant work done in that building had to continue during the construction period, which led to choosing this project. The refurbishing of the Father Sherlock building makes it impossible to accommodate programmes.
The infant depart of the BBoys’Town Infant and Primary uses the facility. The infant department of the school will require additional space. The extra space will allow them to exercise social distance, medical first aid, and sickbay room/relaxation room. The school will utilize the facility from 7 AM to 2 PM. It will also house one of the two Kingston centres for the ”child resiliency programme”. The programme is in partnership with the Violence Prevention Alliance organization The programme support some sixty grade five and six children through sports, cultural, mentoring, and educational activities. There are many other ways the new building will serve the community as time goes on.
The Real Impact of Supporting Boys’ Town
Mr Derrick “Astri” Denniser of BBoys’Town Old Boys stood firm as he expressed how the handover of the building enhanced the influence of the community. He stated that the spirit of volunteerism, Father Sherlock’s focus, could not exist without the gifts from organizations such as the Rotary Club.
Mr Denniser stated, “I remember Father Sherlock saying that ”Boys’Town will always exist”. The individuals in charge will come and go, and the buildings may change. And if the buildings change and the individuals change, does it mean that it’s a different Boys’ Town? Because even a living organism like your body, your cells change. Your hair changes. The physical attributes change. The tangible things change. But what will never change is the spirit of Boys’ Town. And we can’t exist without the spirit of volunteerism.”Mr Denniser congratulated the Rotary Club the other donors. He suggested that they continue and never give up.
A Continued Shaping
The current president of the Rotary Club of St Andrew, Ms Ammesha Samuels, represented the partnership between BBoys’Town and the Club. She stated that “the Rotary Club of St Andrew continues to exert great effort to invest in projects such as this one. We have continued our support for the BBoys’Town community under my leadership as president.” She then listed other projects which the Club will complete at BBoys’Town as the transformation continues. Ms Samuels explained that the handover characterizes the Rotary ethos of “Service above Self”.
Member of Parliament and president of the PPeople’sNational Party, Mr Mark Golding, also spoke of the impact of the partnership. Entitling the day as a “great day”, he thanked everyone involved, especially for the signature BBoys’Town porridge that “ave mi a sweat, but it is delicious.” Mr Golding concentrated on this opening being achievement and not an announcement. He made the point that “announcements are easy and ar many, but achievements are hard and are few, So we have to celebrate achievements Because that is where the rubber hits the road.” He expresses the essential aspects of the projects chosen at BBoys’Town based on sustainability. The persons who have not given up on BBoys’Town are the pillars of the sustainability of the community.
The First of Many
The handover ceremony represented the first of many projects to transform Boys’Town and the greater community. The Multi-Purpose Building named in honour of Gloria Brebner, Teacher and Principal of BBoys’Town All-Age School, first Principal of the CB Facey Basic School. The CB Facey Basic school is now the Infant Department of the BBoys’Town Primary, and Infant School Ms Brebner was a Social Worker, Community Worker, Mentor and “other” at BBoys’Town At the handover ceremony Mr Lyndel Wright, a Boys’ Town alumni and Mr Noel Reid, a family member recognized the remarkable impact Mrs Brebner had. The heartfelt words clearly explained why we should immortalize a person like Ms Brebner in block, concrete and steel. After all, she was that for many in the communities history.