While Trelawny has benefited from significant infrastructural developments over recent years, including a multibillion-dollar cruise shipping pier in Falmouth, some residents are nonetheless disappointed with the growing list of promises that have not come to fruition.
In Duanvale, the residents are unhappy with Culture Minister Olivia Grange, who, after three years, is yet to deliver on her promise to have an appropriate monument erected there for the former world’s oldest person, Violet ‘Aunt V’ Moss-Brown, who died at age 119 in September 2017.
At the time of Moss-Brown’s death, residents took objection to her son’s decision to donate her body to The University of the West Indies for research purposes, arguing that she should be buried in the community.
Cognisant of the mixed feelings about the situation, Grange, who attended the funeral service, promised that the monument would be erected in the community to immortalise Moss-Brown. However, to date, there has been no indication as to when or whether the promise will be kept.
Verna Small, a retired poor relief officer and prominent member of the Duanvale community, believes the failure so far to deliver on the promised monument is an insult to Moss-Brown’s memory.
“They have not respected the history of Aunt V. There was a promise to fix the road leading to her house. Not even to bush a site for the monument and let it grow back. We have been taken for granted and it is disappointing,” said Small.
Like the residents of Duanvale, the residents in Troy are far from pleased with the failure to keep the 2018 promise to rename the Troy Primary School in honour of decorated Olympian Veronica Campbell-Brown, who is from that community.
And in Falmouth, they are bemoaning the failure to mount a statue of track icon Usain Bolt in Water Square in the Trelawny parish capital after years of talks.
In 2018, Grange stated that the statue was ready, but indications that issues including an attempt to have the statue mounted inside the cruise ship pier and concerns raised by the Usain Bolt Foundation have created a still unresolved snag.
Last October, Grange announced that the monument would be erected by the end of the year.
“This is the biggest disrespect I have seen in my life. Bolt is celebrated all over the world but not in his home town,” said Falmouth resident Frank Clarke. “That monument would most certainly serve as a source of inspiration for all the young people in the parish knowing that Bolt is a humble lad from Sherwood Content, who went to William Knibb High School . … He is one of us and we should be given a chance to celebrate him.”
The failure to commence construction on the National Housing Trust’s (NHT) 212-unit Windsor Heights Housing Scheme, which had its groundbreaking ceremony back in July 2018 and was scheduled for completion in July 2019, does not sit well with former Trelawny Chamber of Commerce President Dennis Seivwright, who sees the projects as key in the quest to create additional housing in the parish.
“It is a major disappointment to those who have lobbied for Trelawny to have its rightful place in the country’s history,” said Seivwright. “While I know COVID-19 can now be used as an excuse, what I want to know is the real reason for not building the houses at Samuel Prospect.”
Efforts to get an explanation from Dwayne Berbick of the NHT’s communications department yielded no results as questions submitted to him on request have not been answered.