Appreciation Ceremony & Cocktail Party

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On Saturday May 18th 2013 the Manchester Parish Development Committee hosted an Appreciation Ceremony and Cocktail Party to honour the hard work of MPDC volunteers. Hosted at the residence of Custos Emeritus, Hon. Owen Sinclair, JP, the evening was attended by several notable speakers (see below) including guest speaker Honourable Colin Fagan, M.P., Minister of State in the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development.

The proceedings included musical acts by the Jamvybz All Star Band and Ms. Chantal Smalling.

The Manchester Parish Development Committee is proud to honour the following volunteers for their hard work, dedication and commitment to serving their Parish.

Damian Bird: Born to parents George and Jean Bird, Damian George Bird pursued his education at Manchester and Belair High Schools and the University of Florida. During the following years Damian honed his business and leadership skills working in management positions at various business ventures, including Real Estate. He is currently the CEO of Reality in Motion, Inc.

Over a period of nine years he was involved with the Scout Association as Scout Leader, Assistant District Commissioner and Assistant Chief Commissioner.

His passion for service led him to being elected as Vice Chairman for the Manchester Parish Development Committee in 2000, a position which he served for eight years. Under his stewardship the MPDC signed an agreement with the National Land Agency so the Parish could access shape files, resulting in a land use survey for the parish. Despite no longer residing in Jamaica, Damian continues to serve the needs of the MPDC; after each visit his parting words are “remember I am just an email away.” The citizens of Manchester have benefited—and will continue to benefit—from the contributions of this visionary young man.

Grace Campbell: Grace Clair Campbell was born in the hills of North East Manchester in Bakers Hill. She completed her secondary education at Holmwood Technical High School and pursued further studies at the University of the West Indies and the International University of the Caribbean. In March 2009 she was installed as Lay Preacher with the United Church of Jamaica and the Cayman Island.

Aunt Grace, as she is affectionately called, began her thirty two years of dedicated and faithful service when she started work with the SDC in 1971. During her tenure as Parish Manager, she molded and guided many young lives. In 2010 she was recognized at the parish’s Heroes Day celebration for her ong and faithful service to community development.

In 1991 Mrs. Campbell was instrumental in assisting the Parish Youth Leaders Associations to host consultations which influenced the first National Youth Policy.

Aunt Grace’s association with the MPDC began in 2001 when she was reassigned as a consultant for PDCs island wide. Based in Manchester, she performed her tasks with distinction for approximately three years.

Mrs. Campbell has been and continues to be the mother, consultant and counselor for various young persons, social workers, student bodies and companies.

Ivan Green, JP: Ivan Theophilus Green was born in Christiana in the parish of Manchester, to parents of James and Edith Green. Ivan was educated at Christiana Leased Primary School, Holmwood Technical High School, Durham College of Commerce and St. Francis Zavier University in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Ivan Green has been and continues to be a servant to the people and parish of Manchester. He held and still holds many chairmanship positions and sits on many distinguished boards. He has been President of the Rotary Club of Christiana and Director of the Lay Magistrates Association and Jamaica National Body.

He holds the esteemed position of being the President, Vice President and Treasurer of the Manchester Co-Operative Credit Union and once served as the Acting Custos of the parish, while sitting on two school boards. He is also a member of the Gideon’s International and an Elder in the Missionary Church Association of Jamaica. Ivan has truly dedicated his life to service. Ivan is married to Veda, operates his own business and is the proud father of three sons.

Samuel Miller: Samuel Seymour Miller was born in the parish of Manchester to Roy and Rachel Miller.

Sam completed his secondary education at Meadowbrook High School in Kingston and after a stint at the Jamaica Banana Board, he migrated to the United States of America with his parents and siblings, Tony and Janet.

While in the United States Sam furthered his education at Baruch University and graduated with a degree in Business Management. He then worked at the University of Texas in Houston and impacted the lives of numerous young people.

On his return to Jamaica, Sam stayed true to his nature and love for volunteerism – which brought him to the Manchester PDC. He served for many years as the manager of the PDC and the Secretary of the National Association of Parish Development Committees. He is also a member of the Medina Citizens Association, Chairman of two school boards and a member of his Church Property Committee.

An enterprising farmer and the father of two children, this outspoken community advocate has successfully engaged diverse groups of international development partners to invest in the people and parish of Manchester. His success includes the preparation of the Manchester Local Sustainable Development Plan.

Alvin Murray: Alvin Anthony Murray was born in Christiana, Manchester. After completing his education at Christiana High School and the Jamaica School of Agriculture, Alvin worked at several companies where he honed his skills.

A recipient of several agricultural awards, Alvin’s contribution to agriculture include the development of a sustainable coffee, banana, lumber, roots and a vegetable intercropping system which is still practiced in Western and Central Jamaica.

He developed and implemented a spraying program while employed at WESTBAN; this program along with aspects of our Input Credit Program has now been fully adopted by the EU Banana Assistance Project in Jamaica. He was instrumental in the initial work that led to the development of a mini wet pack for export bananas, a practice used for export bananas on the Seven Rivers Farm since 1987.

His most recent exploits have seen an increase in green house farming across the country and he developed with help from the government and the Manchester PDC, a commercial tissue culture lab in Christiana. The project trains young people, and now works to produce disease free planting materials for sweet potatoes, ginger and Irish potato, resulting in increased yields from 6000 pounds to 15,000 pounds per acre for sweet potatoes.

With the continued involvement of Alvin Murray, the future of Jamaica and Manchester’s agriculture sector is in very safe hands. Alvin is married to Heather and has four children.

Clarence Myers: Clarence McFarlane Myers was born in Exton Junction in the bread basket parish of St. Elizabeth to parents Iris and Nathaniel Myers.

Clarence attended the Morningside Elementary School and passed the Third Year Jamaica Local Examination at age sixteen. Too young to start pursuing his dream of entering Mico Teachers College Clarence settled for a Pupil Teachers position. Soon frustrated with having to re-sit exams which he had already passed he convinced his parents to allow him to join his sister in England.

At the age of 19 he got a job at the General Post Office as a trainee technician in England. After seven years he returned to Jamaica and took up a position with the Jamaica Telephone Company.

His love for voluntary work has seen him serve as Vice President of Jaycees of Jamaica, President of C&WJ Co-op Credit Union, Vice Chairman of the South Coast Resort Board and Chairman of Lions and Kiwanis Clubs. He was recently elected to the Church Committee of the Mandeville Parish Church.

Clarence served as Chairman of the Manchester PDC for four years. Under his stewardship the MPDC forged many successful partnerships bringing about local and international recognition. He is married to Marcia and is the proud father of two children.

The Manchester Parish Development Committee is proud to honour these community members for their invaluable work. Download the program: Appreciation Ceremony Program

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