We are in­vest­ing in Trelawny – Rho­den

Jamaica Gleaner - - WESTERN FOCUS - Christo­pher Thomas Gleaner Writer

SHELLION RHO­DEN, the busi­ness man­ager of Fal­mouth Ja­maica Land Com­pany Lim­ited (FJLCL), oper­a­tors of the Fal­mouth cruise ship pier, says con­trary to the views of sev­eral prom­i­nent stake­hold­ers in the re­sort town, her or­gan­i­sa­tion is play­ing its part in the de­vel­op­ment of the wider com­mu­nity.

Ac­cord­ing to her, since the pier came into op­er­a­tion in 2011, the FJLCL, without much fan­fare, has been in­volved in sev­eral char­i­ta­ble ac­tiv­i­ties to in­clude the an­nual Christ­mas treat put on by the mayor of Fal­mouth, the do­na­tion of books to the Trelawny Par­ish Li­brary and schools in the par­ish; and the of­fer­ing of schol­ar­ships to gifted stu­dents.

“We feel that we are do­ing as much as we can, and we will con­tinue to do so ... we will al­ways be in­vest­ing in the coun­try ... we are not go­ing any­where,” said Rho­den, in a re­cent in­ter­view with Western Fo­cus. “We have made a sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment in the coun­try, and we want to give back to Trelawny.”

Within re­cent times, stake­hold­ers such as Fal­mouth’s mayor, Coun­cil­lor Garth Wilkin­son; and the Ja­maica Labour Party’s (JLP) care­taker for North Trelawny, Shellion Rho­den (right), busi­ness man­ager of Fal­mouth Ja­maica Land Com­pany Lim­ited (FJLCL), poses with stu­dents of Fal­mouth All-Age School and their prin­ci­pal, Colin Camp­bell, dur­ing the re­cent un­veil­ing of the school’s new sign. FJLCL and its par­ent com­pany Royal Caribbean Cruises Lim­ited do­nated the sign. Den­nis Mead­ows, have both ex­pressed dis­ap­point­ment with the lack of tan­gi­ble cruise ship­ping ben­e­fits to the town.

INCONSEQUENTIAL BEN­E­FITS

Two years ago, seem­ingly frus­trated that cruise ship­ping was not de­liv­er­ing on the lofty prom­ises that were made when it was first con­cep­tu­alised, Wilkin­son stated that, ex­cept for pos­si­bly craft ven­dors, the spin-offs to Fal­mouth were all but inconsequential.

“We must ad­mit that apart from our craft ven­dors and a few other lo­ca­tions, none of our busi­nesses have changed to cater for our vis­i­tors,” Wilkin­son. “We have wasted a lot of time, en­ergy and money in the past, but it has got us nowhere; it is more than time that we change the way we do busi­ness.”

In speak­ing to the gen­eral dis­ap­point­ment of the res­i­dents of the Fal­mouth, who have long cher­ished hopes that the op­er­a­tions at the cruise pier would have had a trans­for­ma­tional ef­fect on their lives, Mead­ows said the sit­u­a­tion has led to much dis­en­chant­ment.

“The cruise ship pier was seen as a cat­a­lyst for de­vel­op­ment in Fal­mouth; it is yet to realise the prom­ise of the much-her­alded plans of im­prov­ing the lives of the peo­ple,” said Mead­ows. “There is now a level of dis­en­chant­ment that is per­vad­ing the psy­che of the peo­ple as a con­se­quence of that dis­ap­point­ment.”

How­ever, with ges­tures such as its re­cent $100,350 schol­ar­ship do­na­tion to for­mer Hague Pri­mary stu­dent Tyreece Terry, who passed his Grade Six Achieve­ment Test to at­tend Munro Col­lege; and the $242,867.50 awarded to Roscheika Spencer, a mod­ern lan­guage stu­dent at Sam Sharpe Teach­ers’ Col­lege, Rho­den thinks the FJLCL, which is owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises Lim­ited, is mak­ing a pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tion to Trelawny.

“Royal Caribbean is an in­vestor in Ja­maica, and we will be here for a long time to come ... . We built the port, and we are ob­vi­ously not go­ing any­where,” said Rho­den. “We want to en­sure that the com­mu­nity is happy and is ben­e­fit­ing from our ex­is­tence in Ja­maica.”

SEPTEM­BER 20, 2016

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