From fishing to block-mak­ing

The Star (Jamaica) - - Front Page - JA­SON CROSS STAR Writer

At a time when the coun­try and the world stand guard against the coro­n­avirus pan­demic, 61-year-old Earl Jack­son, of Water­house in St An­drew, has man­aged to find peace and joy in mak­ing and sell­ing fancy, dec­o­ra­tive blocks from his hum­ble abode, to hun­dreds of Ja­maicans.

Twenty-two years ago, Jack­son made a bold tran­si­tion from be­ing an ex­pe­ri­enced fish­er­man into a trade he had lit­tle knowl­edge about.

“Mi usu­ally catch fish be­fore, but mi love this job. It mek mi al­right and feel com­fort­able. I start this busi­ness with $3,000. Mi used to mek (reg­u­lar) block, but it did kinda hard. So I thought it out on my own and build my thing,” he said.

He shared that po­lice of­fi­cers, teach­ers, nurses and per­sons from vary­ing pro­fes­sions sup­port his busi­ness, be­cause he places em­pha­sis on cre­at­ing solid and durable prod­ucts.

“A lot of the peo­ple in Haven­dale, when they were build­ing their house, is here dem come. Even the peo­ple in Water­house. King Jam­mys [famed record pro­ducer] is one man who sup­ports my busi­ness. Ev­ery­thing I have, I get it out a it. I am com­fort­able. I have done works for a lot of peo­ple, more than 300 in Port­more alone, some in Red Hills, Belvedere, Stony Hill, Water­house and Tower Hill in Kingston and St An­drew,” he said. “Peo­ple even buy my things and bring it go to for­eign go build dem house. Dem seh di thing dem strong and mi re­ally mek dem strong. Most peo­ple nuh mek dem good, be­cause dem a run dung di money, but me pre­fer di money run me dung. Once you have some­thing good, they will come.”

He ex­pressed an open­ness to­wards teach­ing oth­ers his craft, es­pe­cially the youth, but he said young peo­ple nowa­days pre­fer to oc­cupy them­selves with other things.

“More time youths come and seh dem waah learn di trade, but in or­der to learn the trade, you have to come and see what mi do­ing. Dem pre­fer deh pon di cor­ner with them likkle friend in­stead,” he said.

Look­ing back on his jour­ney, Jack­son said he has zero re­grets about trans­form­ing from a fish­er­man to a maker of dec­o­ra­tive blocks.

Per­sons have trav­elled from as far as St James to pur­chase Jack­son’s cre­ations.

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