Tucked in the St Catherine hills, Glengoffe towered over other communities in taking the National first place trophy and a cash award of $2million, in the BEST Communities Competition. The BEST Communities competition programme also recognizes outstanding community work in the areas of Heritage and Culture, Education, Health& Waste Management, the Natural and Built Environments, Hazard Mitigation
The official presentation took place on Thursday at the Stella Maris Pastoral Centre in Kingston. Sturge Town, in St Ann was the national second place winner while the prize for third went to Beeston Spring in Westmoreland.
In his keynote address, Prime Minister Bruce Golding reiterated the Government’s commitment to enabling communities to have more input in local development matters and discharge more of their own affairs. The Prime Minister lauded the competition as an initiative that is contributing to the renewal of community spirit and helping to refocus on leadership and formal structures within communities.
Speaking for the corporate donors, including the Digicel Foundation, Executive Director Major General Robert Neish said the aims of the competition were solidly aligned with those of the Foundation, in terms of building community spirit fostering unity through the sports, the arts and social welfare, and strengthening families. The Digicel Foundation is the largest contributor to the project, with over $10 million.
“A strong communitywill look out for its children and its elderly and will ensure that its disabled are enabled, is the community that will prosper. When we live in harmony, when we are able to walk freely on the streets, then we are truly able to create wealth,” General Neish said.
In addition to the national awards, prizes were presented to the top three communities in each parish along with special category prizes.