The Courtney Walsh Award for Excellence being administered by the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports, and Education Fund (CHASE) will again recognise the accomplishments of male and female high-school students who excel in academics and sports during the staging of its annual award ceremony at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel on Thursday, October 15. Schools at the secondary level are asked to nominate one student who meets the criteria of displaying exceptional qualities in their academic performance and team commitment, plus good tenets of fair play while representing their school in sports. The students nominated must be Jamaican nationals and currently in grades 10 to 13. All nominations must be submitted by the principal of the secondary institution and should include a report explaining why the student is being nominated for the award. The Student Excellence Award carries a handsome package, which includes $250,000 from Supreme Ventures Limited towards the development of a specific school project to benefit the student of the institution, as well as a one-year Internet service, a trophy, and a computer tablet from the Supreme Ventures Foundation. Since its establishment in 2013, four outstanding student athletes have already received this award. They are Mark Parchment of Munro College and Janell Dalberry of St Jago High in 2013, and Natalliah Whyte of St Jago High and Jaheel Hyde of Wolmer’s Boys’ School last year. Last year, Whyte said she was really surprised at winning the award and thanked her mother for giving her the support so that she could attain her goals. “My mom is my greatest motivator … she is always pushing me and I know she is very proud of me. I am also proud of myself as I worked very hard,” said Whyte upon receiving her award. Outstanding footballer and gold-medal hurdler Jaheel Hyde said at the awards last year that it was a good feeling to add such an award to his collection. “It is really good to be recognised not only as an athlete, but for academic excellence … you have to balance both of them,” he added. The Courtney Walsh Award, which is in its 11th year, was conceptualised by former Prime Minister P. J. Patterson, an avid cricket follower, who was prompted to establish the award to celebrate excellence in sports, having observed the exemplary qualities demonstrated by Ambassador Courtney Walsh throughout his illustrious international career.
The municipality of Linden Mayor and Town Council (LM&TC) has boosted its capacity with the recent addition of a $16 million John Deere mobile backhoe to its existing fleet of equipment.Acting Mayor Wainewright Bethune said the new piece of equipment, which was purchased using the municipality’s subvention, would aid in the digging of drains, filling of potholes, backfilling of eroded areas, and the clearing of roadsides and other spaces.Bethune noted that the multi-purpose piece of equipment will bring much-neededThe new piece of equipmentrelief to the Linden community.“Definitely, it will bring some changes with all of the work that we have to do, and improve some of the things that we’re doing in and around the community … It will also help with the garbage situation, clearing these little illegal dumpsites. It would help even with the mechanical work in and around the Council … We decided that we would have purchased this piece of equipment sometime in August of last year because we recognise the amount and the variety of work we have to do in the township that this piece of equipment would be appropriate for,” Bethune noted.He added that the equipment would be operated by municipal workers, noting that the Council recently undertook the repair of several minor roads in the town and the new equipment was expected to help expedite works.He noted that with the upcoming Mashramani and Town Week celebrations, efforts would be made to ensure the community was clean.As such, he urged residents to aid in the drive to beautify their surroundings. The acting Mayor also noted that a new pick-up truck was also expected to be added to the fleet. This vehicle, he noted, will be assigned to the office of the Town Clerk to assist officers attached to the environmental, buildings and other departments.“We do expect, within the next three weeks or so that a lot of services in and around the township from the Council should improve,” he noted.Bethune said the municipality was expected to meet with Linden stakeholders to discuss the status of the Council and the direction it intended to take. He noted that while there were a lot of areas which the Council was lacking in, it was urging all public and private stakeholders to come on board and collaborate with resources.