The tiny village of John Dial which has a population of just around four hundred persons celebrated an historic day last week Tuesday when its five million dollar Community Centre was handed over to the Village Council.
In a stirring Welcome, President Linda Phillips reminded the packed audience that the struggles for the establishment of the Centre began in 1988 and continued through three different THA administrations until the sod was turned in 2006.The Representative for the Area – Assemblyman Orville Jordan encouraged his constituents to cherish and utilize the facilities. Secretary for Community Development – Tracy Davidson- Celestine emphasized that the Division was committed to empowering and transforming communities by facilitating their development through various Programmes and Projects; the facilities include a Computer Room with eleven (11) computers. She indicated that her desire is for all groups in the community whether Senior Citizens, Youths or Sports Clubs to make full use of the facilities. She further noted that new Centers would soon be established at Lowlands, Betsey's Hope, Belle Garden and those at Mt Pleasant and Lambeau would be upgraded.
The Chief Secretary- Hon Orville London in his Feature Address noted that every village regardless of size has the potential to rise to great heights and challenged the residents to be innovative and maximise the utilisation of the building.
He reminded them that there are great opportunities in business and other areas of development and it was necessary for them to partner with the THA to disseminate valuable information to the community to improve their quality of life. The Centre was blessed by Pastor Sheldon Holder – a building contractor who grew up in the village and was instrumental in the final design of the building.
Presentations were made to a few persons who made significant contributions to the Village Council over the years such as former Secretary of Culture Cynthia Alfred, Community Development Officer Irene Beache and Mr & Mrs Holder who made their residence available to the Council for meetings for several years.
Businessman Ashton Collette offered to assist in the landscaping of the area surrounding the Centre and local Gospel Artiste 'Positive' capped off the proceedings with a couple of his compositions.