Government and Opposition officials yesterday put aside their political differences and joined hands with volunteers in downtown Kingston to renovate the historic Ward Theatre and Central Police Station.Both buildings were the main focus of National Labour Day activities in Kingston being observed under the theme: ‘Restore, Preserve, Beautify’.
The Ward Theatre, which sits in the heart of downtown Kingston, has been idle for close to a decade, while Central Police Station, which has held some of the country’s most notorious criminals, has, over the years, deteriorated.
Yesterday morning when the Jamaica Observer visited the Ward Theatre volunteers from government agencies as well as the private sector suited in protective gear and, clutching paintbrushes, climbed ladders and scaffolding as they applied paint to the building.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who also did his fair share of painting, said that it is important to preserve Jamaica’s culture.
“It is very rare that we see wealth in our culture. If Jamaica was to be measured by its cultural worth it would be a very wealthy country. But because sometimes culture gets sidelined because of all kinds of social issues… we reject things because we say that they are old, and they are not modern, they are not in keeping with what we are doing in the sense of recency,” Holness said.
As a result of that, he said the country’s wealth is oftentimes destroyed by the ravages of the time, neglect and ignorance.