Wray and Nephew calls for partnership from neighbouring communities
"Our operations in this area is not simply about extracting, but it’s about sharing and giving back," JWN Chairman Clement ‘Jimmy’ Lawrence told New Yarmouth community members.
J. Wray and Nephew (JWN) Limited is making a spirited thrust to engender greater responsibility and self-reliance among residents in areas surrounding its New Yarmouth operation in Clarendon.
At the forefront of this drive is a community council, which members have been charged to establish as the company further extends support towards their growth and development.
“J. Wray and Nephew is about community and we are seeking to reinvigorate the communities adjoining New Yarmouth Estate,” said Clement ‘Jimmy’ Lawrence, chairman of JWN, and the JWN Foundation that drives the company’s community outreach programmes.
He was addressing a large group of stakeholders, including councillors Pauline Reynolds and Carlton Bailey, members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force and Cane Farmer’s Association, teachers, pastor and young adults from within the community, at JWN’s New Yarmouth operation.
Lawrence made it very clear that this process “is not about us coming to you to dictate. This is indeed a partnership. Our operations in this area is not simply about extracting, but it’s about sharing and giving back”.
He added: “What we are seeking to create is a community council, so that the leadership and decisions on what we support originates from you. You are going to have to create this so we can have a structured engagement going forward.”
In a lively discussion, stakeholders debated a cacophony of issues, primarily the need for increased reliance on self. Scholarships, social and sporting topics also graced the table.
Tanikie McClarthy Allen, JWN’s director, public affairs and sustainability, affirmed that a community council “is a structured mechanism that will help us do more”.
She further stated the values of such a body “will assist in changing the mind-set … and help us to be more targeted in our community focus”.
Lawrence underscored the community’s role in making the partnership work and challenged the constituents to hold to their end of the bargain.
Chief amongst the company’s concerns are illicit fires to its cane fields, which affect the company financially.
“One of the things that have affected us tremendously is illicit cane fires,” Lawrence emphasised.
“When you light the canes on fire, it doesn’t really work out, as it disrupts the process of harvesting. It has caused us to lose cane and when we lose cane, we lose money,” he reasoned.
Lawrence reminded: “The commitment to this area from J. Wray and Nephew is unwavering. We need you to be equal partners.
“That’s going to be a very, very key ingredient in how we share and how we are going to build the community together. Of course, we will give whatever guidance is necessary. But we need to have your feedback, feedback is necessary,” the J. Wray and Nephew chairman implored.
“We’re going to make the community council the centrepiece of our community outreach programmes and charitable initiative.”