Jamaica News: For dedicated service to his constituents of the Gordon Town Division, East Rural St. Andrew, and the Kingston and St. Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC), Councillor Neville Paul Whittaker Snr. was awarded on Heroes Day, October 15.
Receiving the Badge of Honour for long and faithful service from Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, at King’s House was very rewarding for Councillor Whittaker Snr., who has served for 20 unbroken years.
“When I got the news that I would be awarded I was very excited,” he tells JIS News.
The Councillor, who was born in Maryland (East Rural St. Andrew), joined the KSAMC on September 19, 1998, six days after his 40th birthday and has never looked back, as his tenacity and passion for service has endeared him to the people.
Prior to joining the KSAMC, Mr. Whittaker Snr. was a member of the Clarendon Lions Club, and through volunteerism, worked on many development projects for communities in and around the parish.
“It was through serving as a Leo that I realised that I could also be of service to my community and help in its development,” he says.
The Councillor recalls fond memories of working with the late JLP Councillor, Melvin Jones, and current Member of Parliament for Central Clarendon, Hon. Mike Henry.
Seeing the difference that their representations made in their areas fueled Mr. Whittaker’s aspiration of becoming a Councillor.
During his 20 years in the KSAMC, he has spearheaded several development and beautification projects in his division, including the Jacklyn and Mammee River road improvement projects, and the restructuring of the Suzie’s Spring Bridge in Maryland. He has also hosted many Christmas and back-to-school treats for the citizens and children of his division.
“The greatest lesson I’ve learned while serving is don’t give up on the people,” Councillor Whittaker Snr. tells JIS News.
An educator by profession, Councillor Whittaker Snr. graduated from Churches Teachers’ College and holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from the Connecticut State University in the United States.
He has spent the last 35 years at the Central High School in May Pen, Clarendon, educating young minds, and currently heads the school’s Social Studies Department.
The Councillor says he loves teaching because it allows for mind empowerment and the improvement of students’ skill sets.
“What I love about teaching is that sometimes you get some students who can’t even read and when you’re finished with them, they tell you that they have passed their subjects. Oh, you feel so good,” he says.
Councillor Whittaker Snr. tells JIS News that when he retires from teaching in December this year, he will be spending more time in his division and continue to help more youth to get employment and to improve the infrastructure.
Source: JIS News