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I am humbled by this recognition.

Roy Stanley Archer receiving his award – photo: Yhomo Hutchinson, JIS.

2018

Maas Roy being awarded the Commemorative Medal of Appreciation by Jamaica Prime Minister Andrew Holness on the lawn of Jamaica House.

The Jamaica Information Service captured the moment (photo left) when Maas Roy shook hands with Prime Minister Andrew Holness to receive the highest public service award; the Prime Minister’s Medal of Appreciation (PMMA). The story was published on 7 May 2018 by the Jamaica Information Service written by Judith Hunter.

The award was presented for service to Jamaica in Agriculture and Civic Development. The event was the infamous Hurricane Gilbert back in 1988 after which Maas Roy returned to his home town to help re-build the community.

On my return to Jamaica in 1989, the year after Hurricane Gilbert totally destroyed farms, I knew I had to do something for the Jamaica land I love.

He lobbied political leaders to assist with the provision of piped water and secured three miles of four-inch pipes that were ultimately laid by the farmers and which are still providing the water supply today

Maas Roy

2017

Photo by Small Fry Stills

2010 was a busy year

We were unable to secure enough funds to put on the Jeffrey Town Breadfruit Festival. However, everyone from far and wide was so disappointed, that PANOS Caribbean stepped in to sponsor a free family fun day and concert on the 19th of August.

A great day was had by all, with live concert appearances by Jamaican artists Lovindeer, Pam Hall, One Third and Kalie to name a few. In its usual style, the Jeffrey Town Farmers’ Association organised volunteers to prepare the venue and build the stage. The children of the community thoroughly enjoyed the free fun fair rides and refreshments were provided by a few local people took stalls, providing some mouth-watering jerk chicken, jerk pork and soft drinks.

In the morning, there was a lot of cooking by members of the Jeffrey Town Farmers’ Association for disabled people and senior citizens of Jeffrey Town at our radio station as we have a kitchen there. The food was packaged along with drinks and delivered.

Immediately afterwards in the afternoon, we started preparing things for the children of the community for the Fun Day. There was a bounce about, even though the weather wasn’t very good. It was similar to the weather in England.

In fact, it was so cold that I was wearing a coat that was given to me by niece when I was in Brussels! Although the weather was inclement, the children did enjoy themselves with their ice-creams and food – and some received toys.

I didn’t stay for the entire day because we had our own Archer family re-union plus visitors from abroad. I was knocked off my feet that day! A lot of nieces and nephews plus my grandchildren and great-children were there and many people stayed on until late in the evening when they were playing music.

In fact, it was so cold that I was wearing a coat that was given to me by niece when I was in Brussels! Although the weather was inclement, the children did enjoy themselves with their ice-creams and food – and some received toys.

I didn’t stay for the entire day because we had our own Archer family re-union plus visitors from abroad. I was knocked off my feet that day! A lot of nieces and nephews plus my grandchildren and great-children were there and many people stayed on until late in the evening when they were playing music.

More of 2010 …

In the spring, Maas Roy reported:
“I’m pleased to inform everyone that the Jeffrey Town Grade 1 Health Centre was officially opened on April 16th.”

When asked whether the event was well attended, Maas Roy had this to say:
“Oh lord – too well attended! It was over-subscribed and we ran out of chairs. It was standing room only. Also, it looked like most officials came one per car, so roads, side roads, driveways, main road, yard – it was choc-a-block.”

So who was there?
“Major sponsors – Digicel Foundation and Chase Fund. In addition, the Jamaica Ministry of Health; Bobby Monatgue our local MP who’s also the Minister of Local Affairs Community; St Mary Health Authority and a lot more dignitaries – as well as Nurse Gordon who kept the clinic going single-handedly for many years and is now retired.

“R.White Builders donated a goat. It was a good thing that we know how to stretch food in Jeffrey Town because the one goat made mannish water and curry goat for the rice with plenty of gravy – and we had to s-t-r-e-t-c-h it to feed everyone.

“Luckily, one of the hotels in Ochi sent over some platters to feed the dignitaries and the children at Jeffrey Town Basic School recited an item to mark the occasion. By the time I finished running around and seeing to this and that, and people calling me – the curry goat was all gone – but I managed to get a small cup of soup. But the day went very, very well for Jeffrey Town.”

So Maas Roy – what did you wear? Were you dressed in your suit, etc?
“No! I had on my cargo pants with the many, many pockets in and a polo shirt because I was busy in charge of operations in the back. Building fires, putting up signs and at one time directing traffic. I came out to the event when I was called to watch the ribbon being cut by Nurse Gordon and to be interviewed by TVJ I think. The interview was shown on the Monday and I kept getting calls on my cell phone from all quarters asking whether I’d seen myself on television. Unfortunately, I was on the farm.”