“DEM yah Christmas is not like our time.”
This was how 96-year-old Margarette Pryce described the festivities associated with today’s Yuletide season, as she reflected on what it was like when she was younger.
The senior citizen was speaking to the Jamaica Observer last Friday during a visit to her house, which was facilitated by representatives from the Kingston Western Police Division.
Pryce, who pointed out that she did not realise it was the festive season prior to her visitors’ arrival, said she once looked forward to Christmastime.
“Di whole a wi used to happy. If wi nuh have nothing, we happy. If wi have, wi happy. Nobody nuh war with one another, nobody nuh fight, everybody just nice — one family,” Pryce said.
“Some of dem now not nice. They put badness a front,” she continued.
“Our young days were our young days, mi a tell yuh seh everybody did happy. Whether yuh have or have not, mi call you and say, ‘Miss Jessie, come take this’. You cook dinner; we have Christmas dinner every time Christmas come. We call yuh if yuh nuh have nuh dinner to come eat dinner; but now, instead of dem calling yuh, dem fight against yuh,” she related.
In the same breath, she thanked the police officers, representatives from Mayberry Investment Limited and volunteers who presented her with food items and toiletries.
“Mi glad fi know say young girls and boys come look fi mi and young man and young woman. Mi glad! Mi glad fi unnuh, mi thank unnuh,” she chuckled while sitting inside her house.
Pryce received one of the more than 100 parcels that were packaged by officers at the Denham Town Police Station and distributed to senior citizens across the police division last Friday.
A stone’s through away, Torrington Park native 76-year-old Evelyn Carter, who was on her way to purchase syrup when she received her package, was grateful.
“God is good,” she said as she hugged District Constable Annecia Marsh.
“Mi feel good. Bless you and thank you very much. I’m still alive, I’m still here. I hope that the new year will catch each and every one of us in good health. Mi have food and see you just give me a bottle of syrup there…,” Carter said.
Residents of Jones Town, Craig Town, Mexico, and Zimbabwe echoed similar sentiments when the police officers visited their communities.
According to the territorial officer for the police’s Community Safety and Security Branch, Assistant Superintendent Noel Daley, the Kingston Western Police Division in partnership with Mayberry Investment Limited, National Baking Company Limited, Seprod Limited, Facey Commodity Company Limited, GraceKennedy, Caribbean Broilers Jamaica Limited, and other corporate sponsors, have been carrying out the initiative for approximately 10 years.
Assistant Superintendent Daley said the move has strengthened the relationship between residents and the police.
“We have gone out, we have done some canvassing. We have gone to all the communities, we have interviewed senior persons within the communities and persons with leadership role who would have helped us to identify these persons, created a list, so today (last Friday) we know where we are going,” he said as he thanked the sponsors for their support.