Labour Day 2017 was celebrated under the theme “Restore …..Preserve and Beautify”, with emphasis placed on National Landmarks and Monuments. In keeping with the theme, the Parish Labour Day Project was held at Fort Haldane in Port Maria with supporting projects done at the Claude Stuart Park and Port Maria Civic Center.
“Fort Haldane was erected in 1759 and was named after General George Haldane, then Governor of Jamaica. The fort was constructed to protect the harbour of Port Maria from Spanish raids. It was also used as a garrison to keep the enslaved and working classes of St. Mary under control.Fort Haldane also served a pivotal role in the famous Tacky's rebellion, one of Jamaica's bloodiest rebellions against slavery in 1760. On Easter Sunday, a runaway slave known as Tacky and a small group of slaves from neighboring plantations murdered their masters and marched to Port Maria where they killed the guards at Fort Haldane and stole several barrels of gunpowder and firearms”.
The general project scope included:
- De-bushing of the Property
- Planting of Palm Trees/Other Trees and Exotic Plants
- Gate and Grill works on front of the Property
- General Clean up and removal of old items from property
- Cannons was returned to the property.
The day’s activities were successfully spearheaded by the St. Mary Municipal Corporation with support from various agencies such as the Social Development Commission, Youth Services Division formerly (National Youth Service), Child Development Agency, Chamber of Commerce among others.