Vacancy:Human Resources Officer

Crowe Horwath Jamaica is a full-service member firm of Crowe Horwath International which has been ranked among the top 10 global accounting networks with more than 200 independent accounting and advisory services firms with 750 offices in 130 countries around the world.  With approximately 105 professional and supporting team members, Crowe Horwath Jamaica specialized in providing comprehensive range of audit, tax, risk and advisory services.   We offer our team members with a challenging, fulfilling and inspiring career.  We invite applicant to fill the following position in our Human Resources Solution Department.

                                            Human Resources Officer

The incumbent is responsible for providing day-to-day human resources services to our HR Solution Clients.

Responsibilities: 

  • Coordinate and support the recruitment and selection processes
  • Perform induction and separation duties
  • Maintain personnel, attendance, leaves & timesheet records
  • Employee benefits administration
  • Assist in other ad hoc HR projects and Outsourcing Assignment

Requirements: 

  • Diploma/Degree holder, preferably in Human Resources Management or related discipline
  • Minimum 4 years relevant experience
  • Knowledge in human resources information system preferred
  • Familiar with MS Office and Payroll Software
  • Proficiency in English
  • Independent, self-motivated and good team player
  • Immediately available preferred

Salary will be commensurate with qualification and experience.  Candidate with less experience will be considered as Human Resources Assistant.

Please apply with resume giving full personal particulars, employment history, present and expected salary.

Email Application to: info@crowehorwath.com.jm

 

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Parish Profile: Trelawny

Parish Name: Trelawny

Capital: Falmouth

Land Area: 874.3 sq km (337.6 sq mi)

Population: 75,558

 

History

Established in 1770, this parish was named after William Trelawny former Governor of Jamaica.

Trelawny has pockets of rich culture indigenous to the parish. The southern section of Trelawny is a part of the Cockpit Country, and is uninhabitable. It is therefore a natural reserve for flora and fauna; most of Jamaica’s 27 endemic bird species can be found there, along with yellow snakes, and the giant swallowtail butterfly, the largest butterfly in the western hemisphere.

Wakefield in North Trelawny is the home of the Tambu, Gerre and Mento Band. The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) has taught these traditions to children in several schools –Duncans All-Age and Granville All-Age. Drumming is also a part of the rich culture and was one of the teaching activities of JCDC.

With new attractions such as the Falmouth Cruise Ship Pier and the Multi-Purpose Complex, Trelawny is receiving well-deserved notice by tourism interests as it positions itself among the most attractive locations in the very competitive industry.

Geographical Location

Trelawny is bordered by the parishes of St Ann in the east, St James in the west, and St Elizabeth and Manchester in the south. Most of the parish is flat, with wide plains such as Queen of Spain’s Valley, and Windsor. The highest point in the parish is Mount Ayr which is 3,000 feet (910 m) above sea level.

Main towns

Martha Brae

Martha Brae was the parish’s first capital. Its history dates back to the days of the Spanish occupation and was supposedly the site of an old Spanish settlement. The town got its name from the Martha Brae River, which today is used for rafting and is a source of water for the north coast.

Stewart’s Town
This town is near the eastern border of the parish and is an important centre for provisions brought from the interior. The town was named after James Stewart, a former custos of the parish. Stewart’s Town is also home to Westwood High School, a famous Jamaican girls’ school.

Rio Bueno
Rio Bueno has one of the deepest harbours in the island. Once an important shipping haven, Rio Bueno is today a sleepy little village.

Wait-a-Bit
a small interior town located between Low River and Settin and borders Green Town. Comprised of 5 districts, it is known for fertile farm lands, and yam and strawberry production.

 

Important Jamaicans from the Parish

The Hon. Usain St. Leo Bolt, OM is undoubtedly the fastest athlete the world has ever seen. Born on 21 August 1986 in Sherwood Content, a small town in Trelawny, his athletic prowess and world record breaking performances in both the 100 and 200 metres sprints has raised the standard in athletics to a new level, and left the world in awe.

Rt. Hon. Hugh Shearer ON, OJ PC, well-known politician, was born in Martha Brae, Trelawny on May 18, 1923.  He was a trade unionist and president of the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union.  Mr. Shearer was appointed Prime Minister of Jamaica upon the death of Sir Donald Sangster in 1967. 

The Hon. Professor Rex Nettleford, OM OCC was born on February 3, 1933 in Bunkers Hill, Trelawny.  His life was one of distinction as he was a cultural ambassador, international scholar, dancer, teacher, orator, critic, mentor and national patriot.

Veronica Campbell-Brown, CD born May 15, 1982 in Clarks Town, Trelawny, is a Jamaican track and field sprint athlete and a seven-time Olympic medallist who specializes in the 100 and 200m races.

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Parish Profile: St. Elizabeth

Parish Name: St. Elizabeth

Capital: Black River

Land Area: 1,210.7 sq km (467.5 sq mi)

Population: 150,993

 History

St. Elizabeth is one of the oldest parishes in Jamaica.  Originally including much of the western section on the island it was split to form parts of Westmoreland and Manchester in 1703 and 1814 respectively. St. Elizabeth was named in honour of Lady Elizabeth Modyford, wife of Sir Thomas Modyford, Governor of Jamaica between 1664 and 1671.

Early settlement in St. Elizabeth began in the Pedro Plains where the Tainos, the first known inhabitants of Jamaica, occupied the coastline and lead a simple life. Though the original Tainos died by the 17thcentury, persons of Taino descent from Surinam came to settle in the parish in the 18th century and their descendants are there to this day.

When the Spanish were defeated in 1655, the slaves who did not manage to flee to Cuba, retreated to the impenetrable Cockpit Country, which included parts of St. Elizabeth. These fleeing slaves became known the Maroons and, today, St. Elizabeth remains home to the Maroons of Accompong, one of the most famous Maroon towns in Jamaica.

St. Elizabethans also played an instrumental role in the Sam Sharpe Rebellion of 1831. It is documented that about 20 to 40 percent of the slave population fought in that uprising.

This little town of Black River, now the parish capital, can boast its popularity in the 19th and early 20th centuries as a fishing spot, colourful balls and banquets – often held at ‘Court-house’ and its annual circus that attracted visitors from far and wide.

Black River, among the oldest towns in the island, is reportedly the first to have received electricity. The Leydens brothers were among the earliest settlers in the parish, and they are said to have imported Jamaica’s first motorcar.

Though the social scene has changed significantly, the parish has forged ahead in agricultural production, providing the bulk of Jamaica’s vegetable and fruit provisions. The Black River supports an important shrimp and freshwater fishery. And best of all, St. Elizabeth’s diverse geographical patterns make for a landscape as rich and varied as the heritage of its people.

Geographical Location

St. Elizabeth lies to the southwest end of Jamaica, bordered on the north by St. James and Trelawny, on the south by the Caribbean Sea, on the east by the parish of Westmoreland and on the west by Manchester. The northern and north-eastern sections of the parish are mountainous, while an extensive plain occupies the central and southern districts. Running through this plain from north to south is the Santa Cruz range of mountains which terminates at the southern extreme with a 1,600-foot precipice.

Main towns

St. Elizabeth has several towns of importance. These are Santa Cruz, Malvern, Junction and Balaclava. Other organised towns within the parish are Maggoty, Lacovia, Bull Savanna, Southfield, Newell, New Market, Siloah and Middle Quarters.

The Cockpit Country

The Cockpit Country is a large area in west-central Jamaica that derives its name from the ‘cockpit’ krsat limestone which has the appearance of an overturned egg-tray.  This area measures approximately 450 km2 and though centred in the parish of Trelawny, has extensions into St. Elizabeth.

The Cockpit Country vegetation is the largest and most intact example of wet limestone forest in Jamaica.  Its flora exemplifies the outstanding endemism of the West Indies.  And, most of Jamaica’s 550 native ferns grow in this area.

Important Jamaicans from the Parish

The Hon. Roger Clarke, CD was the Minister of Agriculture from 2012 up until his death in 2014. A former mayor of Black River in St. Elizabeth, Clarke was Member of Parliament for North East St. Elizabeth between 1991 and 2007.

Dr. the Hon. Barbara Gloudon OJ, OD, Communication Specialist, Playwright and Journalist, was born in Malvern, St. Elizabeth.

The Rt. Hon. Sir Donald Sangster, ON, born on October 26, 1911 in the parish of St. Elizabeth, was a Jamaican solicitor, politician and the second Prime Minister of Jamaica.

Dr. the Hon. Alfred M.W. Sangster, OJ, well known educator and founding president of the University of Technology (formerly the College of Arts Science and Technology), was born on July 24, 1929 in the parish of St. Elizabeth.

Una Maud Marson, Jamaican feminist, activist and writer was born on 6 February 1905, in Santa Cruz, St. Elizabeth. She was the first black female to work for the BBC.

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Parish Profile: Westmoreland

Parish Name: Westmoreland

Capital: Savanna-la-Mar

Land Area: 785.2 sq km (303.2 sq mi)

Population: 144,817

 History

Colonists named this parish Westmoreland in 1703, after the English took over the island from Spanish rule in 1665; it is likely that it received its name as it was the most westerly point of the island. Savanna-la-Mar, the capital, was developed as a port from which sugar was exported and dates back to around 1730. The Spanish name Savanna-la-mar means “plain by the sea” and refers to its environment. One of the first Spanish settlements was also built at present-day Bluefields in this parish.

The parish boasts rain-fed fertile soils and low relief, well suited for sugar cane. The town of Frome, located some 5 miles away from Savanna-la-Mar, is one of the few remaining sugar factories in the country. In 1938, riots at the Frome sugar estate changed the course of Jamaica’s history. In the wake of these riots, the legislature passed universal adult suffrage in 1944, as well as a new constitution, which was approved by the Crown. This act put Jamaica on the road to self government and eventually independence.

The fertility and lush vegetation of the parish is greatly maintained by the various rivers and streams that are important sources of water. The popular Great Morass, found in the parish, is a large swamp area, which covers thousands of acres. Plant and animal material have collected on this land over the centuries and is thereafter mined as peat – a great source of energy.  The wetlands, common to the parish of Westmoreland, serve as a natural sanctuary to Jamaica’s wildlife.

Geographical Location

Westmoreland, located at the west end of the island, is adjoined on the north by the parish of Hanover and on the East by St. Elizabeth and St. James. The parish has a combination of white limestone, marl, sand, gravel and coral reefs.  Lying on the Georges Plain, the parish is drained by the Cabaritta River.

Main towns

Savanna-La-Mar

The parish capital, Savanna-la-Mar is a sub regional centre, where the administrative, commercial, marketing and retail sector dominates and acts as strong influence to the growth of the town.

Bluefields

A coastal town established by the Spanish on their arrival in 1655. Presently it is a tourist attraction with white sandy public beaches.

Grange Hill

Located in western Westmoreland, the town of Grange Hill is a large farming town which consists of a cluster of small communities – Mint, Belle Isle, Top Lincoln, and Kings Valley.

Negril

Located in western Westmoreland constituency, Negril is a Tourist Resort Area, having many chains of all inclusive hotels and a 7 mile strip of white sand beach.

Bethel Town

Established as a Free Village in the 19th century, the property was initially established as a sugar plantation however, presently citrus cultivation and cattle farming dominates.

Seaford Town

This area is significant for the existence of a number of German Descendants. It is said that the Germans settled in the town on 500 acres of partially cleared woodlands in the 18th century. The town was named after the British planter Lord Seaford.

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Parish Profile: Hanover

Parish Name: Hanover

Capital: Lucea

Land Area: 450.8 sq km (174.1 sq mi)

Population: 69,874

History

Jamaica’s second smallest parish, Hanover was established in 1725 and was named for the reigning monarch on the British throne, George I, who was from the House of Hanover in Germany. The capital town, Lucea has been known by many names and stretches along the western side of a horseshoe-shaped bay, which is considered to be one of the island’s safest ports. From the hills overlooking Lucea Harbour, one can observe an expansive panorama of the bay. Similarly, the view from the Dolphin Head Mountain provides an extensive vista of the other parishes in the western side of the island.

Hanover sometimes does not get credit for its beauty and charm, and is often overshadowed by the nearby tourist destination of Montego Bay. Nevertheless it shares the Negril strip with its southern neighbour Westmoreland and many of the rich and famous tiptoe into the parish at the Round Hill Hotel and the Tryall Beach and Country Club thinking that they are still in Montego Bay.

Geographical Location

Hanover rounds off the north-western tip of the island. It lies to the west of St. James and to the north of Westmoreland. The capital, Lucea, is situated on a beautiful harbour 25 miles west of Montego Bay and midway between Montego Bay and Negril.

The highest point is Birch Hill (1810 ft or 550.2 m), followed by Dolphin Head (1789 ft or 543.8 m). Numerous caves, coves and bays mark the coastline of Hanover.

Main towns

Green Island is a small town located on the west coast between Negril and Lucea close to Orange Bay. It was once a thriving market town in the days when sugar was king.

Sandy Bay is a seaside town found in the northern section of the parish. The famous Tryall Estate is situated on the main road between Hopewell and Sandy Bay, Hanover.

Hopewell is a settlement and fishing village located 15 km west of Montego Bay. Its main tourist attraction is Round Hill Jamaica, a resort located on the beach front in the eastern side of the settlement.

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Parish Profile: St. James

Parish Name: St. James

Capital: Montego Bay

Land Area: 591.2 sq km (228.2 sq mi)

Population: 184,662

 History

St. James was one of the second group of parishes formed in Jamaica and is said to have been named by Sir Thomas Modyford in about 1655, for the Duke of York (who later became James II and was the reigning monarch at the time). It was, however, much larger at the time as it included what are now the separate parishes of Trelawny and Hanover.

Remains of Jamaica’s original inhabitants, the Taino, have been located along the coastal area of St. James. These “early natives” are now affectionately referred to as the “Fairfield people”, in honour of a site near to Montego Bay where characteristic examples of their pottery have been found.
One of the main roadways used by the early settlers (from Oristan in Westmoreland to an area around the Martha Brae River), also passes through this parish and many legends have been handed down about supposed treasure left behind by the Spaniards.

After the English conquest of the island, St. James remained somewhat sparsely settled as the interior was inhabited by the Maroons (of whom the settlers were terrified) and the parish was some distance from Spanish Town – the then seat of Government.

Additionally, the parish capital of Montego Bay was witness to the final act of slave uprising in the island prior to emancipation. Known as the Christmas Rebellion of 1831-32, it began at Kensington Estate and engulfed the entire western section of Jamaica. Led by Baptist preacher and leader Samuel Sharpe this rebellion provoked two detailed Parliamentary Inquiries, which arguably contributed to the 1833 Abolition of Slavery across the British Empire.

Geographical Location

Positioned on the north-west end of Jamaica, St. James is a suburban parish bounded by Trelawny to the east, St. Elizabeth to the south and Hanover and Westmoreland to the west. Stretching from St. Elizabeth, the Nassau Mountains extend diagonally across St. James, ending in hills at a point south of Montego Bay.

Main towns

Montego Bay

Jamaica’s official second city, its name has varying stories surrounding its origin. Christopher Columbus named the bay there, “El Cabo de Buen Tiempo”, or “Fairweather Gulf”, and it is said that the entire area was named for Montego de Salmanaca, an early colonizer. A more popular (and probable) idea however, is that the name “montego “was derived from the Spanish word “Manteca”, meaning lard or butter. An early map of Jamaica has the Montego Bay area listed as “Bahia de Manteca” or “Lard Bay”. This region was densely populated with wild hogs which the Spanish are said to have slaughtered in large numbers, in order to collect lard for export to Cartagena.

Other main towns include: Cambridge, Catadupa, Ipswitch, Anchovy and Montpelier.

Important Jamaicans from the Parish

The Right Excellent Samuel Sharpe, National Hero, Sam “Daddy” Sharpe was a revolutionary labour leader in the slave liberation struggles staged in the parish of St. James during the 1830s. He was a brilliant orator and a respected Baptist Deacon who died in defence of basic human rights.

The Hon. Jimmy Cliff, OM is a Jamaican reggae musician, singer and actor born in Somerton District, St. James. He is the only living musician to hold the Order of Merit, the highest honour that can be granted by the Jamaican government for achievements in the arts.

Yohan Blake is a Jamaican sprinter of the 100-metre and 200-metre sprint races who won a gold medal at the 100 m at the 2011 world championships as the youngest 100 m world champion ever. He was born on December 26, 1989 in the parish of St. James.

Sir Howard Felix Cooke ON, CD, GCMG, GCVO, born on October 15, 1915 in the “free village” of Goodwill, St. James, was the third native Governor General since Jamaica gained independence in 1962.

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Parish Profile: Clarendon

Parish Name: Clarendon

Capital: May Pen

Land Area: 1,192.9 sq km (460.6 sq mi)

Population: 246,322

History

Clarendon was named in honour of the Lord Chancellor Sir Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon. One of Jamaica’s youngest parishes, Clarendon was formed from a combination of three parishes: St. Dorothy’s, Vere and the old parish of Clarendon. Before the merger, its capital was Chapelton.

Prior to the arrival of the Spaniards and the English, the Tainos, Jamaica’s indigenous people, lived on Portland Ridge [now called Portland Point] (the part of the parish that juts out into the sea).  Taino villages could also be found on the banks of the Rio Minho River, the island’s longest river, with the other villages on the banks of the Milk River.

Clarendon is also home to the Caribbean’s largest agricultural show: Denbigh Agricultural Show. For over 50 years Denbigh, an official Jamaican Independence activity, has been held every August for three days to celebrate Jamaica’s wealth of domestic and agricultural product.

Geographical Location

Clarendon is located at the southern side of Jamaica, roughly halfway between the eastern and western ends of the island.  It is bordered on the north by St. Ann, on the west by Manchester, on the east by St. Catherine and on the south by the Caribbean Sea. Clarendon is predominantly a wide plain, lying between the Braziletto Mountains in the east and the Carpenter Mountain (The Manchester Highlands) in the west.

Main towns

May Pen

The capital of Clarendon, May Pen, was once part of a property owned by Rev. William May.  It is said to have begun as merely two inns on the bank of the Rio Minho.  The town grew rapidly and in 1938 it was made the capital of the parish.  It is now a large town and boasts many churches, factories, a courthouse, modern libraries and numerous stores.

Chapleton

A trip into north Clarendon necessarily includes a visit to Chapelton.  This mountain town was once called “Chapel Town” because of St. Peter’s church originally built there as a chapel for the parish church in the plains. Over time the name was shortened to Chapelton.  Records here date from 1666.  In front of the church is the civic park. At the entrance a bust of maroon leader Cudjoe keeps watch.  Behind him a clock tower that chimes the hour and half hour bears the names of citizens who died in World War l.  Across from this is the police station and farmer’s market.  Near the centre of the town on its own hill is Clarendon College.

Other Towns: Hayes, Frankfield, Rocky Point, Lionel Town

Important Jamaicans from the Parish

Hon. Daisy McFarlane Coke, OJ, born in Spalding’s, Clarendon, was an actuary who has the distinction of being the first Black woman to qualify as Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries in 1970. She became the first president of the Caribbean Actuarial Association.

Hon. Claude McKay, OJ, born in Sunnyville, Clarendon, was a Jamaican-American writer and poet, who was a seminal figure in the Harlem Renaissance.

Linton Kwesi Johnson, OD, UK-based dub poet, was born in Chapelton, Clarendon before migrating to London in 1963.

Dr. The Hon. Olive Lewin, OM, OD, Jamaican author, social anthropologist, musicologist, and teacher best known for her recorded anthologies of old Jamaica folk songs, was born in Vere, Clarendon.

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Parish Profile: Manchester

Parish Name: Manchester

Capital: Mandeville

Land Area: 827.8 sq km (319.6 sq mi)

Population: 190,812

History

On November 29, 1814 at the beginning of the 19th Century, coffee farmers in the hill districts of Clarendon, St. Elizabeth and the then parish of Vere, petitioned to have a separate parish established. They asked for a new parish, with a capital which would meet their religious, civic, judicial and administrative needs. The main reason for this action was the vast distance between the hill districts and the commercial and administrative centres of all three parishes.

On December 13, 1814 the new parish was formed and named after the Duke of Manchester who was then serving as the Governor of the island. The capital was named Mandeville, after his son and heir.

In the days prior to the abolition of slavery, Manchester’s population was never as large as that of the surrounding parishes because the hilly terrain was not suited for the cultivation of sugar which was then the island’s most lucrative crop. However, after emancipation many of the newly-freed slaves moved into the area to grow coffee and other crops on hillside farms.  In the old colonial regime, Manchester had the prestigious distinction of being the most English of Jamaica’s parishes and it was known as “the playground for the landed European gentry”.

In 1942 it was discovered that Manchester was the site of one of the largest deposits of bauxite in the country.  Bauxite is a red ore which is processed to produce alumina and eventually aluminium.  This discovery led to the growth and development of Manchester’s bauxite and alumina industries which facilitated the speedy development of the parish and Mandeville in particular.

Today, the economy of Manchester is still deeply rooted in both bauxite and agriculture.

Geographical Location

Manchester is located in south-central Jamaica. To its east is the parish of Clarendon while St. Elizabeth lies to its west and Trelawny to its north. It rivals its neighbour Trelawny for the title of Jamaica’s most mountainous parish. The three main ranges running throughout the parish are the Carpenters Mountains, the May Day Mountains and the Don Figueroa Mountains.  Of the three ranges the Carpenters Mountains is the highest, reaching as far as 2, 770 feet above sea level.

 Main towns

Mandeville

Mandeville, the parish capital, sits atop a range of mountains which reach as far as 2000 feet above sea level, providing spectacular views of the surrounding areas.  The high altitudes are responsible for its cool climate. For this reason Mandeville has been and continues to be a popular place of settlement for British expatriates. The town has been often described with fondness as a “typical English village”. Once referred to as a small rural capital, Mandeville is now one of the largest and most affluent urban areas in Jamaica.

Christiana

This town was previously referred to as Barracks, because it was a favoured spot among British soldiers who went there seeking refuge from the heat of the lowlands. Christiana is the second largest town in Manchester and is probably most famous for its two main agricultural products – bananas and Irish Potatoes. Although Mandeville is the business centre of Manchester, Christiana holds its own as a site for commercial and social activity.

Porus

Located on the eastern border of Manchester, close to the parish of Clarendon, Porus is another thriving business centre.  The town’s largest industry is agriculture with coconuts, coffee, citrus and other fruits being the main crops.  Porus is also the gateway to Manchester from Kingston.

Mile Gully

Home to some of the best pasture lands in the parish, Mile Gully is a prime location for cattle farming.  Situated in north western Manchester, the rural community is the birthplace of the Jamaica Black and the Jamaica Red cattle.  It is also the location of the country’s largest livestock breeding research station.

 

Important Jamaicans from the Parish

The Rt. Excellent Norman Washington Manley, National Hero, Manchester’s most famous son is undoubtedly National Hero Norman Washington Manley. Mr. Manley, Jamaica’s first premier, was born in Roxborough, Manchester in 1893. An outstanding athlete, scholar and lawyer, Mr. Manley rose to national prominence during the labour disputes of 1938.  That year, he founded the People’s National Party (PNP) and led the fight for universal adult suffrage.

The Hon. Byron Lee OJ, CD, born in Christiana, Manchester on 27 June 1935, was a Jamaican musician, record producer, and entrepreneur, best known for his work as leader of Byron Lee and the Dragonaires.

Dr. Arthur Wint, OD, known as the Gentle Giant, was born in Plowden, Manchester. He was the first Jamaican to ever win an Olympic gold medal winning the 400 metres at the 1948 Summer Olympics in London.

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Parish Profile: St. Ann

Parish Name: St. Ann

Capital: St. Ann’s Bay

Land Area: 1,210.25 sq km (467.3 sq mi)

Population: 173,232

History

St. Ann was named after Ann Hyde, wife of James II, King of England and is recognized as the largest of all the parishes. It is known as ‘The Garden Parish’ for its bauxite, agriculture and livestock production and – perhaps most notably – its tourist attractions.

The parish is believed to be the earliest Taino/Arawak settlement in Jamaica. When Christopher Columbus first came to Jamaica in 1494, he named the actual spot at which he first landed Horseshoe Bay, because of the peculiar shape of the land. This was changed to Dry Harbour and eventually, a final, more appropriate, name change was made to Discovery Bay.

One of the most important archaeological sites – the site of the first Spanish settlement in Jamaica – and the islands first capital, can be found 1.6km, about a mile west of the town of St. Ann’s, on the Seville property. This settlement was founded by Juan de Esquivel (the first Spanish Governor of Jamaica) in 1509 and named Seville Nueva – New Seville. “Sevilla Nueva” now simply called Seville, was the island’s first capital. It was established in 1509 by the Spaniards and had the distinction of being the third Spanish capital established in the New World. This capital was later found to be unhealthy and was subsequently abandoned.

Given the continuing influence of St. Ann natives Bob Marley and Marcus Garvey worldwide, and with the lingering traces of the Spanish occupation and Taino settlement, St. Ann is well known as a repository of Jamaican culture and history.

Geographical Location

Situated on the north coast of the island, St. Ann is bounded on the east by the parish of St. Mary, and on the west by the parish of Trelawny.  It shares its southern borders with the parishes of St. Catherine and Clarendon. The dominant range is the Dry Harbour Mountains, but individual peaks such as Mount Diablo, Mount Alba and Mount Zion are prominent. On the plains, the soil type is predominantly limestone, which, along with the many rivers, gives rise to numerous caves and sinkholes. Some 60 caves have been noted throughout the parish, of which the most famous is the Green Grotto, in Runaway Bay.

 Main towns

St. Ann’s Bay is the capital and administrative centre of the parish. It was originally called Santa Gloria by Christopher Columbus on his second voyage in 1494. It is approximately one mile east of “Sevilla Nueva”.

Moneague derived from the Taino name – “Moneague”, which means “Savannah of the monkeys” is famous for its underground lake which surfaces occasionally.

Brown’s Town was first known as Hamilton Town after its founder – an Irishman. It is the largest of St. Ann’s rural towns.

Discovery Bay, once called Horseshoe Bay by Colombus, its name was change to Dry Harbour and, finally, Discovery Bay.

Runaway Bay was named because Yassi, the last Spanish Governor of Jamaica escaped to Cuba from this point.

Ocho Rios, which means eight rivers in English, is the “tourist capital” of the parish. The original name might have been Bay of waterfalls. Ocho Rios started out as a small shipping station moving logwood and sugar.

Important Jamaicans from the Parish

The Rt. Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey – First National Hero of Jamaica, Marcus Garvey was born 1887 in St. Ann’s Bay, St. Ann and died in England in 1940. Daddy Marcus, as he was popularly known, became famous and was made a National Hero for his tireless struggle for the betterment of Black people worldwide.

The Hon. Robert (Bob) Nesta Marley, OM was a musician who contributed to the world-wide development of reggae music. He was born at Rhoden Hall in Nine Miles, St. Ann in February 6, 1945 and died May 11, 1981. The Bob Marley Mausoleum, where his body is entombed is currently a tourist attraction in the parish.

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Parish Profile: St. Mary

Parish Name: St. Mary

Capital: Port Maria

Land Area: 611.3 sq km (236.0 sq mi)

Population: 114,227

History

St. Mary is well known for being one of the first sections of the island to be occupied by the Spaniards. In 1655, after the English captured Jamaica from the Spanish, the area around the town of Puerto Santa Maria became known as St. Mary. Port Maria, the current capital of the parish was the second town built by the Spaniards on the island. Today, this parish includes the former parish of Metcalfe and part of the former parish of St. George. Numerous national monuments still stand in the parish such as the town of Rio Nuevo which holds historical significance for being the site of the last battle between the invading English and the defending Spaniards who eventually had to flee to Cuba.

In 1760, the most serious rebellion in Jamaica’s history broke out around Port Maria, eventually spreading to almost the entire island. The leader of this rebellion was a Coromantee slave called Tacky, who belonged to the Frontier Estate.  Fort Haldane, now Grays Charity, was seized and ammunition taken.  The rebels then moved inland.  Many whites were killed.

After Emancipation, free villages were formed in St. Mary but the parish still basically remained one with big estates.  At the beginning of the 19th century there were 63 sugar factories in the parish but by the end of the century only three existed.

With the decline of sugar, banana cultivation took its place. In the late 1930s, St. Mary played a prominent role in the creation of Jamaica Producer’s Association which was set up to prevent the continuation of the monopoly on bananas held by the United Fruit Company and other purchasing organisations. Under the umbrella of the Association, the Jamaica banana growers banded together to ship and market their own produce.

Geographical Location

The parish of St. Mary is bordered by Portland in the East, St. Ann in the West, and parts of St. Catherine and St. Andrew in the South. It is mostly mountainous, rising up to almost 4000 feet at the highest point with just under 13 per cent of its area having slopes below 10 degrees. There are three (3) main rivers in St. Mary: the Rio Nuevo River, Wag Water and White Rivers. These rivers are often slow, and at times create swamps in the surrounding area.

Main towns

Port Maria, the capital of the parish, is home to several buildings which survived from Port Maria’s golden days of being a busy port, such as the St Mary Parish Church and the old courthouse.

Oracabessa

Oracabessa is located west of Port Maria on the main road leading to the neighbouring parish of St. Ann. The name Oracabessa is thought to have been derived from the Spanish ‘oro de cabeza’ meaning Golden Head.  Oracabessa is a farming town.

 Annotto Bay

Annotto Bay is a sea coast town on the western side of the mouth of the Wag Water River, one of St. Mary’s many rivers.  In its heyday, Annotto Bay boasted a rich sugar estate, Grays Inn, but this sugar factory no longer functions since banana has replaced sugar as the main crop. The rusting smoke stacks that once billowed forth life on this estate now stand idle.

Other Important Towns 

Highgate, Highgate is a busy, bustling, agricultural and commercial centre.

Richmond, Formerly known as Meeks Springs, Richmond is a residential and farming area. Here is located Jamaica’s first ‘prison without bars’- Richmond Prison.

Important Jamaicans from the Parish 

Ian Fleming was an English author and journalist best known as the creator of the world famous James Bond series of spy novels. These novels were written at his residence, Goldeneye, in Boscobel, St. Mary. The Ian Fleming International Airport, also in the parish, is named in his honour.

Dr. Erna Brodber, CD, sociologist and social activist, was born in Woodside,St. Mary on April 20, 1940.  She is also a world famous novelist and the 1999 recipient of the Jamaican Musgrave Gold Award for Literature and Orature.

Oliver Samuels, OD, known as Jamaica’s King of Comedy, is a comedian and actor born in Harmony Hall, St. Mary. He is best known for his television series called ‘Oliver At Large’.

The Hon. Lisa Hanna, M.P. is a Jamaican politician and former beauty pageant titleholder who grew up in the town of Retreat, St. Mary. She currently serves as Member of Parliament for Saint Ann South East and as Jamaica’s Minister of Youth and Culture. 

 

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