Saturday, 3 October 2015

PIONEER SPIRIT: Douglas Orane wants to collaborate with local schools + Sybil Francis gets her due

GOING THE DISTANCE: When Douglas Orane made his retirement from GraceKennedy official last year, he knew his next act would include some form of philanthropy – specifically doing work that would significantly impact the lives of Jamaica’s emerging generation. Spearheading the construction of a new $170-million auditorium (named after him) at Wolmer’s Boys Schools, his alma mater, Orane is off to a splendid start. “I am blessed, and I am just so happy to see this building that will be used by about 3500 people finally becoming a reality and the look on the students’ faces. It’s overwhelming,” Orane told TALLAWAH following the official opening on Friday at the school. Unsurprisingly, the work continues. “It cost us about $170 million to build but we still need another $11 million to make some important additions,” Orane said. And now that he has some free time, Orane says he wants to offer his services to other local schools who want to sample the Wolmer’s formula. “Other schools have asked, ‘How did you do it?’ I’ll show you,” he promises. “It demands a lot of commitment, but all we have to do is apply ourselves diligently. I’m looking forward to serving our younger generation in Jamaica. It’s a privilege for me.” 

SISTER, SISTER: Sybil Eloise Francis, now 102 and a living legend in the field of social work, was inducted into the Wolmer’s Hall of Fame on Friday. Due to ill health, she was unable to attend the ceremony, but her two younger sisters, Kathleen and Joyce Johnson, attended on her behalf. “We’ll tell her all about it,” the nonagenarians joked in their reply, after Francois St. Juste read a long citation highlighting Francis’ yeoman service to the National Council on Aging and her pioneering work in the practice and advancement of social work in Jamaica. Said Joyce (right), “Sybil has been an inspiration not only our family but to the entire Jamaica.”

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