Chairman of the Trelawny Parish Council and Mayor of Falmouth Garth Wilkinson has blasted the parish’s business community for not partnering with the local authority to mount a big screen television in the town for the viewing of the recently concluded Rio Olympics.
“My biggest disappointment is with the business community. It is really sad. Our business persons should have stepped up to the plate and come on board. We should have a big screen from the start of the Olympics, especially with an icon [Usain Bolt] participating,” a seemingly disappointed mayor told the Jamaica Observer West.
Bolt, a native of Sherwood Content in Trelawny, who was competing for the last time at an Olympic Games, cemented his name in athletics history, winning a third Olympic ‘triple triple’ in Rio.
After successfully defending his 100 metre title on Sunday, August 14, several Trelawny residents expressed disappointment over the fact that there was no big screen TV mounted in Falmouth, Trelawny’s capital, for public viewing of the race.
A number of them chastised the mayor, who is also a native of the parish and the councillor for the Falmouth Division, for not ensuring that a big screen was made available.
He was instrumental in the mounting of a small screen, estimated to be not more than three feet high and two feet wide, in the Water Square section of Falmouth last Thursday for the viewing of the men’s 200 metre finals. Many of the persons, who had gathered there, however, were able to view the race as the screen was not strategically placed, and to make matters worse, the sound was barely audible.
“For this, Bolt’s last Olympics I think they should have a big screen in the town [Falmouth] of his parish and have a big celebration. Put up a sound system so that people could come and enjoy themselves, so I am very, very disappointed,” an obviously peeved Tearrow Clarke, a resident of Falmouth complained after the running of the race.
Michael ‘Briggy’ Williams, another Trelawny resident, argued that the absence of a big screen in Falmouth during the Olympics was “very disrespectful” to Bolt.
“Considering what he [Bolt] has done for Trelawny there should be public viewing of the Olympics in Falmouth, especially when Bolt was running. The mayor [Wilkinson] is in charge of the town so he should have seen to it that there was a big screen there,” he argued.
But Wilkinson said the council was unable to fund such a venture.
“We have been begging the businesspersons and we have not gotten any money and we did not have the funding to do it,” he stressed.
Efforts to contact President of the Trelawny Chamber of Commerce Delroy Christie were unsuccessful, but Dennis Seivwright, a former president, said he was not aware of any request from the mayor for assistance in the provision of a big screen in Falmouth for the Olympics.
“I have not heard of any request, and if there was a request I believe that somebody from the chamber would have at least contacted me and get my opinion on it, as a former president. The current president said nothing to me about it and he has been to several meetings with the mayor,” said Seivwright, who headed the chamber for six years.
The town of Falmouth, he added, lacks leadership.