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Breaking News: Wortley Home Rises From Ashes to Elegance …


In 2015 when fire of unknown or undisclosed origins engulfed the semi-concrete structure,  with board flooring,  and 18 wards who were unarmed and fully accounted for after the fire and smoke had died down.  Who would have imagined that like a phoenix this historic landmark gracing the famous Constant Spring Square would rise again with such elegance?

Tram Cars

A very observant recorder of landmarks will no doubt see the tram car lines which have survived these many years to modernity.  They are located almost in front of the soon to be demolished landmark, the Constant Spring Market close to the intersection with Olivier Road.  This market will give way to long overdue road improvements so as to improve traffic flow. What a pity!  A fly over would have done the trick and no physical structure on the ground would have had to demolished.  No land would have had to be bought and the social and economic life of the   township would not be disrupted.  The livelihoods of the vendors and shoppers would be preserved.  Are we just too lazy to do the right thing? Manhours are saved by smooth traffic flow, but that in itself may not generate the economic returns to compensate for the losses to be suffered by the community.  It is the classic case of throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Urban Planners

Without vision thy people will continue to perish.  The most Honourable Phillip George Seaga a former Prime Minister and a drafter of our constitution once said: “There should be change without chaos” not too many of us were listening, eh!   This was a profound statement which is never far from my thoughts and by extension my lips.  Why is this very deep thought so relevant today?  Well we should not in my perspective be too ready to tear down so as to build anew … we should not approach development in such a haphazard manner.  Yes, there is need for development, but better still let new development and history kiss and embrace each other in the marketplace.

Wortley Home

Why is all this thesis relevant to the Wortley home? To begin with, the Wortley was founded in 1918.  The architects have succeeded in replacing the burnt out structure while retaining the old world charm of the previous edifice.  They should be commended for their vision. This newly dedicated, done on February 28, 2018 with its new structure bears a striking resemblance to what existed before the unfortunate fire of 2015. To have risen from ashes to eligence speaks volumes to the vision of the developers et al.

Cash Strapped

The home needs ongoing funding to stay open.  Donations would be helpful and used well to sustain wards of the state. It is cash strapped. It has a capacity for 32 wards (girls).

We will post further stories on Wortley home.

Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie filed this story with picture for Vision Newspaper Canada.

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