CHRISTIANA, Manchester — For the past 25 years residents here have benefited from the philanthropic efforts of businessman Lennox “Peter” Powell following his conceptualisation of an annual Christmas treat and family fun day.
Powell, who operates a mini mart at Apple Tree plaza in the north-east Manchester town, said the fun day is a major event in parish.
“I came to Christiana in 1997, and that Christmas I was at my shop the town was dead and boring as people didn’t have any [entertainment]. Coming from Spanish Town, where we would have [popular events], I thought it would be wise to host an event to get the town active,” he said on Tuesday.
Powell said the event expanded yearly and has attracted people from neighbouring parishes.
“The first year of doing business I got a small sound [system] and a trampoline and we started with that to keep a day and night party for kids and adults. The following year we grew bigger and had a bounce-about along with the trampoline then the following year we added other rides, merry-go-round and Ferris wheel,” he said.
“Each year we keep adding more attractions to the show. People from Trelawny, St Ann and Clarendon come to this show,” he added.
Powell said the annual event brings revenue into Christiana and supports people’s livelihood.
“Somebody came to me one year after the show and said, ‘This thing is a blessing. I sold [vending] outside on the road and I could pay my child’s school fee to go back to university.’ I remember other people telling me that after they finish [vending] the profits that they made they were able to line out a house foundation,” said Powell.
He is contemplating moving the annual event from Apple Tree plaza to a larger venue.
“Every year it gets bigger and bigger. I am wondering if we might have to find a bigger venue. This is really a Christiana event that people look forward to. My role in this time is to change people’s lives in a positive way, and I try to do that every day. I help children through scholarships, people with medication, and people to get housing… I find joy in doing that. I find fun in helping people,” he said.