Banana Ground gets paved road

September 19, 2016
Ian Allen/Photographer Hycenth Ricketts, grandmother of Olympian Elaine Thompson, is pleased to receive the frame front page showing the athlete's victory. She says it will be hung in pride of place above her bed.
Ian Allen/Photographer Improvement work is now taking place on the roadway to Elaine Thompson's home in Banana Ground, Manchester.
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On September 5, The Star story headlined 'How Banana Ground Got Its Name', reported on the community's need for water, a community centre and better roads.

The story was part of an expose on the hilly Manchester community in the wake of the magnificent exploits of one of its young residents, Elaine Thompson who had won two gold medals at the August Rio Olympics.

Among the rocky patches of roadway in the community, is the stretch of about a mile from the main road to the Olympian's home. It was a dirt track with huge rocks and even a few boulders jutting out into the footpath, not to mention the grass that grew along its length. Four-wheel drive vehicles had to carefully navigate to get to their destination.

 

next step

 

The good news is that since the Star story, work has started on the road. Last Friday when The Star team returned to the district, the road was marled and a tractor was at work on it ensuring that it was ready for the next step - that of oiling it before the asphalt is laid.

Hycenth Ricketts, grandmother of the athlete, is overjoyed that her "baby" has caused such progress to come to their community.

"Yes man, we happy so till, and me can't wait till Elaine come home," she said upon receiving a framed front page of The Gleaner's report on Thompson's victory.

Another resident, Sean Foster, is also happy with the turn of events. "Yes man, is a good thing for the community, the people who live here and use the road are glad for it. We must thank our champion."

When the sponsors host the home-coming, victory motorcade for the champ in the coming days, Thompson will not have to worry about 'bucking' her gold medal toes!

- Barbara.ellington@gleanerjm.com

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