Manchester’s new custos hopes to inspire excellence
Having established his engineering business in Manchester, new custos Garfield Green admits he was "shocked" when he got the call to be the parish's first citizen.
"When I got the call and was asked if I would serve, I was shocked and lost for words. It took me a brief moment before I could say yes," he told CENTRAL STAR.
Green hails from neighbouring St Elizabeth, balmy Santa Cruz to be exact, but he never forgets his birth connections to Manchester and considers himself a Manchesterian.
That's because his mother journeyed to Mandeville to give birth when time came for him to enter planet Earth.
Back in St Bess, he attended Santa Cruz All-Age School and Munro.
Green tells CENTRAL STAR: "I established roots in Manchester through my wife who is from the parish, and when we met, we decided to build a family here. I have come to like it, and it is now home for me."
Green, who is a professional engineer and head of the EPAMS Group of Companies, located just off the Winston Jones Highway, will relinquish the duties of CEO and chairman.
"My business is very demanding, as our services are available on a 24/7 basis. My wife, who has always been in the business, will now assume responsibility for the daily operations. Since my appointment, changes had to be made," he said. "It would be impossible for me to be effective and efficient as custos rotulorum without the support of my family. They have pledged their support in writing to me. On the day of my appointment, they handed me a note that read: 'Mr Custos, you have made us proud, and we stand with you'. So far, I enjoy their support."
When asked about the increase in criminal activity in Manchester, Green, who as a justice of the peace (JP) sat in the Petty Sessions Court, said the crimes in Manchester are usually domestic-related, but there were some other crimes now threatening the peace of the parish.
"My recommendations to citizens are that they try to settle their differences in an amicable manner, with the help of professionals or persons of high standard that can be trusted. However, in all cases, they should contact the police, and provide information that could be useful. Build partnerships with the police who have sworn to serve, to protect and to reassure," he said.
In the past, Green has had a passion for community service and has, through his business, given back to the community, while positively impacting community spirit and personal development.
As a JP, he has served in many areas that promote peace and justice; he is also a mediator. He has also served the Manchester Chamber of Commerce in various capacities, including as its president.
As custos, Green intends to be deeply involved in the promotion of civic pride, public order and the rule of law.
He says that he would like to be recognisable and seen as approachable, as he serves the citizens of the parish.
He said he would be developing programmes that help Manchester reach excellence through its people.
At the end of his tenure, Green said he would like to be remembered because his work created an environment for good living for future generations.
"We will all help to create a more dynamic and prosperous Jamaica, parish by parish," he said.