Stanley Roy Archer, a Windrush migrant from Jamaica who, in 1989, returned to help rebuild his community after Hurricane Gilbert, was awarded the Jamaican Prime Minister's Medal of Appreciation on Wednesday.
“I am humbled by this recognition,” he told the Jamaican Information Service, after receiving the award at the Jamaica House for agricultural and civic development.
Roy Archer was born in Jeffrey Town, St. Mary. He migrated to the United Kingdom in 1954 as part of the “Windrush” generation. Though he returned to Jamaica for a visit in 1989, he had no intention of remaining on the island.
“On my return to Jamaica, the year after Hurricane Gilbert totally destroyed farms, I knew I had to do something for Jamaica, land I love,” he says.
Alarmed by the situation he witnessed, Roy Archer said he decided not to return to the United Kingdom. “There was nothing here in farming, everything was mashed up, not even the boiler house was standing, so I decided to stay and help build back my community.”
His first mission was to guarantee that clean, piped water was serviced to Jeffrey Town and the surrounding areas. He obtained three miles of four-inch pipe after lobbying vying political representatives to support his efforts, according to The Daily Herald of St. Marteen.
Local farmers and members of the community volunteered their time, along with assistance from the National Water Commission, in laying the pipes. They continue to provide water for the community.
He went on to establish the Jeffrey Town Farmer's Association, or JTFA, on his veranda, which helped local farmers who were unable to find markets for their produce and livestock. The Daily Herald reported that JFTA has become one of Jamaica's most successful farmer's associations and has been acknowledged for its work by the United Nations Development Programme.