The Percy Junor Hospital located in Spalding’s, serves the medical needs of over 250, 000 Jamaicans in Manchester, Clarendon, St. Ann and Trelawny.It currently offers general medical and surgical services along with surgical and medical out patient’s clinics.
Manned by a staff of 210, the hospital which also suffered damage during the passage of Hurricane Ivan, holds as its vision to be the best customer friendly institution providing comprehensive quality care in a clean, healthy and pleasant environment.
This present vision is made possible by the vision of another man, the man from whom the institution borrows its name. With a generous contribution of land, cash and necessary equipment for a hospital his vision became a reality with its opening in 1945. Interestingly, there were two conditions to this gift, one the hospital was to carry his name and two it was to always remain a public hospital.
His best investment was giving back
Percy Sigismund Junor, JP, Planter, Financier and Businessman was reported as saying that the money spent in establishing the hospital was the best money he had ever spent. His goal was to alleviate the suffering of residents of Spaldings and surrounding communities who previously had to make the 20 mile journey to Mandeville for medical care.
Born at Walderston in the parish of Manchester in 1880, Junor was poor, and had limited education. This did not stop his entrepreneurial spirit however as while at school he began the upward climb to becoming a very successful businessman by selling agricultural produce. Years later he would become the United Fruit Company’s biggest agent on the open market in Jamaica and a successful banana planter. Other crops in which he traded included pimento and at one point with his production of ginger he was the biggest supplier of that tuber to soft drink giant Canada Dry. Junor also marketed coffee and was a pioneer in the marketing of Jamaican oranges to Britain.
Tenacious, sometimes facing failure in his business ventures he never gave up, expanding his horizons from agriculture to the area of commerce establishing or being director of several successful enterprises in Kingston, including insurance, cinemas, wine and spirits as proprietor of Edwin Charleyand real estate a major piece of which was his home at ‘Oakland’s ‘ in Constant Spring.
Percy Junor believed in giving back to his community, especially to the people of Spalding who had been instrumental in him making his fortune. It was this desire to give back in his community which led to among other things the establishment of the hospital at Spaldings. The ‘Bevo Cinema’ in Christiana, named after his only daughter Beverly, was established, to afford the residents a place to go at nights, while his donation of a town clock in Spaldings gave residents ready access to accurate time.
The young such as these Clarendon students have greatly benefited from Mr. Junor's contributions to the parish.
His love for the young was also recorded. The gift of two classrooms to the Knox College is one practical demonstration, while some needy students also benefited from his generosity. Junor advanced money to many poor farmers to plant their crops and provided a dole for many elderly residents.
Percy Sigismund Junor started his life in poverty but rose through many challenges to be a successfully businessman, one who history recalls as seeking to uplift the lives of others who crossed his path. Long after his death in the 1970’s his most lasting legacy remains the Percy Junor Hospital in Spaldings, which today continues to provide yeoman service to the poor and needy of Spalding and surrounding communities.