On a hot weekend in January, over 16 employees from the retail stores, distribution, production, technical services and marketing departments of Harris Paints, armed themselves with buckets of paints, brushes, rollers and pans and headed to St. Lucy on a mission.
That mission ended in Pie Corner, St. Lucy at the home of Carmen Murphy, a blind double amputee who lost her home to fire in 2018. They were part of a community project to help rebuild the home where Carmen lived with her daughter and three grandchildren.
Harris Paints heard about the plight of the St. Lucy resident and decided to mobilize staff to help, and when the email went out, volunteers started to sign up for the two-day exercise of painting the house which was under construction. Some staff members were so excited to work on the project and test out the products, that they worked in the retail stores that same morning and then took the journey to St. Lucy to paint in the afternoon.
In explaining the project, Luke Ticknor, Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing for Harris Paints International explained that the family chose an orange called ‘Cocktail Hour 0976‘ with a yellow trim “Evening Star 0953’ for the outside, and ‘Cavern Sand 0165‘ (brown) for the groundsill.
“We were thrilled to hear the family had chosen such bright and fun colours for the outside of their home, which, when painted with our latest innovation in paint, Ultimma Plus with Quantum i12 technology, covered in much fewer coats than would be typical – helping our team complete the work quickly. The high-performance pigments in the Quantum i12 system will also help ensure these colours don’t fade out from the sun as quickly as some other paints might.”
The group of employees, which included CEO Ian Kenyon, covered the outside of the house in record time and returned on the Sunday to work on completing the verandah and patio and worked on the inside of the house, which is being painted with a coming soon to market version of ProSpeed Cover Flat paint that provides near one-coat coverage in white.
Contractor and Community organiser, Mitch Blackman, in thanking Harris Paints and the contractors for their involvement, said that he hoped that the project would be completed by the end of January or definitely by mid-February. He further explained that a number of companies responded to the call to help, and he was able to pull it together with the assistance of some contractors and other community-minded people.
One such person was Morgan Greaves, a retired senior police officer, who lives in the area and actually witnessed the fire from his home nearby on the day it happened. He explained that they started the project in November 2022, when he reached out to a number of former colleagues in the Police Service and to Corporate Barbados who all responded well. He described the strict accounting procedures which they had put in place to ensure that all donations and monies are accounted for, including any personal donations that have been made to the cause. He also spoke of a former colleague who is a lieutenant in the Atlanta Police Force who sent a sizeable cash donation which she collected from her fellow officers there, to show the level of support which they had for the project.
The Priest’s Warden at the nearby St. Clement’s Church confirmed that the reconstruction of the home is a real community project with help from the immediate community and Corporate Barbados.