Over the years I have seen towns and villages in Switzerland by driving on secondary roads. Typical of these towns are the Mayor’s office in or near the town square along with a clock tower, prominently positioned churches constructed in a by-gone era, chateaus and castles vestiges of the old aristocracy; along with newer buildings housing commercial enterprises and apartment blocks. Similarly, May Pen in Jamaica typifies larger towns on the island with its old and new aspects.
May Pen was established as a plantation settlement by British colonizers in 1660 and later became capital of the parish of Clarendon. May Pen is one of Jamaica's most important agriculture towns. Surrounded by several citrus estates, it has the largest citrus packing centre. The Denbigh Agricultural Showground is approximately five kilometres west of the town’s centre. There the premier annual agricultural show takes place attracting participants and spectators alike from across the island. Before the highway that linked Kingston to Mandeville was built, all road traffic passed through the town, bringing significant benefits to its economy. Although no longer a transit point, May Pen’s commercial centre continues to be bustling with shoppers, street vendors and motorized traffic. The clock tower in the town square that was erected after World War1 and designated a heritage site. Among the oldest buildings still standing is St. Peters Anglican Church in Alley, constructed between 1831-32. May Pen is also a place of the future for the latest architectural features in home construction can be seen there.