MESSAGE FROM THE MOST HON. PORTIA SIMPSON MILLER ON, MP FOR NATIONAL LABOUR DAY CHURCH SERVICE, MAY 20, 2007


ON THIS VERY SPECIAL LABOUR DAY, I GREET YOU IN PEACE AND LOVE.
THIS IS A DAY OF TOGETHERNESS WHEN WE GIVE FREELY OF OUR TIME AND EFFORT – HONOURING OUR ANCESTORS . STRENGTHENING OUR COMMUNITIES.
IT IS A TIME TO DRAW CLOSER, AS ONE PEOPLE, ONE FAMILY, WORKING SHOULDER TO SHOULDER ON COMMUNITY-BUILDING PROJECTS.
THIS LABOUR DAY TAKES ON ADDED SIGNIFICANCE AS WE OBSERVE THE 200TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ABOLITION OF THE TRANSATLANTIC TRADE IN AFRICANS.
EVEN BY STRETCHING THE IMAGINATION TO THE LIMIT, NONE OF US TODAY CAN TRULY UNDERSTAND THE SUFFERING OF OUR AFRICAN ANCESTORS, ON THAT LONG, CRAMPED AND COLD JOURNEY ACROSS THE MIDDLE PASSAGE.
TODAY, WE SALUTE THEIR WORK, COURAGE AND DETERMINATION, IN THE FACE OF INCREDIBLE HARDSHIPS.
WE MUST NEVER FORGET THEIR ESSENTIAL ROLE IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF OUR JAMAICAN IDENTITY.
LABOUR DAY IS A TIME TO REMEMBER, WITH PRIDE AND GRATITUDE, THE GREAT ACHIEVEMENTS OF OUR WORKERS.
IN 1938, THEIR STRUGGLES NOT ONLY IMPROVED THE LOT OF WORKERS FACING OPPRESSION UNDER THE COLONIAL SYSTEM. IT ALSO LAID THE FOUNDATION FOR THE TRADE UNION MOVEMENT AND OPENED THE DOOR TO POLITICAL INDEPENDENCE.
WE NOW HAVE THE DUTY AND THE PRIVILEGE TO CONTINUE THE WORK TO PROTECT AND ADVANCE THE RIGHTS OF WORKERS. SERVING THE INTEREST OF WORKERS GOES FAR BEYOND WHAT HAPPENS AT THE WORKPLACE. IT NOW TAKES INTO ACCOUNT THE GENERAL WELL-BEING OF THE WORKER AND THE WORKER’S FAMILY.
THIS IS THE PATH ON WHICH WE ARE MOVING, PAYING SPECIAL ATTENTION TO SUCH CRITICALLY IMPORTANT AREAS AS AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR WORKING PEOPLE AND THEIR FAMILIES, EDUCATION AND HEALTH CARE.
AS ALWAYS, LABOUR DAY IS COMMUNITY-CENTRED AND COMMUNITY-FOCUSED. THIS IS IN KEEPING WITH OUR DETERMINED EFFORTS TO EMPOWER OUR COMMUNITIES AND ACHIEVE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT.
I ENCOURAGE EVERYONE TO USE THIS DAY, AND EVERY OPPORTUNITY, TO FOSTER COMMUNITY SPIRIT.
LET THAT SPIRIT ENERGIZE ALL OUR COMMUNITIES TO BECOME VIBRANT CENTRES OF ACTIVITY FOR SELF-DEVELOPMENT AND BUILDING COMMUNITY SELF-RELIANCE.
MANY PERSONS ARE PARTICIPATING IN THE NATIONAL LABOUR DAY PROJECT AT THE BATH BOTANICAL GARDENS IN ST THOMAS, WHICH HAS THE DISTINCTION OF BEING THE OLDEST BOTANICAL GARDENS IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE.
MANY OTHERS WILL BE INVOLVED IN COMMUNITY PROJECTS.
SOME WILL CHOOSE TO BRIGHTEN LABOUR DAY FOR AN ELDERLY RELATIVE OR NEIGHBOUR, A RETIRED PERSON WHO CAN NO LONGER MOVE AROUND.
WHEREVER YOU PLAN TO BE, COUNTRY OR TOWN, I ENCOURAGE YOU TO GET INVOLVED IN A WORK PROJECT AND PLEASE REMEMBER TO INVOLVE THE CHILDREN. THEIR ENJOYMENT OF TEAMWORK IS INSPIRING.
AT EVENING TIME, WHEN THE WORK IS OVER, JOIN US FOR THE NATIONAL LABOUR DAY CONCERT. COME AND CELEBRATE OUR CULTURE WITH SONG, DANCE, MUSIC AND POETRY.
IN THE STRONG SPIRIT OF OUR GREAT ANCESTORS, FROM EVERY ETHNIC STRAIN, LET LABOUR DAY MARK THE BEGINNING OF A NEW ENTHUSIASM AND A STRONGER HEART FOR SERVING THIS GOD-BLESSED COUNTRY OF OURS.
AS WE CLEAN UP, PAINT UP, FIX UP, PLANT UP AND BEAUTIFY OUR ENVIRONMENT, LET US DO IT WITH A HEART OF LOVE, WORKING TOGETHER AS ONE JAMAICAN FAMILY – HONOURING OUR ANCESTORS AND STRENGTHENING OUR COMMUNITIES.

JIS Social