Salute to Westmoreland

Photo: JIS Photographer Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange. (FILE)

Story Highlights

  • Scores of Westmorelanders journeyed to Kingston on Thursday (November 23) to participate in the Institute of Jamaica (IOJ) ‘Salute to the Parish of Westmoreland’ cultural event.
  • At the opening ceremony, held at the IOJ’s lecture Hall, 10-16 East Street in Kingston, renowned Westmoreland-born personalities and students of prominent primary and secondary schools in the parish heard historical facts about the parish read by the town crier, Curatorial Assistant of the National Gallery of Jamaica, Dwayne Lyttle.
  • In a message read by the Deputy Chairman of Council, IOJ, Marigold Harding, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, encouraged students of Westmoreland to learn more about the heritage of their communities.

Scores of Westmorelanders journeyed to Kingston on Thursday (November 23) to participate in the Institute of Jamaica (IOJ) ‘Salute to the Parish of Westmoreland’ cultural event.

The IOJ, an agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, has been highlighting places of national significance in each parish, as well as personalities, food, music, dance and fashion.

The series began last year with the parish of St. Elizabeth, which was honoured for its achievements and historical value.

At the opening ceremony, held at the IOJ’s lecture Hall, 10-16 East Street in Kingston, renowned Westmoreland-born personalities and students of prominent primary and secondary schools in the parish heard historical facts about the parish read by the town crier, Curatorial Assistant of the National Gallery of Jamaica, Dwayne Lyttle.

Guests were reminded that Westmoreland was carved out of the parish of St. Elizabeth in 1703, and in 1723 it was reduced to create the parish of Hanover. The first capital of Westmoreland was Queen’s Town, which is now called Cross Path, and the name Savanna-la-Mar is a derivative of the Spanish sabana de la mar, which means ‘the grassy plain (savannah) by the sea’.

In a message read by the Deputy Chairman of Council, IOJ, Marigold Harding, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, encouraged students of Westmoreland to learn more about the heritage of their communities.

“I challenge all schools in Westmoreland to form heritage clubs and know more about their communities and the rich contribution being made to nation building. Nothing but good can come from a recognition of your parish,” she said.

Miss Grange said the country’s heritage should not go unnoticed, and that Jamaicans should be proud, because “brand Jamaica is now worldwide”.

She called on Westmorelanders to read the May 2017 publication of the Jamaica National Heritage Trust, which highlights Westmoreland and heritage sites in the parish.

Guest Speaker, Chief Justice, Hon. Zaila McCalla, lauded the Institute of Jamaica for putting on the event and its work in promoting the cultural heritage of the parishes of Jamaica.

“It demonstrates vision,” she said, while noting the work by the IOJ in fostering and encouraging the promotion of literature, arts and the sciences in Jamaica.

“Jamaica, thank you for keeping our history and traditions alive and for bringing history to the ears and eyes of people, especially our children, who are the future leaders of our nation,” she continued.

The Chief Justice, who attended Chantilly Primary and Junior High in Westmoreland, said that Jamaica has been blessed with persons who are naturally talented and expressive.

“Our rich cultural heritage has made an indelible mark upon the world, influencing other nations with our practices, our customs and our beliefs,” she said.

Attending the event were Westmoreland-born personalities, including Cabinet Secretary, Ambassador Douglas Saunders; the Political Ombudsman, Hon. Donna Parchment Brown; Custos of Westmoreland, Rev. Canon Hartley Perrin; Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor of The Mico University College, Dr. Ryland Campbell, and Chairman of the Jamaica National Heritage Trust, Laleta Davis-Mattis.

The audience was entertained by Rayon Roy Whittingham (Roy Rayon), four-time Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) Festival Song winner. The group later toured the various facilities of the Institute.

Master of ceremonies at the function was Miss Westmoreland Festival Queen 2008, Katrina Grant-D’Aguilar.

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