Edward Seaga and Jimmy Cliff to be Honoured at Grand Gala

Photo: JIS Photographer Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, addresses the launch of the Jamaica Independence Festival at the Courtleigh Auditorium in New Kingston on June 14. (File)

Story Highlights

  • The Government will recognise former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Edward Seaga, and Reggae icon, Jimmy Cliff, at the Jamaica 55 Grand Gala, on Independence Day (August 6).
  • Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, said the Grand Gala, to be staged at the National Stadium, will feature two “special segments,” where Mr. Seaga, who is the only living member of the 1962 Parliamentary Committee which framed the Jamaican Constitution, will be recognised.
  • “Mr. Seaga saved Devon House from being demolished, and today it’s a gem that we use as a centre to market tourism,” she said.

The Government will recognise former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Edward Seaga, and Reggae icon, Jimmy Cliff, at the Jamaica 55 Grand Gala, on Independence Day (August 6).

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, said the Grand Gala, to be staged at the National Stadium, will feature two “special segments,” where Mr. Seaga, who is the only living member of the 1962 Parliamentary Committee which framed the Jamaican Constitution, will be recognised.

“On that occasion, Jamaicans will have an opportunity to see him and applaud his work,” the Minister said, adding that it will be a moment of “tribute and honour,” for the two-time former Head of Government.

In an interview with JIS News, Miss Grange noted that Mr. Seaga, during his time in Government, especially when he served as Minister of Development and Welfare, was at the “forefront” of the Festival movement, spearheading the establishment of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) and other institutions.

“Mr. Seaga saved Devon House from being demolished, and today it’s a gem that we use as a centre to market tourism,” she said.

Miss Grange said a citation will be read at the event, which will “chronicle all that he has done.”

In 1959, Mr. Seaga was nominated to serve in the Upper House of the then Legislative Council (now Parliament), and participated in the drafting of the Constitution in 1961.

After winning the West Kingston constituency in 1962, he was appointed as Minister of Development and Welfare. Between 1967 and 1972, he also served as Minister of Finance and Planning.

He was Leader of the Opposition from 1974 to the end of October 1980, after which he served as Prime Minister from November of that year until February 1989. Mr. Seaga retired from political life in January 2005.

Miss Grange described Jimmy Cliff as a “pioneer of the music, who has carried Jamaican music to the world.”

The veteran artiste and actor will also be honoured in his native city of Montego Bay during the Independence period, with Gloucester Avenue being renamed in his honour.

Jimmy Cliff who was born in St. James, started having musical successes at the age of 14. He is a multi-instrumentalist, and starred in the 1972 movie – ‘The Harder They Come’. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March 2010.

The Grand Gala, which is the premier entertainment event for the celebration of Jamaica’s Independence, will feature scores of popular artistes, representing several Jamaican music forms.

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