Visit of Haile Selassie’s Grandson Significant – Golding

Photo: Donald Delahaye His Imperial Highness, Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie (left), receives a painting of the Jamaica College (JC) grounds from Head Boy of the institution, Shumba Brown. The Prince stopped at JC today (April 21), shortly after his arrival in the island for a nine-day visit. The trip marks the 50th anniversary of the State visit to Jamaica of his grandfather, the late Emperor of Ethiopia, His Imperial Majesty (HIM) Haile Selassie.

Story Highlights

  • Former Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, has hailed the visit to Jamaica of His Imperial Highness Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie as a momentous occasion.
  • Speaking to JIS News after the ceremony, Mr. Golding recalled that as head boy of JC in 1966, he had the opportunity to meet Emperor Selassie when he toured the institution.
  • The Prince is in Jamaica for a nine-day visit to mark the 50th anniversary of the State visit of his grandfather, the late Emperor of Ethiopia, His Imperial Majesty (HIM) Haile Selassie.

Former Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, has hailed the visit to Jamaica of His Imperial Highness Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie as a momentous occasion.

He was addressing a ceremony in honour of Prince Sahle-Selassie at the Jamaica College (JC) grounds in St. Andrew today (April 21), just hours after his arrival in the island.

The Prince is in Jamaica for a nine-day visit to mark the 50th anniversary of the State visit of his grandfather, the late Emperor of Ethiopia, His Imperial Majesty (HIM) Haile Selassie.

“Your visit at this time is something that we regard very highly, something that we cherish and we welcome you in the same spirit and in the same generosity of heart and the same warmth that we welcomed your grandfather 50 years ago,” Mr. Golding told Prince Sahle-Selassie.

He noted that His Imperial Majesty’s three-day visit to the country five decades ago was impactful, as the Ethiopian Emperor represented the spiritual foundation of the Rastafarian movement which, at the time, was severely oppressed and ostracised.

He said the occasion, which included a tour of the JC grounds, created a platform on which the movement was able to command respect.

Mr. Golding noted further that at the time, the world was at the heights of the struggle for the liberalisation of black people, of which the Emperor was a vocal activist.

He urged Prince Sahle-Selassie to continue to carry on the legacy of his grandfather, which he said “is as important to us today as it was then.”

Speaking to JIS News after the ceremony, Mr. Golding recalled that as head boy of JC in 1966, he had the opportunity to meet Emperor Selassie when he toured the institution.

“We at JC were honoured to have received him here and…it was significant to have been a part of the team to have welcomed him,” he noted.

He said as a student, he and his colleagues had a deep interest in the black power movement and he was personally impacted by the brief visit.

“We had a kind of intellectual ferment taking place; so that when he came, it was a boost to the kind of mission that we had embarked on,” Mr. Golding said, noting that he still has pictures of the occasion.

The Prince will depart the island on April 30.

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