JIS News

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  • Clergyman, Bishop Herro Blair, has hailed the former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Edward Seaga, for his contribution, not only to nation building but also to the ongoing work of Christianity and the establishment of other religious groups in Jamaica.
  • In an interview with JIS News, Bishop Blair said Mr. Seaga was a close friend who would often reach out to him for advice with regard to decisions he had to make with various religious groups while serving the nation in the 1980s.
  • “Mr. Seaga was forthright that not only the established churches should be recognised in Jamaica.  He ensured that no religious organisation should have been left behind. We have come a very long way because of his leadership skills and his ability to coordinate groups, such as the religious groups,”Bishop Blair said.

Clergyman, Bishop Herro Blair, has hailed the former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Edward Seaga, for his contribution, not only to nation building but also to the ongoing work of Christianity and the establishment of other religious groups in Jamaica.

In an interview with JIS News, Bishop Blair said Mr. Seaga was a close friend who would often reach out to him for advice with regard to decisions he had to make with various religious groups while serving the nation in the 1980s.

“Mr. Seaga was forthright that not only the established churches should be recognised in Jamaica.  He ensured that no religious organisation should have been left behind. We have come a very long way because of his leadership skills and his ability to coordinate groups, such as the religious groups,”Bishop Blair said.

He  recalled some decades ago when Mr. Seaga first called on him to gather as many church leaders as he could, to start a united movement where they could all sit in one room and discuss matters of the nation where divine intervention was needed.

“He requested to assemble as many of the heads of church groups [as possible] so he could be able to speak to the church in one setting, and the church could speak to him in one voice. We got together and formed a group… the National Council of Churches. The name was changed to the present name, The Jamaica Umbrella Group of Churches,” he noted.

With this initiative, Bishop Blair said Mr. Seaga showed fairness to all church groups.

“Kudos to Mr. Seaga because, out of the wilderness, all these groups have come in to serve the nation, more or less as one church voice,” he said.

Mr. Blair also recalled the time Mr. Seaga approached him to join him in politics.

“I recalled he called me and said, ‘Herro, I would love you to be a Senator… . You are already my advisor and it would not seem fair to have you as an independent voice, and that alone showed me the man that I was dealing with – that level of fairness. Whenever he had a need for me in that capacity, I was always willing so to do,” he said.

“He was there, in my opinion, for the country, as a Statesman, and he died as a Statesman. We should honour him as one, and I am very glad that we have done so,” Bishop Blair said.

In 1963, Mr. Seaga was the person who awarded Bishop Blair his trophy after being announced as ‘Boy of the Year’.

Mr. Seaga, who was Jamaica’s fifth Prime Minister, passed away on May 28 in a hospital in the United States. He was 89 years old.He was one of the key architects of Jamaica’s Constitution, which was framed in 1961.

He initiated a revision of the Human Rights section of the Constitution to provide for a Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms. He also created the office of Public Defender.

During the course of his political life, Mr. Seaga made a significant impact on Jamaica’s growth and development through the introduction of various programmes and the establishment of institutions across the social, cultural, political and financial landscapes.

Mr. Seaga represented the constituency of West Kingston from 1962 until his retirement from active politics in 2005.