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  • Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, has thanked past Jamaican leaders and those who have helped “to fashion our sense of who we are and our national identify.”
  • The Minister was speaking at the National Emancipation and Independence Thanksgiving Church Service, held on July 27 at the Church of the Open Bible, in Kingston.
  • She expressed gratitude to the late former Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Howard Cooke, whom she said fought for self-governance.

Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, has thanked past Jamaican leaders and those who have helped “to fashion our sense of who we are and our national identify.”

“We are also thankful for the lessons of those who have gone before us. We are grateful for the unique spirit that has been bequeathed to all of us. Our unique spirit is one of hope when all seems lost, defiance in the face of injustice and the belief that the power of change lies within all of us,” she said.

The Minister was speaking at the National Emancipation and Independence Thanksgiving Church Service, held on July 27 at the Church of the Open Bible, in Kingston, under the theme:  ‘This is Jamaica…My Jamaica’.

She expressed gratitude to the late former Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Howard Cooke, whom she said fought for self-governance.

“We give thanks for Sir Howard’s service in so many areas of national life. He helped to enrich all our lives, including my own, by the way he lived his. He was and will forever be our teacher,” she added.

Sir Howard died on July 11 at the age of 98. He will be given a State Funeral on August 8.

Minister Hanna, who represented Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, read a lesson from the book of Exodus, while Member of Parliament for St. Andrew North Western, Derrick Smith, who deputized for Leader of the Opposition, Andrew Holness, read a lesson from the book of St. John.

In his message, read by Custos  of St. Andrew, Hon. Marigold Harding,  Governor- General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, said that Jamaica’s goals can only be achieved “when there is unity of purpose.”

“As we celebrate Emancipation and Independence we must honour the sacrifices of our outstanding forefathers by working together to build up rather than tear down Jamaica land we love with meaningless acts of crime and violence,” he said.

The Governor General said that citizens must also commit to taking care of the less fortunate, especially women, young people and children and provide a value-based environment in which “our children can learn right from wrong and embrace honesty, truth and respect.”

The sermon was delivered by National Christian Education Director, Church of God in Jamaica, Reverend Dr. Dave Gosse, assisted by host pastor, Reverend Dr. Alston Henry.