Education Minister, Hon. Andrew Holness has called on Jamaicans to defend and preserve the freedom that was fought for by their forefathers.
“One hundred and seventy two years ago we could not gather like this in unity, in harmony, in celebration of our ancestors but today we can, and that is indeed a great milestone for our nation,” Mr. Holness said at the St. Ann Emancipation Jubilee, on Saturday, July 31.
The event, hosted by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT), was held at the Seville Heritage Park in St. Ann’s Bay under the theme: ‘Ancestral Reflections..A Bridge to the Future’.
Members of the Manchioneal Cultural group from Portland doing the Maypole dance at the St. Ann Emancipation Jubilee, on Saturday, July 31, at the Seville Heritage Park, in St. Ann’s Bay.
“The struggles of our forefathers have brought us here as one nation. Despite our problems, despite our differences, at the end of the day we gather under one flag and we look towards one dream – a strong, fair, equitable, just Jamaica where everyone can prosper and feel at home,” he said.
Meanwhile, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Olivia Grange said that August 1 (Emancipation Day) should not be treated lightly, but it should be seen as an important date in the history of Jamaica.
“Tonight all across Jamaica we commemorate emancipation to remind our people, particularly the young, that emancipation was not a gift, it was fought for with the blood, sweat and tears of our ancestors. It was a long and hard fight that crossed continents, races and denominations. Our freedom therefore must never be taken lightly,” Minister Grange said.
The event, which sought to educate Jamaicans about various aspects of their heritage, pulled thousands of locals as well as foreigners to Seville Heritage Park.
Olivene Lewis from St. James told JIS News that her trip to the St. Ann Emancipation Jubilee was not in vain.
“I have always heard about this Emancipation Jubilee in St. Ann, but I never got a chance to come until this year. I am no stranger to the parish of St. Ann, but what I did not know is that this place Seville had such rich history,” Miss Lewis said, adding that she learnt quite a lot at the event.
Visitor from London, Cathy Crooks said that she had a great time at the event.
“I enjoyed myself a whole lot. The presentations were awesome, the food was great and the music was also great. Jamaica is really a God blessed country and we should continue to promote events such as this one, so that people can learn to appreciate their heritage and culture,” she told JIS News.