State Minister in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Alando Terrelonge, has thanked the residents of Bath, St. Thomas for the work they have done in helping to find nine-year old Phylicia Prussia.
Hundreds of residents, including members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force and the Jamaica Defence Force, had formed search groups to find Phylicia who had been reported missing by her parents on Thursday (October 14). The child was found alive on Saturday (October 16).
“They represent the very best of Jamaica. They represent what a united community and policing taskforce can accomplish. They have proven … to the people of Bath, to the people of St Thomas and to the people of Jamaica that they are good citizens willing to help rescue and find our children,” he said.
Mr. Terrelonge made the remark while at the virtual National Heritage Week Thanksgiving Church Service held today (Sunday, October 17) at the Waltham Park New Testament Church, 65 Waltham Park Road, Kingston. He was asked to make a presentation and to thank the church for hosting the function on behalf of the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange.
He said that the residents have demonstrated what it means to be heroes, “to sacrifice one’s time and self in the service of others.”
At the same time, Mr. Terrelonge called on the residents to continue the search for 13-year-old Winshae Barrett, who went missing from her home in Bath, St. Thomas on Saturday (October 16).
“To her family, on behalf of the Ministry and the Government of Jamaica, we want you to know that you continue to be in our prayers, to members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, you are heroes, and we thank you along with the community of Bath for all you have done,” he added.
In his short presentation, Mr Terrelonge called on Jamaicans to remember Jamaica’s national heroes and ancestors who fought for freedom during the 18th century.
“So, whilst we rejoice today, whilst we celebrate, let us not forget the heroes who paved our freedom in blood. That is our history, that is our legacy, that is our culture, that every Jamaican child must be aware of,” he said.
Mr Terrelonge said that Jamaicans can also honour the legacy of their ancestors by taking the COVID-19 vaccine.
“That is how we can honour the legacy of Nanny of the Maroons, the memory of Sharpe, Tacky and Quao. That is how we honour every single Jamaican and thousands of enslaved brothers, sisters and forefathers, who gave their lives so we can be free,” he said.
He said that if Jamaicans want a society that is free from curfews and lockdowns then they must be willing to take the vaccine.
“Be the hero that your family needs. Be the hero that your community needs. Be the hero that Jamaica needs you to be by taking the vaccine, as we celebrate Heroes Day and Heroes Week,” he said.