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Hundreds of citizens, from communities across St. James, converged on the historic Sam Sharpe Square, in Montego Bay, St. James, on Wednesday (August 6), to participate in the city’s civic ceremony commemorating Jamaica’s 46th year of Independence.
The ceremony, which was organized by the St. James Parish Council and the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), in association with the Salvation Army Temple Corps, was staged under the theme: “One Love… One Family”, and was highlighted by the customary pomp and pageantry associated with the festivities.
In his message, Mayor of Montego Bay, Charles Sinclair, who headed the officials attending, urged individuals to be cognisant of the unselfish actions of the nation’s forefathers in motivating the populace to “rise from oppression to Independence.”
“We are now the leaders of our own destiny, trusted with the progress of this great nation, re-energising and giving new life to the persistent spirit of our heroic mothers and fathers. As Jamaicans, we possess the potential necessary to achieve greatness, and without the chains of oppression, I believe that we can do much more.”

Students of the Eber Preparatory School in Montego Bay, St. James, entertaining with a traditional dance, during the 46th Independence anniversary civic ceremony, held at Sam Sharpe Square in Montego Bay on August 6.

“Let us, today, make efforts to rebuild our families, as this will motivate an increase of love for the community and, in the long run, concretise our love for country, and the patriotic spirit that supports national and personal development,” Mr. Sinclair stressed.
In his message, read by Water and Housing Minister, Dr. Horace Chang, Prime Minister Bruce Golding said that, Jamaica, by virtue of its exploits and achievements, “has caused the world to sit up and take notice.”
“Our culture, music, scholars, sportsmen and sportswomen, have earned us international recognition and admiration. It is a measure of our capacity for greatness, a testimony to the creativity that is within us, an indication of our enormous potential as a people,” Prime Minister Golding said.
In her message, read by Member of Parliament for South St. James, Derrick Kellier, Opposition Leader, Portia Simpson-Miller, noted that Jamaica’s cultural expression helped to build the nation’s confidence, by reassuring the citizens of the greatness within each person.
“We must never doubt that, as Jamaicans, we have the capacity within us to overcome. We can be proud that, as a nation, we have not failed, but, for the main part, have handled our political independence with soberness and wisdom. There can be no doubt that Jamaica is a God-blessed country. We must, therefore, sit together as families do, to develop the plans that will take us out of the current problems, and shape our future,” Mrs. Simpson-Miller said.