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Former Prime Minister, Hon. Edward Seaga, has said that as Jamaica celebrated its 48th anniversary of Independence, Jamaicans should be proud of the nation’s achievements, thus far.
Mr. Seaga was guest speaker at the Independence Dinner and Dance of the Jamaica United Relief Association (JURA) last Friday (Aug. 6) at the Sheraton Airport Hotel in Davie.
Speaking to some 500 guests including Jamaicans and friends of the Diaspora,
Mr. Seaga stated that the country had made positive strides in the areas of culture, sports among others, both locally and internationally.
Mr. Seaga said that as a small nation, Jamaica had a rich and proud history, of which all nationals should be proud. He praised nationals overseas for their role as ambassadors, noting that they were a significant part of the nation’s historical development.
In her welcome remarks, Jamaica’s Consul General, Sandra Grant Griffiths, commended the members of JURA for their continued contributions to the social and economic platform in Jamaica and Haiti, as well as South Florida communities.
President of JURA, Dr. Vonnie McGowan-Arscott, highlighted the work of the 17 year old community association, pointing to the provision of educational scholarships to students in Jamaica as well as the United States, short and long-term assistance to destitute families, and assistance in sports, youth and community development to enhance the welfare of young people in Jamaica.
A cultural extravaganza presented a variety of entertainment throughout the event. Performers included the Tallawah Mento Band, the Tivoli Dance Troupe, Kahlil the Stars, Miss Jamaica Florida, Miss Shanice Cox, and soloist Kimeila ‘Candy’ Isaacs. The night ended with dancing to vintage selections by Disc Jockey Mark Swaby.
The former Prime Minister was the special guest of JURA’s two-day activities commemorating the Independence celebrations in South Florida.
On Thursday, (Aug. 5), he signed copies of his autobiography: ‘Edward Seaga: My Life and Leadership, Volume One: Clash of Ideologies 1930-1980’ at a book launch held at the Friends of the Broward County South Regional Library in Pembroke Pines.
Mr. Seaga said that the publication was a historical reference to significant periods in Jamaica’s development, prior to the nation’s Independence and leading to present day.
He noted that the purpose of the book was to record the pages of Jamaica’s history utilising his knowledge and experience throughout his long political career, spanning some 43 years.
The 400-page publication is the first part of two volumes, the second to be launched in November. Mr. Seaga informed that he spent two years writing articles for volume one. Proceeds from the sale of the book will benefit victims of child abuse, and women in distress in Jamaica.
The following day Saturday (Aug. 7) Mr. Seaga, who was accompanied by his wife, Carla and daughter, Gabrielle travelled to Atlanta, where he was also guest speaker at the annual Jamaica Independence Gala of the Atlanta Jamaica Association (AJA) later that day. He also presented copies of his memoirs at a similar book launch on Sunday (Aug. 8).
Mr. Seaga served as Jamaica’s fifth Prime Minister from 1980 to 1989. Since his retirement in January 2005, after more than 40 years of service to Jamaica’s Parliament, Mr. Seaga has pursued research as a Distinguished Fellow at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona. He is also Pro-Chancellor of the University of Technology (UTech).