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  • Jamaica paid tribute to National Hero, the Right Excellent Norman Manley, on Friday, July 4, at a wreath-laying ceremony held at National Heroes Park.
  • Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, who also laid a wreath at the shrine of the National Hero, said he remains a “source of inspiration for our generation and generations to come.”
  • Other tributes came from the Manley family, the People’s National Party (PNP), of which Mr. Manley was the founding President; Mayor of Kingston, Senator Angela Brown Burke, and the National Workers’ Union, founded by the National Hero.

Jamaica paid tribute to National Hero, the Right Excellent Norman Manley, on Friday, July 4, at a wreath-laying ceremony held at National Heroes Park in Kingston to mark the 121st anniversary of his birth.

The event, which featured award winning performances from the just concluded Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) festival of the arts competition, saw floral tributes from Governor-General, His Excellency, the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen; Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, representing Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller; government ministers; and members of the diplomatic corps.

Member of Parliament for North Central Clarendon, Pearnel Charles, represented the Leader of the Opposition, Andrew Holness, at the event.

Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, who also laid a wreath at the shrine of the National Hero, said he remains a “source of inspiration for our generation and generations to come.”

Quoting from Mr. Manley speeches, she made a call for the nation to be “inspired by, and commit to these very profound words of our National Hero. Let us together build consensus…let us find that determination, that response and victoriously achieve as a nation.”

Other tributes came from the Manley family, the People’s National Party (PNP), of which Mr. Manley was the founding President; Mayor of Kingston, Senator Angela Brown Burke, and the National Workers’ Union, founded by the National Hero.

Mr. Manley was born on July 4, 1893 at Roxborough in South Manchester. After the death of his father in 1899, the family moved to Belmont in Guanaboa Vale, St. Catherine. He attended Beckford and Smith High School (now St. Jago High School), in Spanish Town, before moving to Jamaica College, where he excelled in academics and athletics.

In 1914, he won the Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University, and was also enlisted in the Royal Field Artillery.  Mr. Manley opened his law firm in 1922, on Duke Street, Kingston, and was made a King’s Counsel in 1932. He was the first Jamaican barrister to appear before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in England.

His political life began with the formation of the PNP, in 1938, and served as Chief Minister between 1955 and 1959, and then Premier. He retired from active politics on his birthday in 1969.

Residents of Manchester will also remember the distinguished son of the parish, at the civic ceremony.