JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Jamaicans have been encouraged to strengthen their bond as a people
  • Still important for Jamaicans to view the goals they had set as objectives
  • Independence Thanksgiving Church service, held at the St. John’s Methodist Church, in Montego Bay

Jamaicans have been encouraged to strengthen their bond as a people, and to maintain focus on the vision towards greater successes, as the country proudly celebrates 51 years of Independence.

“As proud Jamaicans, we celebrate many aspects of our culture.  Our way of life has influenced many around the world, and as a promise to our children that they too will have a country of their own, we must maintain our vision of keeping Jamaica on the route to success, while maintaining our status as a sovereign people,” Mayor  of Montego Bay, Councillor Glendon Harris, has said.

He was addressing an Independence Thanksgiving Church service, held at the St. John’s Methodist Church, in Montego Bay, on August 4.

Mayor Harris said the celebration of 51 years of independence has brought Jamaicans beyond simply seeing themselves as just a free people.

“Today, each Jamaican is aware that we are at a special period in our growth as a nation, a point in our history where we celebrate our triumphs, while also implementing new strategies to accomplish those goals that are in line with a mission that commenced decades ago,” he said.

“With this in mind, we must consider how our own actions will contribute to our nation’s development. There is much more that we can do, and even more that we must do. Civic Pride must top the list of our priorities.  Without knowledge of our nation, its trials and its successes, its rules, policies and the effective communication of the rights and responsibilities of citizens, our people will have no true purpose,” the Mayor added.

He argued that the country’s youth must be educated about the enormous responsibilities that the ancestors had and why it is still important for Jamaicans to view the goals they had set as objectives still partially unattained, until all citizens feel that they can contribute to the continued growth of the country.

“My brothers and sisters, as we continue our 51st Independence anniversary, I must implore you to engage our youth in positive conversations. Let them know that they too are integral in the development process and that their effort towards national growth will go a far way, as we seek first world status,” Mayor Harris said.

In her message, Pastor of the church, Rev. Morna Christian Frazer, said that the celebration of 51 years of independence emphatically heralded the reality that as a nation “we are proud, triumphant and free, but not free to kill each other as well as our future – the children – and engage in corruption.”

She called on Jamaicans to bring to memory the love and providence of a God who has brought the people of this country a mighty long way – 175 years of emancipation and 51 years of nationhood – and out of great hardships and continue to “chart our destiny as a nation.”

The Emancipation messages of the Prime Minister, the Governor-General and the Leader of the Opposition were read at the service.