Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, has called on Jamaicans to pay homage to those who paved the way for Emancipation, by caring for the most vulnerable in the society.
Addressing the 2012 National Emancipation Jubilee, held on August 1, 2012 at the Seville Heritage Park, in St. Ann, the Minister described the forefathers as “freedom fighters” and asserted that they established a platform that, “we their children could build a lasting civilisation that the world would respect. It was a mission for which they were prepared to die."
“We salute their resilience, determination and pride…We again commit to national unity. We plant the seeds of community and pledge to fight against the scourge of crime and violence and all evils that oppress our land. Here on this spot we proclaim the wonderful culture we inherited from our forefathers and mothers and pledge to create the necessary mechanisms to ensure that our people live in peace, harmony and sustainable prosperity,” the Minister said.
Miss Hanna said the country has given much to the world, “of which we can be truly proud."
“The greatest gift we can give to our ancestors on this day, is to commit ourselves to the ultimate sacrifice in the interest of the most vulnerable among us,” the Minister urged.
Meanwhile, Mayor of St. Ann’s Bay, Councillor Desmond Gilmore, told JIS News that the ceremony “was absolutely wonderful.”
“The whole spirit of Jamaica 50, the people of St. Ann, the whole Jamaica has turned out to this function, and it has been wonderful. The people are enjoying it,” the Mayor said.
For his part, Principal Director for Culture in the Ministry of Youth and Culture, Sydney Bartley, said the event was a re-enactment of the First Emancipation Day. “It is a celebration of freedom, and I am happy to see the large crowd of people,” he said.
“In the first Emancipation in 1834, when the then slaves knew that they were going to have Emancipation at midnight, they gathered in various places across the island in a vigil. They drummed, they chanted, they did all their African rituals as they prepared for the Governor to come out at midnight to read the Emancipation proclamation that they would be free, and when that was read, the drums exploded again, and the chants exploded as they drummed and sang right until the next morning,” the Director said.