Jamaicans Urged to Celebrate Products of Excellence


Respected international judge Hon. Patrick Robinson has called on Jamaicans to highlight the positives of the country, including its products of excellence.
Citing the late Professor Ralston “Rex” Nettleford as among Jamaica’s products of excellence, he also mentioned reggae icon, Bob Marley, Jamaican women, track and field (athletics), and reggae music, as areas in which “we are outstanding, exceptionally good, beyond lofty, beyond limit.”
Justice Robinson, who is the President of the International Criminal Tribunal, was addressing patrons at the 22nd annual dinner and dance of the Jamaica College Old Boys Association of Canada (JCOBACA) held recently in Toronto.
He lauded Nettleford for the significant role he played in building the confidence of the Jamaican, particularly the disadvantaged Jamaicans, and stated that the Jamaican woman is the backbone of the country’s family and society.
He noted that Bob Marley is the most well-known Jamaican worldwide, and Jamaica is best known for its reggae music “principally through the work of Bob Marley.”
“The contribution of music to our culture, to the Jamaican heritage and most important to our self-knowledge and identity as a people, is beyond lofty, beyond limits. Music is the most popular element in the Jamaican culture. There is scarcely anything more Jamaican than our music. It’s embedded in the psyche of our people. The songs, their music, their lyrics, their dances, reflect the essence of being Jamaican in a way that nothing else does,” he stated.
When Olympic and world champion sprinter Usain Bolt performed the dances, Nuh Linga and Gully Creepa, during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Justice Robinson said he was not putting on a show, but simply being Jamaican.
However, the judge warned that Jamaican music must uplift and Jamaicans must reject music, which debases, degrades and objectifies women, and encourages violence.
In the area of track and field, Judge Robinson who has penned a book called: ‘Jamaican Athletics: A Model For 2012 and The World’, noted that since 1948, Jamaican athletes have won 13 gold medals, 27 silver medals and 21 bronze medals at the Olympic Games; and another 14 gold, 33 silver and 13 bronze medals at the World Championships.
Urging Jamaicans to highlight the good in the country and stop portraying the negatives, he said that those who strive for excellence but fall short should be encouraged to renew their efforts.
Noting that one of the biggest obstacles to the achievement of excellence in Jamaica is the legacy of self-doubt he said: “never underestimate the evil that has been done to our thinking and how it has retarded growth and development in many areas of national life.”
President of the JCOBACA, Charles Francis thanked the patrons for their support over the years noting that through their contributions the Association has been able to meet its goals. Over the years, the JCOBACA has provided computers and software, printers, thousands of books, overhead projectors, microscopes and other equipment to the school.
In attendance were Jamaica’s Consul General to Toronto, Mr. George Ramocan and Mrs. Lola Ramocan; Chancellor of Ryerson University, Dr. G. Raymond Chang; and former Speaker of the Ontario Legislature, Dr. Alvin Curling.
Justice Robinson, who began his legal career at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, is a former student of the University of the West Indies, University of London and Jamaica College. He was honoured with the Order of Jamaica in 2009 for outstanding contribution in the field of International Law and Relations.

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