Governor General His Excellency, Sir Howard Cooke has called on Jamaicans to pause and reflect on Sunday, February 6, which has been designated, Violence Free Day.
Governor General, His Excellency the Most Hon.Sir Howard Cooke is presented with a Violence Free Day t-shirt by Professor Barry Chevannes, Chairman of the Violence Free Day campaign committee
The proclamation was read today (February 1) at King’s House by Sir Howard and given to cyclists who, throughout the week, will carry the message to every parish where it will be read by the Custos.
“We need to show the world we are a unique people who strive for the best,” the Governor General said.He further implored Jamaicans to renounce, in the spirit of one love, the violent spirit of anger and hate, and with the help of the Eternal Father, to turn their hands of violence into hands of love and creative endeavours.
“Let February 6, 2005 be the day when we begin our journey to a Jamaica without fear, without hate, without disregard for our fellowmen and instead settle our disputes with respect for one another,” the Governor General said.
Concern about the level of crime and violence in the country resulted in several academic and media professionals coming together to form the Violence Free Day Committee, which launched the Violence Free Day campaign towards helping to stem the tide of crime and violence.
The day also coincides with the birthday of international Reggae legend, Bob Marley, whose anthem ‘One love’ is being used as the theme for the campaign.
Professor Barry Chevannes, Chairman of the Violence Free Day Committee said the day was an important one, as it was a stepping-stone towards the future healing of the nation.
“An appeal for a day that will be violence-free is important, as it may create a platform for our country to heal itself in the future, one day at a time,” he said.
Professor Chevannes thanked the Governor General for his fatherly guidance. “I feel encouraged by your fatherly spirit in guiding us,” he said.
He also thanked the cyclists for their effort, and highlighted the support of a major sponsor, Jamaica National Building Society, which donated $500,000 to the campaign.
The activities will culminate on Sunday at Emancipation Park with a ‘Healing of the Nation’ concert.