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  • The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange announced today (May 23) that a Special Memorial Tribute honouring National Hero Samuel Sharpe will be the first official activity of Labour Day from now on.
  • Minister Grange said that, “The Government took the decision to honour the National Hero’s memory in this manner because May 23 which is the date on which Labour Day is observed coincides with the date Sam Sharpe was killed for his activism protest against the atrocities heaped on our people in his day.”
  • Kingston’s Mayor, His Worship Councillor Delroy Williams, one of the other wreath layers at the Memorial Tribute, said that the country was honouring a citizen who paid the ultimate penalty for his fight against oppression for freedom of his people. “The freedom that we now enjoy, “Mayor Williams emphasised.

The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange announced today (May 23) that a Special Memorial Tribute honouring National Hero Samuel Sharpe will be the first official activity of Labour Day from now on.

Minister Grange’s announcement came after she headed a list of officials laying wreaths at the Monument of Sam Sharpe at National Heroes Park this morning.

Minister Grange said that, “The Government took the decision to honour the National Hero’s memory in this manner because May 23 which is the date on which Labour Day is observed coincides with the date Sam Sharpe was killed for his activism protest against the atrocities heaped on our people in his day.”

“Sam Sharpe’s actions led the way for us to be the free people who we are today. Those who paved the way in the manner that he did should be constantly honoured by us and that is the reason this Special Memorial Tribute will remain on the Labour Day calendar in perpetuity,” Minister Grange said.

She said also that the National Hero was being similarly honoured simultaneously in his hometown, Montego Bay.

Kingston’s Mayor, His Worship Councillor Delroy Williams, one of the other wreath layers at the Memorial Tribute, said that the country was honouring a citizen who paid the ultimate penalty for his fight against oppression for freedom of his people. “The freedom that we now enjoy, “Mayor Williams emphasised.

Another of the wreath layers, University of the West Indies Professor Verene Shepherd said that May 23 was always significant in Jamaica’s history. Hence, she said the lobbying that has persisted for the twinning of Labour Day and the date of the anniversary of the hanging of ‘Daddy’ Sharpe.

Professor Shepherd said Jamaica must remember that Sam Sharpe was murdered for what he stood up for and said that his actions led ultimately to Emancipation.

‘Not only should we receive an apology from the former colonisers but we should be paid reparation for the souls of our ancestors,’ was the view expressed by Professor Shepherd who is also Co-Chairman of the National Council on Reparation.