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  • Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, has hailed former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Edward Seaga for helping to shape the country’s cultural landscape.
  • “He understood the value of our culture and way of life in a way that few other people do. He slept six across a bed with the revivalists in Salt Lane and learnt and understood what it was to be poor and humble.
  • “He dedicated his life to advancing Jamaica in every way, and we have become a cultural powerhouse worldwide because of Mr. Seaga’s vision and service,” she said.

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, has hailed former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Edward Seaga for helping to shape the country’s cultural landscape.

“He understood the value of our culture and way of life in a way that few other people do. He slept six across a bed with the revivalists in Salt Lane and learnt and understood what it was to be poor and humble.

“He dedicated his life to advancing Jamaica in every way, and we have become a cultural powerhouse worldwide because of Mr. Seaga’s vision and service,” she said.

Ms. Grange was speaking in the House of Representatives on May 28, following the official announcement of Mr. Seaga’s passing.

She said Mr. Seaga, who was “the kindest, most caring, most brilliant man” she has ever known was her teacher, mentor and friend.

“I loved him dearly. It has been my greatest pleasure to learn from him and to work with him. He taught me to dine with kings and to walk with beggars and to give respect, to receive respect,” she said.

Ms. Grange credited Mr. Seaga for much that she has achieved in her professional life.

“He saw great potential in me when others did not. He saw great potential in many others from West Kingston, when other people did not and invested his time and effort into helping me and others to rise and to contribute to the country that we both love.

Minister [Desmond] McKenzie and I, we are living examples of his investment. Mr. Seaga loved Jamaica and he loved the Jamaican people,” she said.

She thanked Mr. Seaga for all that he has done to advance the people of Jamaica and West Kingston, noting that “we will always ensure that your legacy lives on”.

“All of us, especially those of us from West Kingston, we are heartbroken today… . He was ‘closer than a brother’ but in this moment, we are also proud to have benefited from, be associated with, and counted as family by Edward Seaga.

“To us, he was and will always be family. Thank you for your service, Mr. Eddie. Thank you for loving us and working so hard for each of us every day. We will always love you,” Ms. Grange said.

Mr. Seaga, who was Jamaica’s fifth Prime Minister, died in a hospital in the United States on May 28, where he had been receiving treatment. He was 89 years old.

He is survived by wife Carla and his children, Christopher, Anabelle, Andrew and Gabrielle.