• JIS News

    The National Emancipation Vigil for 2006 will be held in Bustamante Square in Lucea, Hanover, on July 31. This was revealed today (March 29), at a press conference held at the Wexford Court Hotel by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC),Western Region, to announce the itinerary of activities for the 2006 festival competitions within that region. The western region comprises the parishes of Trelawny, St. James, Hanover and Westmoreland.
    According to the JCDC Regional Manager, Marjorie Vernon, several leaders are expected at the national vigil, including the Prime Minister and the Governor-General.
    She pointed out that almost every parish would be staging an emancipation vigil, with the main one slated for Bustamante Square.
    Mrs. Vernon said that a National Committee was in place for the planning of the event and that committee would be putting a budget together. She noted that the 2005 national Emancipation vigil was held in Sam Sharpe Square, Montego Bay, at a cost of more than $300,000. “So that gives you an idea of the level at which we operate,” she said.
    Turning to the regional festival activities for 2006, she said that those events would be staged from a budget of approximately $2 million, and that most of that sum would be taken from contributions in cash and kind from the private sector.
    She said that the private sector’s support for the regional activities was very commendable. Mrs. Vernon expressed delight at the level of participation in the JCDC organized activities within the region, noting that close to 2,000 persons took part in the events last year and it is expected that this number would be exceeded this year. “The trend is showing that we should be over the 2,000 mark for this year,” she said.
    The activities will commence with Drama, Speech and Music on April 4, and will culminate in June with the presentation of all the gold medalists in the respective parish.
    The square was named in honour of National Hero, the Right Excellent Sir Alexander Bustamante, who became the country’s first Prime Minister in 1962.