JIS News

KINGSTON — Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Olivia Grange has called on Jamaicans to use the period of Independence to renew their commitment to the country.

She was speaking at the Independence Thanksgiving Church Service held today ((July 31) at the Rehoboth Gospel Assembly in Kingston.

The service, organised by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), was part of the Independence celebrations being observed under the theme: 'The Journey Continues…'

The first lesson, taken from Psalm 107, verses 1-9, was read by Prime Minister, Hon. Bruce Golding, while the 2nd lesson taken from Hebrews 12, verses 1-6 and 12-14 was read by Senator Sandra Falconer, who was representing the opposition leader, the Hon. Portia Simpson Miller.

Reflecting on the theme, Minister Grange said that Independence is part of a journey that began when the first slave ship set out with the African ancestors in chains on the way to an unknown destination.

She noted that the journey was long and arduous, which saw "many of our ancestors martyred in their determination to restore their ancestral pedigree and secure a bright future for their children."  

According to Minister Grange, the journey has taken the country through many trials and frustrations, triumphs and failures.  "Our people have had many expectations and seen some major disappointments, yet through it all, through the epic saga of rebellions and wars, resistance and revolts, we have moved our country along to great prowess and now we are among the top ten brands of the world," she said.

She noted that Jamaica's achievements have been phenomenal for a country of less than 3 million people.

"Our achievements have mesmerized many. Our amazing creativity and talent, especially in culture and sports, have been surpassed by none. We have, through it all, embraced our destiny as one bold adventure and have ventured, in many cases, where others would not," she stated.

She encouraged Jamaicans to attend the many Independence activities, including street parades, stage shows and civic ceremonies, which she said, will provide the "fuel that will service the engine of growth and development."

"For when we come together as a people to bask in the achievements of our people, especially of our children and young people, we receive the positive energy that we need to undertake the task of sustainable development," she said.

By E. Hartman Reckord, JIS PRO