Jamaicans who will be honoured for their contribution to nation building on National Heroes Day, October 21, have been commended by Governor General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen.
In a message read at the National Heritage Week Thanksgiving Service, held on Sunday, October 13, at the Power of Faith Deliverance Ministries, in May Pen, Clarendon, the Governor General said it is his hope that the awards will inspire other Jamaicans to contribute to their communities.
“May the honours that are being bestowed serve as an inspiration to others to engage in selfless service for the benefit of their community and country and of humanity as a whole,” he said in the message, read by Custos of Clarendon, William Shagoury.
Reflecting on the significance of the theme for National Heritage Week: ‘Our History…Our Strength’, the Governor General said it is a call for each Jamaican to draw strength and inspiration from the accomplishments of the National Heroes and ordinary Jamaicans who have triumphed over adversaries.
“It reminds us of the importance of restoring traditional values of mutual respect, honesty and integrity, care and concern for our children, youth and vulnerable among us and a faith in God,” he said.
The Governor General said it also reminds Jamaicans of the journey they have travelled, their ancestral origin and the need to do their part, so that future generations “will honour the achievements of our time.”
He also urged Jamaicans to focus their energies on achieving their individual, family and national goals during Heritage Week.
Guest preacher and President of the Jamaica Council of Churches, Rev. Everald Galbraith, in his sermon urged the congregation to avoid being pessimistic and resist the spirit of hopelessness.
“Let us not be hopeless for ourselves, our situations or our country. Let us not be hopeless ever for our world,” he said.
Minister of Local Government, Hon. Noel Arscott, who represented Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller; and Member of Parliament, North Central Clarendon, Pearnel Charles, who represented Leader of the Opposition, Andrew Holness, read lessons from the Old and New Testament.
Cultural items were done by the Northern Caribbean University (NCU) Chamber Ensemble, the 2013 Jamaica Gospel song winner, Howard Brown; and second place entrant in the Jamaica Children’s Gospel Song competition 2013, Nigel Hector.
The church service was organized by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission, an agency of the Ministry of Youth and Culture.