MONTEGO BAY — St. Ann, birthplace of Jamaica's first national hero, the Rt. Excellent Marcus Garvey, recognized seven persons and honoured them for serving the parish, as it celebrated National Heroes Day on Monday (October 17) with a civic ceremony at Lawrence Park, St. Ann’s Bay.
Those honoured were: John Greaves, for philanthropy and community service; Dorothy Salmon and Hyacinth Archer, volunteerism; Pastor Yvette Brown, community service; Alpheus Lewis, trade unionism; Claudeth Brown, education; and Sergeant Levi Powell, for long and meritorious Service in the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF). Two companies, Noranda Bauxite Partners and the Franklyn D Resort, were also recognized for community service.
Her Worship, the Mayor of St. Ann’s Bay, Councillor Vinnette Oddman, Custos of St. Ann, Hon. R. O. Walters and Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), Hon Shahine Robinson, were among those hailing the awardees, and commending them for their unselfish contributions to nation building.
Mrs. Robinson described the awards ceremony as a noble act, noting that there is no greater honour than being recognized by one’s peers.
“St. Ann, though known the world over for its rich natural flora and fauna, would not have achieved its full potential without some of our honourees today, who have given of their time, financially or through sweat equity to preserve and enhance what we call the garden parish,” she said.
She added that the greatest potential of the parish was its human resources, who must be recognized for going the extra mile in nation building.
“They have created positive changes in our community, they have contributed to the quality of life that most of us enjoy: It is because they have made a lasting impact on that quality of life in St. Ann, and made a difference in making St. Ann what it is today, that we honour them,” she explained.
She also pleaded with the honourees to continue their good work, and invited other residents to engage hands and heart, as valued partners, in serving their fellow Jamaicans.
In the main address, Dr. Phillip Henry, said that the time was ripe for the emergence of a new crop of national heroes and heroines. He noted that suggestions have already been forwarded for consideration, and insisted that, from a socio-political standpoint, there are conditions crying out for attention.
“It is not just about the emergence of a hero in the form of an acclaimed individual, but also a journey about finding the hero within ourselves, in our pursuit of personal aspirations and meaningful human endeavour,” he said.
He argued that there will be that single individual, every two or three generations, who will lead the charge and shine with exemplary brilliance.
By Bryan Miller, JIS Reporter