Citizens, representatives from the business and civic communities and students from schools and cultural groups from across St. James, came out to participate in the 48th Independence Civic Ceremony at Sam Sharpe Square, Montego Bay, on Friday morning (August 6).
The colourful and stately ceremony, organised by the St. James Parish Council in collaboration with the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), saw presentations from western-based marching bands and upcoming singer, Rory Frankson.
Mayor of Montego Bay, Cllr. Charles Sinclair, (Second Right), Custos of St. James Hon. Ewen George Corrodus and his wife Mrs. Corrodus (Second Left and Left, respectively) and Assistant Commissioner in charge of Area 1, Denver Frater (Right) participating in the 48th Independence Civic Ceremony at Sam Sharpe Square in Montego Bay today (August 6).
Governor General, His Excellency the Most Hon, Sir Patrick Allen, in his message, read by Custos of St. James, Hon. George Ewen Corrodus, noted that the Independence anniversary allowed Jamaicans to reflect, renew and recommit themselves to the task of nation-building.
“This independence has given us another opportunity to think, internalise, personalise and actualise the theme, ‘I Believe’. If we do not believe in ourselves and in our country, we are defeated; but if we go forward together and with confidence, we will overcome the obstacles and successfully navigate the path to development,” the Governor General said.
Members of the ‘Age on stage mento band’ performing during the 48th Independence Civic Ceremony at Sam Sharpe Square in Montego Bay today (August 6).
The Message from Prime Minister the Hon Bruce Golding, read by Member of Parliament for West Central St. James, Clive Mullings, reflected on the Jamaican flag as the country’s symbol of nationhood, carrying the hopes and expectations of a proud people.
He argued that, even though the country has come a long way over the 48 years and much had been accomplished, much more remains to be done.
“The spirit that inspired us to achieve independence, the belief that we are a people who can accomplish great things, must never be allowed to die, for it is the spirit that will propel us to make up the lost ground and achieve the goals that our founding fathers laid out for us,” the Prime Minister said.
Leader of the Opposition, the Most Hon Portia Simpson Miller, in her message said that Independence was not to be seen as a single event, but as part of the unending task of nation building, that exemplifies tolerance, decency, respect and unity.
Montego Bay Boys and Girls Club marching band in performance during the 48th Independence Civic Ceremony at Sam Sharpe Square in Montego Bay today (August 6).
The message, read by Member of Parliament for South St. James, Derrick Kellier, asserted that the task required commitment, grit, energy and vigour.
“The development of a nation and the molding of a people are not meant to be easy. Yet, with effort, sincerity of purpose and convergence of our belief in our nation, it can and will be achieved,” he said.