St. Mary Observes Importance of Emancipation


On July 31, an ecumenical service was held at the Claude Stewart Park in Port Maria, in observance of Emancipation Day. The vigil, which was organized by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) commenced at 9:00 p.m., and featured scripture reading, the reading of patriotic poems, cultural performances and the singing of patriotic songs. A reading of ‘Life in Africa’ was done by St. Mary Festival Queen 2007, Jardeeen Sutherland while a musical presentation entitled ‘Trapped’ was made by the St. Mary Emancipation Choir. Other presentations included the reading of ‘Snatched from Africa’ and ‘Life on the Plantation’. The highlight of the occasion was the blowing of the Abeng and the reading of the Proclamation of Freedom by Custos of St. Mary, A.A. Bobby Pottinger. In addition, the audience participated in the singing of a medley of songs depicting slavery and was also treated with a rendition of the South African National Anthem by JCDC Festival of Arts gold medalist, Bruce Wedderburn. Mr. Wedderburn encouraged the audience to be proud of the legacy of the ancestors of the nation, and embrace the values of freedom and nation building, which has been handed down to the Jamaican people.
He urged the audience to combine efforts to ensure that Jamaica continues to earn the respect of the rest of the world, adding that this would be the best way in which the nation could show its appreciation for the sacrifice of its ancestors. Speaking with JIS News, Marcia Simpson, Parish Administrator for the JCDC in St. Mary, said she was pleased with the support given to the function by the people of the parish. Noting that it was a strong indication that they were very well aware and conscious of the importance of emancipation in the history of the Jamaican people, she said this consciousness will help to ensure that future generations also give the event the importance it deserves. The function was moderated by Mr. Gareth Irving of the Emanuel Baptist Church in Port Maria.

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