JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Thousands of residents of St. James, many of them decked out in the national colours of black, green and gold, converged at the historic Sam Sharpe Square in Montego Bay on Wednesday, August 6.
  • The event, organised by the St. James Parish Council in collaboration with the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), was held under the national theme: “This is Jamaica…My Jamaica”.
  • Governor-General of Jamaica, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, in his message, which was read by the Custos Rotulorum of St. James, Hon. Ewen Corrodus, hailed the resilient spirit of Jamaicans.

Thousands of residents of St. James, many of them decked out in the national colours of black, green and gold, converged at the historic Sam Sharpe Square in Montego Bay on Wednesday, August 6, to participate in the Independence Day Civic Ceremony.

The event, organised by the St. James Parish Council in collaboration with the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), was held under the national theme: “This is Jamaica…My Jamaica” and saw several uniformed groups participating including the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Band.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, in her message read by Acting Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, and Member of Parliament for South St. James, Hon. Derrick Kellier, said that the theme compels all Jamaicans to take responsibility and “give our all to this rock”.

“We must have a sense that we are indeed, stakeholders (and we have to take responsibility and be accountable for our actions … ‘This is Jamaica, my Jamaica’ means that in the face of our most severe drought in recent memory, we must take personal responsibility for conserving water… ‘This is Jamaica, my Jamaica’ means that we take responsibility for our communities and help to keep them safe,” she stated.

She further pointed out the theme impels all workers to have the will and responsibility to give a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay and to maximise the country’s production and efficiency.

“This is the only way Jamaica will be strong economically and increase our exports and foreign exchange earnings.  Our fiscal prudence, our judicious management of our economy as well as the reduction of our debt and current account deficits, is a demonstration of our taking our affairs into our hands.  We can’t be bystanders in the building of this Jamaica. We are all stakeholders. This is our Jamaica,” the Prime Minister stated.

Governor-General of Jamaica, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, in his message, which was read by the Custos Rotulorum of St. James, Hon. Ewen Corrodus, hailed the resilient spirit of Jamaicans.

“This resilience and indomitable spirit we see demonstrated time and again in: our response to natural disasters and personal tragedies, our agriculture sector, which thanks to our courageous farmers, always strives to bounce back after being ravaged by disasters and human predators … our security forces, who constantly put their lives on the line in accordance with their mandate to serve and protect our people and defend our territory, our media which gives Jamaica a high ranking globally for press freedom … and our government, non-governmental and voluntary organisations which devote themselves to advancing the welfare and wellbeing of our people,” the Governor-General pointed out.

In his message, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Holness, urged the country’s youth to craft a vision for the next 50 years of statehood.

“The youth of Jamaica must become more vocal and active in defining the future they would want to see for Jamaica … The post Independence leaders must now emerge and take charge of piloting the future and rekindling the hope and optimism about Jamaica,” Mr. Holness noted.

Following the civic ceremony, the exciting ‘Children’s Village’ opened, which featured a variety of fun activities, including games and rides.

There were also a ‘Speakers Corner,’ a cultural display, and the Independence street concert in the evening.