Tribute to Bustamante on February 24


In observance of the 121st anniversary of the birth of National Hero and Jamaica’s first Prime Minister, the Right Excellent Sir Alexander Bustamante, the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), has organized a floral tribute, as well as a civic ceremony on Thursday, February 24.
The floral tribute will be held at National Heroes Park, beginning at 8:00 a.m., where Minister of Education, Youth and Culture, Maxine Henry-Wilson; Mayor of Kingston and St. Andrew, Councillor Desmond McKenzie and Rev. Canon Weeville Gordon, Custos of Kingston, among other dignitaries, will lay flowers at the monument of the National Hero.
The civic ceremony, which begins at 11:00 a.m. will see Jamaicans celebrating the National Hero’s legacy at his birthplace in Blenheim Estate, Hanover, where Leader of the Jamaica Labour Party, Senator Bruce Golding will deliver the keynote address.
Blenheim is the first birthplace of a National Hero to be developed and declared a national heritage site by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT), serving as both a tourism attraction and education centre.
Both events will include special tributes from representatives of the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union (BITU) and the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions (JCTU).
Speaking with JIS News, Events Co-ordinator and Commemorations Co-ordinator at the JCDC, Hopeton Murray said it is of great importance that Jamaicans remember the lives and times of the country’s national heroes, who fought valiantly to develop the island.
“Bustamante’s mission in life was to improve the quality of life for the poor and to be a voice for those who had no voice to speak for them,” he said.According to Mr. Murray, the ceremony promises to be an entertaining one. “The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Band will perform with a number of schools, all of which will give various tributes in speech, music, dance and drama,” he said.
Sir Alexander is best remembered as a forceful public speaker, who dealt with a variety of issues, but most outstanding was his sympathy and concern for the future of the workingclass population.
As a ‘Founding Father’ of independent Jamaica, he held several titles, such as National Hero, Patriot and Statesman, Patriarch and Politician, President-General of the BITU, Founder and Chief of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), Member of the House of Representatives, Councillor and Mayor, Chief Minister, Leader of the Opposition, Prime Minister, Knight Grand Cross of the British Empire and Privy Councillor.
Sir Alexander died on August 6, 1977, 15 years to the day of the attainment of Jamaica’s independence, for which he fought.
The JCDC is inviting the public to participate in both events.

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