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  • Glowing tributes were offered at today’s (June 18) special sitting of the Kingston and St. Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) to reflect on the life and work of the former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Edward Seaga.
  • Mr. Seaga was Jamaica’s fifth Prime Minister, serving from 1980 to 1989. He represented the constituency of West Kingston from 1962 until his retirement from active politics in 2005. He died on May 28 on his 89th birthday.
  • Mayor of Kingston, Senator Councillor Delroy Williams, who led the tributes, noted that Mr. Seaga was instrumental in building many of the island’s strongest institutions and “is undoubtedly our greatest institutional architect”.

Glowing tributes were offered at today’s (June 18) special sitting of the Kingston and St. Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) to reflect on the life and work of the former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Edward Seaga.

Mr. Seaga was Jamaica’s fifth Prime Minister, serving from 1980 to 1989. He represented the constituency of West Kingston from 1962 until his retirement from active politics in 2005. He died on May 28 on his 89th birthday.

Mayor of Kingston, Senator Councillor Delroy Williams, who led the tributes, noted that Mr. Seaga was instrumental in building many of the island’s strongest institutions and “is undoubtedly our greatest institutional architect”.

He said the Jamaica Stock Exchange, Students’ Loan Bureau, and the HEART Trust/NTA are among the flagship accomplishments of the former Prime Minister.

The Mayor said the former legislator, who was one of the key architects of Jamaica’s Constitution, which was framed in 1961, played a seminal role in the recognition of the country’s music and culture. He noted, too, that Mr. Seaga laid many foundations that are still being developed.

“As a city, we are grateful for his work and vision. The redevelopment of Kingston waterfront is among our flagship targets for this Administration, and it must be noted that the waterfront was the brainchild of Mr. Seaga from as early as 1967, and seeing its success, he went on to create the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) in 1968 to replicate the vision in Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Negril,” he said.

Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, hailed Mr. Seaga’s crucial role in protecting the country’s most poor and vulnerable, particularly through the entrenchment of Poor Relief in the country’s Constitution.

He noted, too, that Mr. Seaga was instrumental in compensation packages being offered to representatives at the local government level, starting in the 1980s.

“Edward Seaga is synonymous to what development is all about,” he said, adding that he built institutions that benefited all Jamaicans.

For his part, Custos of Kingston, Hon. Steadman Fuller, said Mr. Seaga’s commitment and dedication to the country is unparalleled.

He noted that his contributions have impacted Jamaica in fundamental ways and will transcend many generations.

In his tribute, visiting Mayor of Miramar, Wayne Messam, encouraged Jamaicans to build on the legacy that was created by Mr. Seaga, to ensure the prosperity of the country.

Minority Leader, Councillor Andrew Swaby, said the former Prime Minister was an institutional builder who was committed to Jamaica.

Councillor Donovan Samuels from the Tivoli Gardens Division, said Mr. Seaga sought to uplift and improve the lives of many Jamaicans, particularly the residents of Tivoli Gardens.

For his part, Councillor Dennis Gordon said Mr. Seaga was a true patriot and visionary who used sports to build communities.

“The research further said that he was perhaps a better wicket-keeper. He didn’t score a lot of runs for Wolmer’s, but I can confess that he has scored a lot of runs for Jamaica,” he said.

During the course of his political life, Mr. Seaga made a significant impact on Jamaica’s growth and development through the introduction of various programmes and the establishment of institutions across the social, cultural, political and financial landscapes.

On June 19, both Houses of Parliament will sit in a joint session, starting at 2:00 p.m., to pay tribute to the former legislator.

During the official period of mourning (June 19 to 22), the National Flag will be flown at half-mast on all public buildings.

The State funeral for Mr. Seaga will be held on Sunday, June 23 at the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity, after which he will be buried in National Heroes Park.