JIS News

A wreath laying ceremony to mark the 114th anniversary of the birth of the Right Excellent Norman Washington Manley, National Hero and Jamaica’s first premier, was held yesterday (July 4) at his shrine at National Heroes Park.
Floral tributes were made by Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Professor Kenneth Hall; Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller; Minister of Housing, Transport, Water and Works, Robert Pickersgill; Opposition Spokesman on Information and Culture, Senator Dwight Nelson, who represented Opposition Leader, Bruce Golding; Joseph Manley, grandson of Norman Manley; Mayor of Kingston, Councillor Desmond McKenzie; and President Emeritus of the National Workers Union, Clive Dobson.
In honouring his life, broadcaster Fae Ellington, describes Mr. Manley as a nation builder. She cited his role in the country achieving full, internal self-government in 1959 and in the forming of the Jamaica Banana Producers’ Association.
She also mentioned that Mr. Manley was instrumental in the founding of the Jamaica Welfare Fund Limited (now the Social Development Commission), which was dedicated to the social and economic empowerment of the agricultural and working class.
Dervan Malcolm, board member of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) said that “Norman Washington Manley was one great man. He was a multi-faceted gentleman, whose talents were many and whose achievements in law and government were garnered through purposeful hard work.”
Describing the National Hero as an advocate for the people of Jamaica, Mr. Malcolm said: “he was a force to be reckoned with and was notably instrumental in contributing to the Independence Constitution of 1962, which help provide a framework in which good government and human rights could be established and maintained.”
Founder of the People’s National Party, Norman Manley was also a founding member of the West Indies Federation. He was a strong advocate for the trade union movement.
An accomplished lawyer and politician, he was also an excellent sportsman, setting records in athletic events while representing Jamaica College at the 1911 National Schools Championship.
The wreath-laying ceremony also featured musical tributes from Jimmy Tucker and the Papine High School Choir.

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