Fourteen persons and two entities in St. James were honoured for outstanding contributions and selfless service to the parish’s development, during the St James Municipal Corporation’s Independence Day Civic and Awards Ceremony on Thursday (August 6).
The stately event was held at the Montego Bay Cultural Centre in the parish’s capital, under the theme: ‘Jamaica 58… Resilient and Strong’.
The honourees were presented with the ‘Spirit of Independence Award’ and were recognized for work in the fields of community development, education, agriculture, tourism, sport, and religion.
In his address at the ceremony, Corporation Chairman and Montego Bay Mayor, Councillor Homer Davis, described the awardees as “local heroes who have been blazing a trail in the development of our parish”.
“The presentation of the Spirit of Independence Awards to these worthy recipients is our small way of saying thanks to them for the part that they have been playing in building St. James,” he said.
The Mayor encouraged the awardees to continue their work to uplift St. James as part of the wider collective nation building effort.
“I say [to you] to whom much is given much is expected. You are expected to continue being good stewards for your parish. Be role models as we lay the foundation for Jamaica [and] we enter the fourth industrial revolution,” Mr. Davis further stated.
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, in his message, delivered by National Security Minister, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, noted that as a free and independent nation, Jamaicans must acknowledge the need to act responsibly and with accountability.
This, he said, is necessary in order to improve and enhance the lives of every citizen.
“Let us join hands and hearts, working each day to ensure the emergence of a new Jamaica… a Jamaica that is the place of choice to live, work raise families, do business and retire in paradise,” the Prime Minister stated.
Holness said that “as we celebrate our Independence, remain resilient [and] strong”, adding “let us celebrate Jamaica 58… we are recovering stronger… together”.
The Independence message from the Governor General, His Excellency, the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, was read by Custos Rotulorum for St. James, Hon. Bishop Conrad Pitkin, while Senator Dr. Andre Haughton, read the message from the Leader of the Opposition Dr. Peter Phillips.