Jamaica News: Ten citizens of St. James were presented with the Spirit of Independence Award for outstanding contributions to the parish’s development, during Monday’s (August 6) Independence Day Civic Ceremony at Sam Sharpe Square, Montego Bay.
The awardees include: Carlene Ricketts, for extraordinary service to education; philanthropist, Robert Blake, who is visually impaired, for outstanding contributions to community development; and General Manager for the Hotel RIU Montego Bay, Frank Sondern, for outstanding service in the field of tourism.
Hundreds of citizens, many attired in the national colours – black, green and gold – converged on Sam Sharpe Square for the colourful ceremony, which was organized by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) and St. James Municipal Corporation, under the theme: ‘Jamaica 56 – One Love… One Family’.
Among the guests were: heads of government agencies, political representatives, community leaders, members of the civic and business communities, students and uniformed groups.
Governor General, His Excellency, the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, in his Independence Day message, read by Custos Rotulorum for St. James, Bishop the Hon. Conrad Pitkin, lauded the Government and partner stakeholders for assisting Caribbean nations impacted by hurricanes last year.
“We were spared any major disaster this past year… but our people rose up and helped others in the region who suffered. I commend the Government and private individuals who willingly gave of their skills and resources to assist our neighbours in their time of adversity,” the Governor-General said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, in his message read by National Security Minister, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, said as Jamaicans celebrate Independence, focus should be placed on the challenges being faced by the nation and how these can be effectively addressed.
Opposition leader, Dr. Peter Phillips’ message was read by Councillor for the Mount Salem Division of the St. James Municipal Corporation, Kerry Thomas.
In his remarks, Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Homer Davis, encouraged persons to strive and “remain focused” on returning Jamaica to its former glory when the island was regarded as “the Jewel of the Caribbean”.
Source: JIS News