Note has been taken of inaccuracies in a story appearing in the Tuesday, November 12, 2019 edition of the Daily Observer regarding the unavailability of the King’s House East Lawn for parking for the ‘Shaggy and Friends Concert’ staged at the Jamaica House Grounds. Although it is not the policy of King’s House to complain or explain, we wish to advise all that the reference is misleading.
For over a decade, King’s House has accommodated requests from the ‘Shaggy Make a Difference Foundation’ for use of the West Lawn for parking. On December 17, 2017, we received a request for the use of the East Lawn for parking for the January 6, 2018 concert. A further request was also made to cut an existing fence to allow for passage from the East Lawn to the Jamaica House Grounds. This action would have affected the security of both properties, and the request was denied.
By letter dated December 21, 2017, King’s House responded to the Foundation indicating that the portion of the property requested was used for parking only for national occasions such as the swearing-in of Prime Ministers and the National Honours and Awards Ceremony.
Nevertheless, given the circumstances regarding traffic congestion, flow, and control, a concession was made. However, the organisers were advised that in the future, the East Lawn would not be available, and they would need to revert to the previous arrangements for parking, that is, the West Lawn.
King’s House has always supported this event of which the beneficiary entity is the Bustamante Hospital for Children, which Lady Allen has adopted, and which she visits regularly for on-going charitable activities. Over the years, several other charitable causes have been supported that have benefited the intended recipients. However, it should be noted that the State Office embodies the values and aspirations of a nation, not just a single group, and some requests cannot be accommodated at King’s House.
It is hoped that any misunderstandings on the part of the public or the organizers have now been clarified.
Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen has said that the passing of former Chief Justice the Hon Edward Zacca, OJ, PC, marks the end of a unique career that spanned some five and half decades in the legal and judicial services of the Region.
Noting that Sir Edward holds pride of place as being the first Jamaican Chief Justice to be elevated to the Privy Council of the United Kingdom, Sir Patrick said that appointment was one of many distinctions, which marked him as a gentleman of excellence who was highly respected locally and internationally.
“He leaves a proud legacy not only for the members of the profession which he loved so much and so excellently represented, but for all Jamaicans who value integrity, personal dignity, and concern for colleagues community, and country. We will remember him with pride and gratitude,” The Governor-General said in extending condolence to his widow and family.
Sir Edward served as Acting Governor-General between March 31 and August 1991.
Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen has described the late Douglas Vaz as “a great Jamaican and an esteemed patriot” and observed that the country would always be grateful for his service.
In expressing condolence to the members of the Vaz family on the passing of the former Member of Parliament, Sir Patrick said many Jamaicans would recall his strong voice, self-confidence, and his unshakeable commitment to doing whatever he identified as being in Jamaica’s national interest.
The Governor-General said Mr Vaz displayed a profound understanding of the need for a stable democracy in which all voices should be heard but which in the end reflected the genuine will of an enlightened majority.
“Although on occasion he disagreed with persons in important leadership positions, he nevertheless exercised good judgment and acted in ways which enhanced rather than fractured the organizational framework of which he was a part. He earned the respect of leaders across the political divide and was one of the most admired Parliamentary representatives of all time,” the Governor-General said.
He noted that Mr Vaz had left a remarkable legacy, and testimony of this was evident in the outpouring of goodwill and gratitude by Jamaicans.
The areas of Northern France known as Flanders and Picardy saw some of the most concentrated and bloodiest fighting in the First World War. There was complete devastation. Buildings, roads, trees, and natural life simply disappeared. Where there once were homes and farms, was a sea of mud, and graves for the dead where men still lived and fought.
The poppy flowers were the only living things that survived. They appeared in vast numbers bringing a delicate beauty to areas, which had seen such terrible scenes. It brought LIFE, HOPE, COLOUR, and REASSURANCE to those still fighting.
The first Poppy Day was held in Britain on November 11, 1921, and it was a national success. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, the first World War ended. World War I (1914-1918) World War II (1939-1945).
The Jamaica Legion Poppy Appeal was launched on Sunday, October 4, 2019. Proceeds from the Appeal will go toward the welfare of veterans of the two World Wars. The target for this year is $9 million. A poppy board is located in the Foyer at King’s House and is accompanied by a contribution box. Visitors to King’s House are invited to contribute to the Poppy Appeal and wear your Poppy proudly.
Poppies should be worn on the left side of a jacket lapel, polo shirt collar, long sleeve shirt pocket, dress or blouse. Poppies should not be sold or worn after 11:00 a.m. on November 11.
World Mental Health Day will be observed on Thursday, October 10, and last Friday, October 4, Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen read the Proclamation at King’s House. In a rare departure, the Governor-General opted to read the Proclamation which is usually read by the Governor-General’s Secretary.
This year, the theme for World Mental Health Day is “Working Together to Prevent Suicide”. In his Remarks, Sir Patrick observed that many times persons committed suicide because they were harshly judged by others in the community for crimes they may have committed.
Noting that many times mental health and suicide were connected, The Governor-General said it was important to get the country to understand that many persons who displayed anger and antisocial behavior needed help, not scorn and isolation. He recalled that the issue of mental health was discussed at the 2018 Youth Consultative Conference of the I Believe Initiative and the young people had a robust discussion in exploring the various aspects of poor mental health.
Receiving the Proclamation, Dr Kevin Goulbourne, Acting Director of Mental Health and Substance Abuse at the Ministry of Health and Wellness, who led a team of six persons to King’s House, thanked The Governor-General for his support.
Dr Goulbourne said that in many instances, mental health patients required treatment as well as psychological support from their families and the community. Many persons who committed suicide had no previous mental conditions but felt hopeless or overwhelmed by challenges, and took their lives. He stressed the importance of providing housing, financial, emotional, and spiritual support for persons who faced mental health challenges.
A member of the delegation, Mrs Fay Robinson Tee from the Southern Regional Health Authority presented The Governor-General with an original CD with two dub tracks of mental health awareness songs, one about senior citizens, and the other about human trafficking.
World Mental Health Day was established in 1992 by the World Federation for Mental Health and celebrates awareness for the global community to help persons feel hopeful to take action and create lasting change on this important subject.