MONTEGO BAY (JIS) – Former Governor-General, the Most Hon. Sir Howard Cooke, has been honoured by Hands Across Jamaica for Righteousness, for his outstanding and dedicated contribution to the group, spanning approximately 20 years.
Sir Howard was showered with accolades and tributes during a special dinner held on Saturday (September 24) at the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort in Montego Bay, St. James.
In his address, Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, said Sir Howard embodies the “we can spirit that characterises us as a people”.
He said the former Governor-General has made his mark in society and has left a lasting legacy.
“He stamped his mark on the political, social and religious landscape of Jamaica. Sir Howard served in public life for 71 years, between 1935 to 2006 teaching, preaching, legislating and ministering and governing, and he is still serving. The legacy that he has left in the office of the Governor-General, however, has made it easier for us to expand and contemporise on these foundations that he has laid,” Sir Patrick stated.
Turning to his work with Hands Across Jamaica, the Governor-General said Sir Howard’s involvement with the non-government organization (NGO), which he launched on March 1, 1995 and served as its patron upon his retirement in 2006, facilitated its meteoric rise.
“Since its inception, Hands has incorporated an overseas branch with the assistance of Jamaicans from Canada, the United States and in the United Kingdom. They have also successfully launched programmes such as the MAP Keepers Club with the purpose of sensitising the nation about the power of Jamaica’s Motto, Anthem and Pledge (MAP), and the responsibility, which our children have to preserve these national symbols,” he stated.
He also thanked and commended Hands Across Jamaica for its unflinching commitment to improving the spiritual, emotional and physical state of Jamaica and Jamaicans and providing a guide for personal and national development and success.
“I believe that the dedicated, hardworking and decent members of our society are in the majority, despite the violence, vulgarity, declining values and economic vicissitudes that confront us. If we all join hands across Jamaica, we will all have a just society,” the Governor-General added.
Hands Across Jamaica is a movement anchored on Christian principles of righteousness, and is dedicated to changing the mindset of Jamaicans from negativism to a positive outlook. The organisation seeks to fulfill this mandate through the promotion of the principles enshrined in the Motto, Anthem and Pledge, which it believes is God’s spiritual, moral and social plan for the nation of Jamaica.