Theme: “Our Heritage … Our Legacy”
It is customary and appropriate to use this occasion for remembering our National Heroes, their impact on our history, and their vision for the future. As grateful beneficiaries of their work, we salute them again and give thanks for their contribution to our country and its ongoing development.
There is no question about the greatness of the legacy, which they have left us. We look at the rest of the world from a position of confidence in ourselves, and are by no means “twice defeated in the race of life.”
We have embraced and benefited from the Constitution, laws, and democratic character which govern our political conduct. The integrity of our electoral system is admired across many nations today.
The rights and responsibilities of our workers have remained a critical pillar of our productive engagements and economic successes. In an age of entrepreneurship, our Trade Union Movement continues to play an important role in national developmental.
The empowerment of women is evident today in every facet of professional life in our country and our Diaspora. Legends that follow our only National Heroine enrich our collective capacity for envisioning, engaging and embracing the future.
This is the experience of our citizenry — men, women, children, and youth. We therefore treasure this precious heritage, which it is our privilege to enjoy. Nevertheless, with this privilege comes the responsibility to advance the welfare of our fellow-citizens. Our National Pledge enjoins us to include in our concerns the “welfare of the whole human race.” However, we also recall the wisdom of our ancestors who encourage us to “dance a yaad” or “dance at home” before we can”dance abroad.”
So let us celebrate the rich legacy of our heritage. Let us commit ourselves to ensure that future generations of Jamaicans will, in their turn, also rise up and call us blessed.
I trust that Heritage Week 2019 will meet and exceed all your expectations as we contemplate our brighter and better future together.
May the “Eternal Father” continue to bless “Jamaica, land we love?”