REMARKS BY GOVERNOR-GENERAL
HIS EXCELLENCY THE MOST HON. SIR PATRICK ALLEN, ON, GCMG, CD
AT THE I BELIEVE I CAN FLY: A NEW DAY IN JA SEMINAR
SUNDAY MARCH 17, 2013
Good Afternoon to you.
The “I Believe I Can Fly Seminars” is a project that is making our dreams a reality. We had the first of these conferences in the county of Cornwall some months ago for the parishes of St Elizabeth, Westmoreland, Hanover, St James and Trelawny. It was a great success. I saw the responses on Facebook and emails that were brought to my attention. Every person who responded expressed such great joy saying what a life- changing experience it was for each one of them attending the conference, and I am sure the same thing is going to happen this afternoon.
It comes at such a fortuitous time, right on the heels of a record-breaking Boys and Girls Championship. I want to say, Mr. Day, that this is going to be the icing on the cake for a wonderful weekend – a championship weekend.
We were all so proud last night when we saw all those youngsters. The exuberance, the vibrancy, the energy and the commitment; they were just racing to the finish line and every one of them with the determination that they must win. After a time, it’s not just the matter of getting to the finishing line, it is also breaking records. “This is my time! This is my time to shine! This is my time to fly!” This is what I was getting from the youngsters last evening.
We are very proud of them. Since we are in JC’s (Jamaica College’s) auditorium, maybe we should take the opportunity to congratulate JC on an outstanding performance, as well as all the other winners because all those young people were winners. I listened to Bruce James and the other folk commenting and you could feel the pride oozing out of them – talking about “What a bright future we have”, talking about “This is the centre of the world tonight in athletics”. We were looking at the future of Jamaica, that is what we were looking at right before us; our nation’s future. I could not have been prouder than I was last evening. Her Excellency in moments like those just leaves me alone to savour the moment. Afterwards she came back and she said: “What an evening!”
What we saw last night is a typical example of what Jamaica is. We have been inspired by those who have gone ahead of us and the youngsters coming after us must be inspired by us. We have a responsibility to leave a legacy: a legacy of leadership, of commitment, of transparency, of doing a job well wherever we are placed. We are responsible to leave a legacy for them so that the ones coming after us will look at what we have done and find us faithful; we must do what we are called to do very well, we must bloom where we are planted.
Not everyone is going to be doing the same thing, we complement one another. It does not matter where we function – we must fly where we are. We are not going to talk about the doom and gloom this afternoon and the challenging situation that we face. We know they are there and we don’t want to cast any despair over anyone this afternoon. We want to look beyond our obstacles and find solutions; find ways in which we can make this place a better place to fulfill that vision that is planted for Jamaica: to be a place where we can live, work, raise our families and do business.
You would have heard that this “I Believe I Can Fly” seminar is an event that is partnered with the I Believe Initiative. The I Believe Initiative is an initiative that emerged from my inaugural speech in which I declared that “there is nothing wrong with Jamaica that cannot be fixed by using what is right with Jamaica”. So many people have come to believe and accept that – that we can fix ourselves and I am going to cite one example for you.
You will recall some years ago when our electoral machinery was in shambles and as a people we got together and we solved that problem. Today we have a top-of- the-line machinery that we now export to other countries and Jamaicans can go elsewhere and use the programme and the process that we have here successfully. This was not developed by outside resources this was developed by us. We have intelligent, creative, strong and committed people who know what it is like to stick to something and get it done. That is why I believe so much in our Jamaican people.
That is why you hear folk talk about what it is that makes a Jamaican a Jamaican. It is our abilities, our resourcefulness – we are a proud set of people and we must always hold our heads high despite the challenges. Let’s not put each other down or say bad things about each other. Let us affirm each other and build each other because in doing so, we will be building a better country. As many hands build a house, so many hearts will build a country. I trust that as you listen to Mr. Day this afternoon, that you will be inspired and motivated to make this the beginning of a new day in JA.
God bless you.