Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen and the Most Honourable Lady Allen today (October 31, 2016) visited Jamaica College (JC) to join in a spirit of solidarity with that school family and the wider education community as JC continues to deal with the death of third form student Nicholas Francis. Nicholas was attacked and fatally wounded by another passenger while travelling on a public passenger vehicle last week.
In his address, the Governor-General said that the wanton destruction of young lives has sent immense shock waves across the length and breadth of the country, the Diaspora and beyond, and that “this is a time when everyone needs to pull together.”
He said it is unfortunate that Jamaica’s children and youth are at risk, but that even in a moment of grief, ways must be identified to change the situation. “We must make decisions and take steps which, in the medium and long term, will make our country a safer place, especially for the young and vulnerable”, the Governor-General stated.
He urged the gathering to use what is right with Jamaica to fix what is wrong with Jamaica and called on young people across the nation to attach themselves to youth organization.
“Do not allow yourselves to be intimidated or pressured by those who seek to entice you into wrong doings. Support each other in pursuing your goals. Together you can and will defeat evil and blaze a trail of excellence as you make a sterling contribution to this country and the world,” His Excellency concluded.
Their Excellencies used the occasion to encourage and reassure staff and students of JC as well as students from other schools present, urging them to exercise a ‘duty of care’ to each other.
They also expressed condolences to the JC family and to Nicholas’ father and aunt who were present at the special devotional exercise which followed an earlier ‘silent protest’ by a wide cross-section of representatives from government and civil society at JC’s main entrance on Old Hope Road.