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#Jamaica, May 30, 2022 – The area set aside at National Heroes Park in downtown Kingston to bury Jamaicans who make outstanding contributions to the country will receive a facelift that transforms the historic site into a space that better reflects the nation’s appreciation for these people.

This was revealed by the Prime Minister, the Right Hon. Andrew Holness, who said that “very soon this park will be quite different; very soon this park will be worthy of the heroes we have buried here.

He was addressing a floral tribute ceremony at the facility on Saturday, May 28 to commemorate the 92n/a anniversary of the birth of the fifth Jamaican Prime Minister, the late Msgr. Edward Seaga.

Among those buried in the park are national heroes and former prime ministers.

Mr Holness noted that no Jamaican could be satisfied to see the facility in its current state, “strewn with piles of rubbish all around”.

“So in no time [after the facelift]I’m sure Mr. Seaga [would] be very happy, along with all the other heroes, prime ministers and great Jamaicans we have laid to rest here, that this will truly be a symbol of their wishes being fulfilled for this nation,” he said.

The government has previously announced plans for the redevelopment of the wider National Heroes Park, which involves the construction of a new parliament building on a 50-acre section of the property. This is part of a redevelopment master plan for downtown Kingston.

Meanwhile, Mr Holness, reflecting on the life and work of Mr Seaga, hailed him as a leader “who truly believed in democracy and the institutions of democracy”.

He noted that this was exemplified in the 1980s when for a period there was no parliamentary opposition, pointing out that “there could never be any question that any of our democratic institutions had been undermined during this period”. period.”

“Mr. Seaga went too far…in many cases to make…clear that his administration during this period would do anything to preserve democracy, including making innovations in Senate appointments and other similar innovations in the government to protect our democracy,” the prime minister said.

Mr. Holness noted that the work and services of Mr. Seaga, as one of the original drafters of the Jamaican Constitution and leading constitutional reform for a number of years, were also symbolic of his strong belief in democracy.

“He was…a critical and essential figure at the time of our independence; he was truly a father of the nation and indeed a father of our democracy,” he said.

Premier Holness also recounted Mr. Seaga’s enthusiasm for development, noting that he was instrumental in the development of Ocho Rios, Negril, New Kingston and downtown Kingston.

“We are also looking at West Kingston and we recognize [that] Tivoli [Gardens] was the product of the mind of Mr. Seaga; his thought of trying to socially organize a community and development. So this dream, 50 years from now, needs to be revisited and completed,” he said.

In his tribute, the Minister of Local Government and Community Development and MP for Kingston Western, the Hon. Desmond McKenzie, said “Jamaica has lost a great son” adding that “his name will be [continue to] echo through [the country].”

He stressed that Mr. Seaga’s name is synonymous with local culture, noting that thousands of young people across the country have had the opportunity to be culturally exposed through the efforts of the late former Prime Minister through the Festival. from Jamaica.

Mr. McKenzie advised that at this time of year, the constituency of West Kingston usually reflects on the life and work of Mr. Seaga by organizing several events.

He noted that a youth forum was held in the constituency, where young people talked about building on the legacy of the former prime minister.

“Last night (May 27) at Tivoli we had an evening of excellence, where West Kingston’s cultural ‘barnyard’, representing the various schools and institutions, performed,” he said. .

Mr McKenzie said other planned activities included a wreath laying involving representatives from the constituency on Sunday, May 29.

[The constituency] will be back here tomorrow [May 29] morning for a wreath laying ceremony…because we can never forget what Edward Seaga did for the people of West Kingston and we are eternally grateful,” he said, adding that a concert of gospel was also to take place.

Mr Seaga, who died aged 89 on May 28, 2019, represented the constituency of West Kingston from 1962 until his retirement from active politics in 2005. He then held the distinction of being the longest serving MP in history from Jamaica and the Caribbean.

Photo captions:

On your mind: Prime Minister, Rt Hon. Andrew Holness, prepares to lay a wreath at the shrine of the late former Prime Minister, the Right Hon. Edward Seaga, during a floral tribute ceremony at the National Heroes Park in downtown Kingston on Saturday, May 28. The ceremony was held to commemorate the 92n/a anniversary of the birth of Mr. Seaga, who was the fifth Prime Minister of Jamaica.

1st insert: Minister of Local Government and Community Development and Member of Parliament for Kingston Western, the Hon. Desmond McKenzie, places a special floral arrangement on behalf of the constituency at the shrine of the late former Prime Minister, the Right Hon. Edward Seaga, during a floral tribute at National Heroes Park in downtown Kingston on Saturday, May 28. The ceremony was held to commemorate the 92n/a anniversary of the birth of Mr. Seaga, who was the fifth Prime Minister of Jamaica. Mr. Seaga represented Kingston Western from 1962 until his retirement from active politics in 2005.

2nd insert: The Right Hon. Carla Seaga, widow of the late former Prime Minister, the Right Hon. Edward Seaga, lays a wreath on his shrine during a floral tribute ceremony at the National Heroes Park in downtown Kingston on Saturday, May 28. The ceremony was held to commemorate the 92n/a anniversary of the birth of Mr. Seaga, who was the fifth Prime Minister of Jamaica.

3rd insert: Opposition Leader Mark Golding pauses to reflect after placing flowers at the shrine of the late former Prime Minister, the Right Hon. Edward Seaga, during a floral tribute ceremony at the National Heroes Park in downtown Kingston on Saturday, May 28. The ceremony was held to commemorate the 92n/a anniversary of the birth of Mr. Seaga, who was the fifth Prime Minister of Jamaica.

Version: JIS

Contact: Alecia Smith

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