Let’s take pride in our country
Members of the congregation that attended the National Church Service to launch Local Government and Community Month 2016, held at the Lucea United Church on Sunday, October 30, 2016. I JOIN the local authorities across Jamaica in observing Local Government and Community Month throughout November, under the theme: ‘Rebuilding Civic Pride in Your Community and Mine.’
This year’s theme calls on us all as Jamaicans to play a bigger role in the development of our communities to shape a greater Jamaica. As government, we have a duty to create the environment for a strong, secure, educated and healthy nation. However, it is at the community level that we build civic pride on our institutions, monuments and broader environment that will help shape a clean and prosperous environment built on respect for self and others, as well as institutions.
In this regard, the Government has continued to establish and upgrade community facilities, including social infrastructure such as schools, health centres, parks and play areas. Critical to the process of civic pride is people’s acceptance of, and capacity for, personal responsibility and pride. Our people must take care of their personal belongings as well as our national monuments, symbols and treasures, including our iconic personalities. Jamaica is best known as much for its rich tangible heritage as we are for our people such as Marcus Garvey, Bob Marley, Louise Bennett and Usain Bolt.
The world has claimed Jamaica as one of the happiest and best places on earth, especially when it comes to tourism, cuisine, our people, our infectious vibe and even the number of churches per square mile. Jamaicans must believe they have a valuable stake in the ownership of community assets and in the orderly development of the nation. If this does not happen our beloved island will not be able to grow and to prosper.
Importantly, civic pride also means being our brothers’ keepers. In this regard, I am pleased that our recent preparations for Hurricane Matthew was met with an each-onehelp-one approach. In communities across Jamaica there were acts of kindness to looking
for our neighbours as we prepared. Thankfully, we were spared the worst. But what we saw was true community spirit of coming together and being responsible for each other coming to the fore.
I use this opportunity to commend the parish and municipal councils across Jamaica, all councillors, mayors and their staff, for their continued important contributions to community development and national service. As we celebrate Local Government and Community Development Month, let us recommit to ensuring we take pride in our country so that we can indeed make Jamaica the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business, and realise the dream of being a prosperous nation.
Thank you on behalf of the Government for the valuable community service you provide at the grassroots level, and your general contribution to governance in Jamaica and the development of our country. Let us continue to work together for a better tomorrow for all our people and our communities. Andrew Holness Prime Minister