Let’s take pride in our coun­try

Jamaica Gleaner - - ENTERTAINMENT -

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


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