The Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport is spearheading a number of activities during National Heritage Week, from October 13 to 21, to honour Jamaica’s National Heroes and other persons who have served the nation with distinction or distinguished themselves through heroic deeds.
Speaking at this year’s National Heritage Week Thanksgiving Service at Calvary Gospel Assembly in Kingston on Sunday (October 13), State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Alando Terrelonge, said the Week will be observed under the theme ‘Our Heritage… A Great Legacy’.
“We will honour those whom we have recognised for their roles, beyond the call of duty, in serving the nation and our people with pride,” he said.
Mr. Terrelonge, who represented Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Minister, Hon. Olivia Grange, said the theme summons all Jamaicans to unite, whatever their “race, colour, religion or creed”.
“It also urges us to accept National Heritage Week as a challenge to renew our efforts to safeguard the freedoms and rights won for us by our National Heroes, and to respect and cherish the modern institutions they have decreed to the nation,” he added.
Mr. Terrelonge argued that Heritage Week celebrations must reflect “genuine pride in our cultural and material inheritance and visibly display our ability to live a legacy of social cohesion, peace, love, unity and prosperity”.
Additionally, he said National Heroes Day provides an opportunity for Jamaicans to focus on the deeds of patriotic individuals laying the foundation for the civil liberties the nation now enjoys, celebrate their commitment and sacrifices, and recognise their sterling contribution to national development.
“Our heroes, through their fight for our freedom, through their tireless struggle to ensure that none of us suffers the inequalities, oppression and injustice that they endured, have laid the foundation of our nationhood and facilitated our emergence as a proud and determined people,” the State Minister added.
Mr. Terrelonge encouraged persons to play their part in leading the changes they want to see in the society.
“Let us dedicate ourselves to do the things that we find necessary to raise the bar and work together to remove those things that seek to tear us apart, and replace them with those things that can only bring us closer together,” he underscored.
The main activity for National Heritage Week takes place on National Heroes Day, Monday, October 21, when Jamaicans will be honoured and awarded for their service at the National Honours and Awards Ceremony at King’s House.
Additionally, there will also be celebratory activities in each parish capital.