Seaga to get special honour for contribution to Jamaica
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has signalled that the country will bestow a significant honour on his predecessor and mentor, Edward Seaga, for his sterling contribution to the development and modification of a range of national institutions.
His comments came yesterday at the naming of Petrojam Limited's Corporate Office Building as the Edward Seaga Building. The unveiling of the name took place at the company's offices on Marcus Garvey Drive in Kingston.
Minister of Science, Technology and Energy Dr Andrew Wheatley had proposed that the honour be accorded to the former prime minister for his vision and foresight in purchasing the refinery from private ownership in 1982.
"Mr Seaga, we will find an appropriate mark, the appropriate symbol of your contribution to Jamaica and make it in your honour," Holness told Seaga, after calling him the "father of the Jamaican nation, in every sense".
According to Holness, apart from being the sole surviving member of the committee that framed Jamaica's Constitution, Seaga's fingerprints were evident on almost every institution that defined the country. He said the former prime minister played a key role in conceptualising, implementing and modifying various critical institutions locally.
"This very small gesture, Mr Seaga, is our way of saying we love you. We cherish the work that you have done, and we have to find more ways to symbolise it," said Holness. "We should find a marker in our society on which your name is etched that will ensure that generations to come will be exposed to it."
In his response, Seaga pointed out that Esso, the owners of the refinery in the early 1980s, had requested a price increase on petrol and the Government rejected the request after a careful review.
He said the then owners asked the Government to purchase the refinery if they could not be granted a price increase. Seaga said he was advised by his then permanent secretary, Dr Carlton Davis, that the refinery could become an important asset to the Government. The former prime minister said he then gave instructions to purchase the refinery in 1982.