'This is not the Jamaica Norman Manley fought for'
Manchesterians from all walks of life gathered at the Roxborough Museum last Saturday to commemorate the 122nd anniversary of the birth of one of Jamaica's national heroes: Norman Washington Manley.
Manley, who was Jamaica's only premier, was born in Roxborough, Manchester, on July 4, 1893. The Roxborough Museum is located at his childhood home.
Dorothy Miller, chair of the Manchester Cultural Development Committee, described Manley as the greatest son Manchester had ever produced and a beacon for the world over.
She said the Roxborough Museum should be teeming with schoolchildren, noting that they should be made aware of their heritage.
"We are losing our children because we are not encouraging them to be what is part of Jamaica," said Miller.
GREAT JAMAICAN SON
Guest speaker Dr Orville Taylor, senior lecturer in the Department of Sociology, Psychology and Social Work at the University of the West Indies, Mona, said Manley was one Jamaica's greatest sons.
"I wonder if all 63 parliament-arians would be comfortable with what they have done with the legacy of Norman Washington Manley and his cousin, (Alexander) Bustamante, as they stepped forward and tried to form this wonderful democracy," Taylor said.
He added: "There is a whole lot of work to be done. Norman Manley would have been very upset now to know that even though we have maternity legislation in this country, we don't have a serious piece of legislation yet that has to do with the enfranchisement of women."
Taylor said Manley had a soft spot for the working class.
He noted that Manley, who was instrumental in the labour movement, would be disappointed with the treatment of today's workers.
"Norman Manley would also be very upset that large numbers of workers in this country are working under fragile contracts, where you call them contractors, while they are really workers. He would not have been happy with that. This is not the Jamaica that Norman Manley fought for. We have a lot of work to do."
In his remarks, Audley Shaw, member of parliament for North East Manchester, spoke of Manley's greatness. He urged the gathering to report abuse against the nation's children.
"Protect our children in the name of Manley," he urged.
walk in Manley's footsteps
For his part, Mikael Phillips, member of parliament for North West Manchester, said Manley was a force to be reckoned with. He noted that as a country, we should be true to ourselves and walk in the footsteps of Manley.
Phillips, who is the son of Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips, said he is privileged to be part of the second father-son duo to be serving in the nation's Parliament at the same time, as Manley and his son, Michael, had done it before.
A group of boys from Mt Olivet Primary School, who were Jamaica Cultural Development Commission gold medallists, performed a beautiful rendition of Real Man. Floral tributes were also laid in remembrance of Manley.