Thu | Oct 29, 2020

Jamaicans are resilient, will recover stronger – Holness

Published:Wednesday | August 12, 2020 | 12:20 AMChristopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer
Prime Minister Andrew Holness during a tour of Western Jamaica on Sunday.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness during a tour of Western Jamaica on Sunday.

Western Bureau:

Amid the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, where Jamaica has recorded some 1,023 cases and 14 deaths, Prime Minister Andrew Holness is voicing hope that the country will recover from the crisis due to the strong spirit of its people.

“We are in uncertain times, going through a crisis of unprecedented magnitude and a crisis that has had global impact and that has taken many lives. We have not been spared, but as a people who believe in God, and in the grace of God, we know that Jamaica will recover stronger,” Holness declared, while addressing the Mt Carey Baptist Church in St James last Sunday, during the church’s service celebrating Jamaica’s 58th year of independence.

“We are a resilient people. Through our own works and with strong faith in God, I am sure that if we remain unified as a people, set aside divisiveness and petty differences, and focus on that critical pathway to recovery, then we will achieve the new Jamaica that we have always desired and so justly deserve,” Holness added.

Drawing on the Mt Carey Baptist Church’s history of bouncing back from various tragedies, Holness said that those numerous recoveries indicate what Jamaica is capable of in the present health crisis.

SYMBOL OF RECOVERY

“After each event, whether it is arson, a hurricane, an accident or an earthquake, what is amazing about this church, for us who are alive to see it, is that the church has rebuilt stronger. After every crisis, every setback, every devastation, the members of the church have never lost the spirit to rebuild,” Holness commented.

“There is a lesson for the nation that this church represents. We can recover, and this church is a symbol of recovery.”

The 190-year-old Mt Carey Baptist Church and its congregants have faced numerous challenges since it was first formed in 1830. The church building was damaged by an earthquake in 1957, but was rebuilt in 1961 and refurbished in 2005.

In 2008, the church was rocked by the attempted murder of its then pastor, Reverend Dr George Simpson, and then the building was burned to the ground two years later on December 30, 2010, in a suspected case of arson. The church’s education centre has also suffered several instances of vandalism.

During Sunday’s service, which the prime minister attended ahead of his meeting with the Jamaica Labour Party’s central executive for the upcoming general election, Holness presented the church with a cheque for J$300,000 in support of the Mt Carey Baptist Primary School.