Brian Walker, Gleaner Intern
The Jamaica 50 Secretariat has launched the One Million Pins (OMP) initiative under the theme 'Pins, Celebration, Pride' - in an attempt to evoke a sense of pride and nationalism among Jamaicans and to preserve the nation's history. This creative and historic movement seeks to engender patriotism among one million Jamaicans who will proudly display their pins throughout the yearlong celebrations and subsequently pass down this memorabilia of our history to the next generation.
Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller was pinned by Youth and Culture Minister Lisa Hanna, as the first patriot of the initiative, in front of a jubilant crowd on June 29 at the Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association (JAAA) Supreme Ventures National Senior Championships.
Checks with sale locations reveal that Jamaicans are gravitating towards the initiative. Dorrett Thaxter of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), one of the islandwide sale locations, indicates that "reaction to the pins has been overwhelming. People are warm to them, they love them and several persons have bought all four designs because they can't decide". Similarly, buyers have asserted that the design is beautiful and the pin is reasonably priced and it is worth the sacrifice in light of Jamaica 50.
The Jamaica 50 Secretariat also notes that several corporate bodies have placed sizeable orders since the launch of the initiative.
Conversely, there are still many persons who are unaware of this initiative and they point to the lack of marketing in terms of commercials and advertisements on television and radio for their limited knowledge. One such person, Shamieka Francis, contends that there needs to be a more aggressive and extensive media campaign for the OMP initiative's objective to be realised across a wide demography. When The Gleaner contacted the Jamaica 50 Secretariat, it was revealed that a print media campaign is under way for the Pins of Pride.
The Pins of Pride, which employ the Jamaica 50 logo design, cost $700 and are available in a variety of colours and elegant finishes and can be purchased at Courts Jamaica, Things Jamaica, and LIME and JCDC parish offices islandwide. Not to be left out, Jamaicans overseas can place orders through O&M Trading online at omglobaltrading.com. If the target of one million pins is achieved by the secretariat, several buyers have called for the proceeds to go towards road development, youth entrepreneurship and early childhood education. However, Jamaica 50 Project Director Robert Bryan states that they will go towards funding the Jamaica 50 programme.