THE EDITOR, Sir:
DURING THE euphoria of the Olympics and the great performance of our track stars in particular, there was a deafening cry for the 'Govament' to 'do supp'm fi dem'.
However, since the glory of August, Jamaicans have been affected by flooding and are not pleased with the announcement of a $57-million celebration. Most think it wasteful in the face of so many other pressing needs.
If I were one of the athletes, I would say, 'Thanks, but no thanks', because $57m is too much for the Government to spend right now and too little to give them the reward and celebration they deserve.
One of the challenges of the planned celebration is its inherent exclusivity. How many Jamaicans will be invited to, and can fit, in the National Arena or the venue of the cocktail reception? How many will get to meet and greet the stars?
An alternative that could be meaningful, tasteful, efficient, and valuable would be for the Government to present each athlete with a gold commemorative Jamaica 50 coin. This is worth enough to be of material and symbolical weight. The coins could be presented at a ceremony at King's House which, with private-sector sponsorship, would be broadcast live on all television and radio stations.
Not all athletes would receive these tokens, but those who clearly achieved something for the team and Jamaica.
This would be fitting, instead of yet another party, especially one from which so many would be excluded.