Cabbrina Lennox, Gleaner Writer
PORT MARIA, St Mary:
JEFF MCKITTY, acting custos of St Mary, on Monday urged Jamaicans to be heroes by protecting the nation's children from abuse.
McKitty made the charge during his address at the National Heroes' Day Floral Tributes and Awards ceremony in Port Maria.
"We are destroying the prospect of our society, young girls, we are demonising them and when we do that, we can't build on the legacy that Nanny, George William Gordon and the others have left for us," he said.
McKitty said if the issue continues to be swept under the rug, then the problem will continue to affect the country.
"We must help to grow our children. They are our lives, our future, hence we must be strong and fight for them like our heroes did," he told the gathering.
The acting custos added: "We must organise ourselves against these act of abuse, they should not happen, our girls are our lives, they are our future, and we must protect them, because they are vulnerable, and those of us who are strong, like our heroes, we have to decide among ourselves that we must organise help our young girls."
Seven centurions were awarded along with other individuals who have contributed to the fields of education and community development, music, health community service and sports.
Kornel Brown and Keith Warren were awarded for outstanding contributions to sports. Victoria Brown was recognised for her long service to the parish.
McKitty charged the awardees to return to their respective communities and display their awards, so others can see the work they have undertaken for the benefit of their country.
"We need to assess ourselves, are we doing enough for our younger generations? We should work assiduously that even if we don't reach the age of our centurions, the younger generation will appreciate and acknowledge us for our work, so that Jamaica can be the place to live, work, raise families and do business."