Janet Silvera, Senior Gleaner Writer
On the 75th anniversary of the ruling People's National Party (PNP), party President Portia Simpson Miller, is urging comrades to bring down any line that seeks to reject the major achievements made by the country.
Simpson Miller, who was speaking at the Region Six dinner and awards banquet at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Rose Hall last Saturday night, said the party's successes include the educational opportunities offered to the masses by its founding father, Norman Washington Manley.
Reminding the large group not to forget where the country was coming from, Simpson Miller used the example of powerful persons who send their children to North America and Europe, so they will not have to sit around the same desk as the children of the poor, "the workers, helpers, the gardeners and the small farmers".
She said some who had humble beginnings knew the power of education yet they were the same ones to criticise her unapologetic stance in defending the poor and the disenfranchised.
Simpson Miller has comfortably claimed the title 'champion for the poor', and has earned the ire of persons in the past, particularly, members of the Opposition, who have said she could do more for the poor people she boasts of protecting.
Simpson Miller lauded the over 90 long-service members from Region Six (St James, Hanover and Westmoreland) for providing faithful and outstanding service to the party and the nation in the areas of community development and welfare, education, sports development, health care and policymaking over the past 75 years.
The recipients included former Governor General Sir Howard Cooke, who was absent owing to ill health; former speaker of the house, Violet Neilsen; two past tourism ministers, Frank Pringle and Francis Tulloch; Senator Noel Sloley; and the man who has been tagged the six-star general, Minister of Labour and Social Security, Derrick Kellier.
Members of the business community who were honoured included Indru Dadlani, Allan Daswani, Frederick Hamaty, Arthur Nelson, Clayton Morgan and Owen Sinclair.