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Letter of the Day | Independence Celebrations

Published:Wednesday | July 5, 2017 | 12:00 AM


I am pleased to welcome the news that as a country we will be taking a rather unusual decision to scrap the excessive spending on Independence celebrations for the next two years. It is indeed a great idea to invite artistes who are so minded to perform gratis for this national celebration.

This decision which has won the unanimous support of the Jamaican Parliament will see us improving our services in the area of various emergency services. While we will not acquire all that is needed overnight, we now know that this extraordinary decision will see us acquiring 1,000 additional beds for hospitals island-wide, new vehicles for police work, some much needed equipment in the area of fire and rescue, and yes, some new trucks for garbage disposal.

This has inspired crowdfunding in the Jamaican diaspora where each generous donor will give no less than US$2 towards much-needed medical equipment in hospitals island-wide.

Much kudos to our political servants who were able to appreciate the vision; and move beyond the quarrels, thus facilitating national awareness around this urgent initiative. It has inspired hope and the spirit of volunteerism has been reignited as citizens sense a renewed zeal to do what is right for Jamaica.

Our National Heroes Park, which is soon to feature a monument to the domestic helper, is also bringing more focus on the ever-present need for human rights and justice for all.

I feel proud that as we celebrate Jamaica's Independence this year, we can do so in the certain knowledge that crime, and murder in particular, has significantly decreased and from all indications, a steep decline is anticipated in the years ahead. We know that we are doing well as a nation when the most vulnerable in society are assured of impeccable client service in all our public institutions, especially hospitals and police service centres.

The average wait in any public hospital is now an hour at most. This is cause for celebration!




In high schools, Jamaican children no longer have to suffer abuse because of their hair. As long as it is clean and groomed, no unnecessary drama is added to the student experience. More emphasis is being placed on what is inside the head versus how it is adorned externally.

Special thanks should be extended to all who realised that it should not take a catastrophic natural disaster to realise that Jamaica needed to change its modus operandi of wine, music, and song - important as these may be.

What a welcome change in our approach to Independence Celebrations. Our people now know that we are celebrating so much more than a number! We are celebrating the now accomplished constitutional reform. We are celebrating our sense of safety in a country where people once lived in fear of crime and violence. Who remembers those days when every morning we woke to hear the night's death toll from the guns? We now have a generation of Jamaicans who believe that walking in the parks and on the beaches late at nights was always our reality.

We are celebrating Jamaica's enviable position where human rights now inform what happens in Government and private sector. There is no stopping us as we press on legislatively, programmatically, and culturally in how we protect all our citizens. Yes, we celebrate ours being the place of choice to live, work, play, and raise families.

We are happy, safe, proud, and free. Let the fireworks begin!

Fr Sean Major-Campbell