“Mr. Seaga has in many ways taught us how to value and appreciate our history and culture. He brought significance to much of what we would have taken for granted and so our sense of inquiry into our past is what is helping us to better understand who we are today.”
These were some of the words spoken by Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport as she delivered a tribute to the Most Honourable Edward Seaga, at a function held to rename the North South leg of Highway 2000 in his honour on June 12, at Unity Valley in St. Ann.
Minister Grange paid homage to “the great conceptualizer” who envisioned and implemented many of the social and economic initiatives that continue to drive Jamaica today.
She credited Mr. Seaga for the birth of the Brand Jamaica concept through his embrace of art forms of African retention and noted that it was through his bold and ambitious efforts that Jamaican music first hit the world stage in the 1960s.
Ms Grange added: “I am proud to have been a protégé of Edward Seaga. This means a lot to me and Minister McKenzie and the people of West Kingston who are here today! For decades I have had the privilege of being close to the germination of many of the ideas that have shaped Jamaica into what it is today.
Being around and working closely with Mr. Seaga helped me to appreciate the intricate process that is nation building. I have heard ideas spring from his mind and seen them manifested into institutions and infrastructure that continue to enhance the lives of our people.”
In his address, Prime Minister Andrew Holness acknowledged Mr. Seaga’s work to build out Jamaica’s urban infrastructure.
In his response, Mr. Seaga recounted his efforts to acquire lands to develop major centres such as the Kingston Waterfront, Negril and Ocho Rios. He expressed thanks for the honour that has been bestowed on him with the renaming of the highway. He described the occasion as the most extraordinary day of his life.
The function was attended by a large number of Cabinet ministers, members of the Diplomatic Corps, representatives of the Toll Authority and representatives from the Chinese community. The road was constructed with assistance from the Government of the People’s Republic of China.