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Floral Tribute & Remembrance Service for National Hero, Sir Alexander Bustamante

KINGSTON, JAMAICA: The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) has organized a Floral Tribute and a Remembrance Service for Sunday, February 24 to commemorate the 129th Anniversary of the birth of National Hero and Jamaica’s first Prime Minister, The Right Excellent, Sir Alexander Bustamante. The Floral Tribute will be held at the National Heroes Park in Kingston starting at 8 a.m., while the Remembrance Service will be held at his birth place, Blenheim, Hanover at 12 noon.

The Floral Tributes will be led by the Governor General, His Excellency, the Most Honourable Sir Patrick Allen, Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Portia Simpson Miller and Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Andrew Holness. Other Members of Government and the Diplomatic Corp will also offer tributes during the one hour ceremony. Minister of Youth & Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna will deliver the welcome and opening remarks, while students from Vauxhall and Ardenne High Schools will present musical tributes.  

The commemoration will continue in Hanover, with a Remembrance Service organized in conjunction with the Hanover Parish Council. The service will feature reflections on Bustamante, “the Politician”, “the Trade Unionist” and “A Man of all Times”  to be delivered by Alden Brown, Vice-President, Bustamante Industrial Trade Union (BITU), Herbie Morris, Vice-President, National Workers Union and Paula Kerr Jarrett, Caretaker, Eastern Hanover.  The main message will come from Rev. Augustine Haye of the Kendal Weslyan Holiness Church.


The Right Excellent Sir Alexander Bustamante (1962 - 1967) National Hero

Sir Alexander Bustamante attended elementary school in rural Hanover. He travelled extensively as a young man, returning to Jamaica in 1932 and began to lead the struggle against colonial rule. He first came to the public's attention as a writer of letters to the Daily Gleaner newspaper. Bustamante became treasurer of the Jamaica Workers Union (JWU) in 1937 which was founded by labour activist, Allan G.S. Coombs. He was identified as the spokesman for workers during the 1938 labour rebellion. The Jamaica Workers Union later became the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union (BITU) and Bustamante was dubbed, "The Chief".

A Jamaican labour leader, Bustamante's Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) won 22 of 32 seats in the first House of Representatives which made him the unofficial leader and Minister for Communication until the position of Chief Minister was created in 1953. He held this position until the JLP was defeated in 1955. He became Jamaica's first Prime Minister in 1962 and served until 1967. Bustamante also held the position of Mayor of Kingston in 1947 and 1948. In 1969 Sir Alexander Bustamante was given the distinguished title of "National Hero of Jamaica". Sir Alexander died in 1977 at the age of 93.

(Source: http://www.opm.gov.jm/about/prime_minister/past_prime_ministers/the_most_hon_sir_alexander_bustamante)

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