Everything is for a good

Everything is for a good

Monday, October 19, 2020

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Indeed, the old saying posits that everything that happens, no matter how regretful, is for a good. Or, if the reader prefers: “Behind every dark cloud is a silver lining.”

Whichever, this newspaper believes, like all well-thinking Jamaicans, that after the confusion surrounding his aborted burial, the decision to inter the late music legend Mr Toots Hibbert at National Heroes' Park is right and just.

It seems appropriate that all this is coming to pass as Jamaicans celebrate National Heroes' Day and, indeed, Heroes' Week.

For Mr Hibbert was, and will remain through his music, a Jamaican hero of high order.

Like a few others of his era, the talented Mr Hibbert, using the power of his voice and his art, told the tale of his times: The good and bad.

On par with all others, his 1968 classic 54-46, that's my number captured in sharp, unshakable, unforgettable focus the injustice meted out to the poor and oppressed in the land of his birth.

His music reminds us that, bad as we may believe the situation is in today's Jamaica in terms of social justice, there was a time when it was much worse.

And further, that Jamaicans must fight with might and main to avoid a return to a time, for example, when someone could be deprived of his freedom for simply smoking a ganja spliff.

Also, that the fight must continue for right to prevail over wrong, and for the poor, deprived and oppressed to find a place in the sun.

At the thanksgiving service for Mr Hibbert, eulogist Mr Ian Wilkinson, QC, said it well, we think: “Toots was the entire package; super-duper star. He was the entire package with his singing and dancing. He had the engagement singing and playing his guitar… all of that. But Toots was a philosopher people. He spoke to the people of philosophy through the music.”

And further that: “This was a father, a grandfather, a mentor, a pioneer, a man of no ordinary talent who came and saw the world as his stage, as Shakespeare would tell you. He took it and left the people wanting for more; and left the people smiling.”

We believe congratulations are in order to all those — not least culture minister Ms Olivia “Babsy” Grange — who were able to make arrangements for Mr Hibbert to be buried at National Heroes' Park. It was the last available spot, we are told.

We also applaud plans for a monument to Mr Hibbert in his native Clarendon.

Ms Grange reminds us of plans in the making for a memorial park to inter Jamaica's cultural icons.

“So far we have developed a concept, identified a location where the relevant tests, including soil testing, have been completed. We will now move to develop the designs and budget to present a detailed proposal to the Cabinet,” Ms Grange said in a press statement.

The sooner the authorities can get this done, the better.

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