Jamaica 58: Resilient and strong

Letters to the Editor

Jamaica 58: Resilient and strong

Thursday, August 06, 2020

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Dear Editor,

Last Sunday, I attended the national Independence church service which was held at the Portmore Church of God in Jamaica. The pastor preached a lovely sermon on how Jamaica has survived over the years despite all the struggles that we faced as a nation.

In particular, he mentioned that while he was a student at The University of the West Indies, and he was studying for his exams in organic chemistry, he heard that the Pentecostal Gospel Assembly on Windward Road was partially destroyed by Hurricane Gilbert in 1988. I had vivid recollections of that dilapidated structure when I drove through that area in the aftermath, and I must confess it was in a terrible state and seemed beyond repair. However, with time, the building was restored to what it is now in record time, and I was truly amazed.

That sermon was particularly interesting because, in retrospect, Jamaica has travelled a similar journey in its 58 years of Independence. For instance, the earthquake of 1692 was a terrible event that severely destroyed most parts of Port Royal. The Kingston earthquake of 1907, which had a magnitude of 6.5 on the scale, was described by the United States Geological Survey as one of the world's deadliest earthquakes recorded in history. It was reported that every building was damaged by the earthquake in Kingston which resulted in the death of over a thousand people, and ensuing fires caused further destruction. Other hurricanes such as Charlie, David, and Ivan rendered untold damage, which resulted in destruction of the agricultural sector and the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars.

We also have our fair share of crime, and I must commend the Andrew Holness-led Administration for the recent inroads the security forces have been making to disrupt the gangs and criminal activity. Despite all these struggles, we have bounced back as a nation, as our athletic heroes, such as the indomitable Dr Usain Bolt, Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce, and others, took the Olympic world by storm and raised our flag so high. We are very proud indeed; we have nothing to be ashamed of, because we have made our impact in every aspect of life; be it athletics, reggae, theatre, Miss World pageants, academia, and the list goes on.

Daniel Morgan


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