'He's a Legend'

'He's a Legend'

West Kingston residents celebrate Seaga with music and dance

BY ARTHUR HALL
Editor-at-Large
halla@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, May 30, 2019

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RESIDENTS of west Kingston were prepared to party in Tivoli Gardens on Wednesday night and neither afternoon showers nor the death of their political father was going to stop the party.

It was initially planned to mark the 89th birthday of former Prime Minister Edward Seaga who had served as the member of parliament (MP) for Kingston Western for 43 years.

While the preparations for the birthday party were taking place Wednesday afternoon news came that Seaga had lost his battle with cancer, sparking widespread mourning in Tivoli.

But the tears were soon replaced by a steely determination to celebrate the life of the man who had transformed what was one of the worst slums in Jamaica, Back-O-Wall, into a modern low-income community.

Current Member of Parliament for Kingston Western Desmond McKenzie, who was in tears while he paid tribute to Seaga in Parliament earlier, set the tone as, despite obvious signs that he was hurting from the death of his political father and role model, he hit the stage with a spring in his step and the makings of smile on his face.

“This is not a period of mourning, this is a period of celebration, acknowledging and giving thanks for his (Seaga) life and for all that he has done for us here in west Kingston,” declared McKenzie before calling on the music selector to play the popular Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) song in tribute to Seaga, 'Papa Eddie is our leader, our conscious leader'.

With the west Kingston chaplain opening with prayers ,and radio personality Markland “Action” Edwards on MC duties, the tone was set for a night of singing and dancing.

Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Audley Shaw, who was once labelled Seaga's “Water Boy” started the fun as he took to the stage to belt out a song he said his mother taught him, that nobody else seemed to know.

Not satisfied, Shaw gave in to a request for an encore with an off key rendition of the Lord's Prayer to loud applause.

With several members of the Cabinet, including Prime Minister Andrew Holness in the audience, and the alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages being served freely, performer after performer, kept the crowd rocking.

From established stars, such as Ken Booth and Carlene Davis, to the internationally acclaimed Tivoli Dance Troupe — which had persons applauding loudly as they performed to I-Threes He's a Legend, performers kept the crowd entertained well into the night.


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