JAMAICA Observer online readers have blasted former Cabinet minister Arnold Bertram for supporting a call for the Sangster International Airport to be renamed after AGS Coombs.
Coombs, more fondly referred to as 'Father Coombs', was a former minister under a People's National Party (PNP) administration. Sangster, a former prime minister, was a member of the rival Jamaica Labour Party.
However, Observer readers say the call is tantamount to political tribalism and have strongly rebuked Bertram, who served as local government minister under the PJ Patterson-led PNP administration. Here are some edited comments:
Why not, from this day forward, Jamaica desist from naming any road, public building, or anything else for that matter, after ANY JLPNP politician. And to start immediately renaming those entities currently named after all politicians. They don't deserve the honour.
So in order to honour Mr Coombs, we should now dishonour Mr Sangster? Surely there are other ways.
The PNP are hostile and tribal in everything they do.
I hear you, Mr Bertram. Give more honour to your PNP man by taking it away from a JLP man. How about naming the PNP highway after Mr Coombs? I forgot that is owned by foreigners. Jamaicans have to pay to use it.
I smell politics, and it's dirty. Why dishonour one to honour one?
More than dirty. Why didn't the PNP exhume his body in the first place as they knew it was there? If an outsider didn't do the honourable thing, because she knew his kindness, would they remember him? How long was he buried there for?
Right! Let us begin the insidious campaign to fully make Jamaica PNP country. This is so nonsensical it hurts.
Why stop there? How about naming Gordon House after PJ Patterson, Norman Manley Airport after Ronnie Thwaites, AGR Byfield Highway after Peter Phillips, the Bank of Jamaica after Omar Davies, Marcus Garvey Drive after KD Knight, Paul Bogle statue after Robert Pickersgill? Heck, let's just change the name of the entire island to PNP country.
Understandably, Father Coombs made significant contributions as a "man of the soil". However, I find Mr Bertram's proposal absurd. The airport was named in our former Prime Minister Donald Sangster's honour. Now, let's honour that!
We should change the city of Portmore to "Lee-More".
If we must rename it, then Sangster-Coombs would be more appropriate. No need to forget one in order to honour the other. Atlanta has Hartsfield-Jackson, for example.
After so many years, will the dead man know that he is being honoured?
Who was Arnold Bertram?
Ridiculous! You don't honour someone by dishonouring another. This is old-school thinking, Mr Bertram.
What next, Mr Bertram? Rename Norman Manley airport Bruce Golding International? Kiss teeth.