OCHO RIOS, St Ann - Governor General Sir Patrick Allen has called on all Jamaicans to capitalise on the spirit of the just concluded London 2012 Olympics to help overcome the challenges that have been affecting the country.
Addressing the eighth annual banquet of the St Ann Homecoming and Heritage Foundation at Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort in Ocho Rios, St Ann Saturday night, Sir Patrick lauded the effort of the Jamaican Olympic team and said he was confident we could get past what besets us if we mirror their attitudes.
"Let us take the Olympic spirit of commitment to excellence, that determination to overcome the hurdles of life and reach our goals and that drive to bring glory to our homeland into our home, into our communities and across our country," he urged.
"That is the way we must fly the flag of Jamaica in our hearts, not only when we go abroad, but right here in this land. Our waving of our flag must be a demonstration of our commitment to build Jamaica," he added.
"We also hail our Olympic team and especially our star athletes who have won the game and brought golden glory to Jamaica," he told the packed banquet hall. "They have proven incontrovertibly that we are a force with which to reckon."
The success in sports nothwithstanding, Sir Patrick noted that Jamaicans have excelled in areas other than sports and said the country should not only be recognised as a sporting nation, but for its other successes and as an all-round nation.
"Let's go one step at a time and do the best we can, as individuals and as a nation, which is 'out of many one people'. Let us aspire to achieve our vision which is 'the place of choice to live, to work, to raise our families and to do business'," said the governor general.
During Saturday's night function, held under the patronage of the Governor General and his wife Lady Allen, the foundation awarded two individuals and the St Ann's Bay branch of Bank of Nova Scotia for outstanding contribution to the development of the parish.
Nigerian born teacher of English and social studies at Ferncourt High Ugochukwu Durueke was recognised for his contribution to education and youth, while businessman and managing director of Simmonds Enterprises in Ocho Rios, Cecil Simmonds was awarded for his humanitarian involvement and contribution to the parish economy.
The foundation and similar groups, the GG said, had strengthened his inherent believe that there is nothing wrong with Jamaica that cannot be fixed by what is right with Jamaica.
Saturday's function was also used to recognise the life and work of the country's first national hero, Marcus Garvey, whose 125th birthday will be celebrated on Friday.