GG urges support for National Poppy Appeal drive
ST JAMES, Jamaica – Governor-General, Sir Patrick Allen, has appealed to Jamaicans to wholeheartedly support the annual Poppy Appeal, a time-honoured tradition that helps to raise funds to support ex-servicemen.
He made the call while addressing the Jamaica Military Band in Concert 2023 at the Half Moon Conference Centre in Montego Bay, St James, on Sunday, August 13, which launched the National Poppy Appeal drive.
The concert was hosted by the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Ex-Soldiers Association Western Chapter and the Montego Bay Branch of the Jamaica Legion, under the distinguished patronage of Custos Rotulorum of St James, Bishop Conrad Pitkin.
Proceeds from the event will be in aid of the Curphey Home in Kingston, which houses veterans of the World Wars.
The governor-general underscored the importance of recognising the unwavering commitment and sacrifice of the nation’s veterans.
He said the event was “not just to celebrate the remarkable talent of our military band but to underscore an enduring commitment to our heroes who have donned our nation’s uniform and who have given the prime of their lives in service”.
“Let us honour them… with a pledge to always remember to respect and support the poppy appeal,” the governor-general added.
He hailed the concert, noting that while the gesture might be small, its impact on the lives of those who served would be significant.
“Every beat of the drum, every strong vibration is not just a celebration of artistic prowess but a poignant reminder of the rhythms of the military heart. By joining us, each one of you [attendees showed] that the strength of patriotism, human compassion, and mutual respect are alive and strong among us,” he stated.
The governor-general said he has witnessed the enduring commitment and sacrifices made by the troops, which underscores “our duty of care as [beneficiaries] of their service, to ensure that they are cared for and celebrated in their golden years of life”.
The Poppy Appeal, which runs up to October, involves the distribution of poppy pins throughout Jamaica.
These pins are available in exchange for voluntary donations, with all proceeds directed towards supporting Jamaican ex-servicemen who fought in World War II, and also those who have since served the local military.
The emblematic red poppy, which holds deep symbolism of remembrance, serves as a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by servicemen and women to protect their country’s freedoms and values.