Our people are our legacyWednesday, August 25, 2021
We have some national treasures which we seem to take for granted. Despite the fact that some are more prominent than others, we need not make a demarcation.
We have one of the richest and most adorable cultures on planet Earth. Our people from this beautiful isle are standard-bearers of excellence and they are embraced and emulated the world over. They have stood out for many reasons, which speaks to our fierce drive to be the best in whatever we do.
We have the likes of National Hero Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Bob Marley, Dr Thomas Lecky, Monsignor Gladstone Wilson, Gordon ''Butch'' Stewart, Merlene Ottey, Michael McCallum, Usain Bolt, Herbert McKinley, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, and Elaine Thompson-Herah. These people are some of the best we have produced and we are exceedingly proud of their exploits.
These are our folk heroes and heroines and truly some of the greatest of our citizens. We are indebted to them for the more than stellar manner in which they have depicted our people.
Marcus Garvey and Bob Marley are black nationalists who sounded the alarm against inequality and injustice, and made fervent calls for peaceful resolutions not only against the black race, but for all people who are desirous of such.
Dr Lecky stood out as an integral part of nation-building in the breeding of a variety of cattle like the Jamaican Hope, Jamaica Black, and the Jamaican Red Poll. He established his site at Bodles in St Catherine, where he did remarkable things.
Monsignor Gladstone Wilson was an academic who was one of the pioneers in showcasing our worth in the world of academia and was once regarded as one of the brightest men in the world during the 1940s and 1950s.
Gordon “Butch” Stewart has used his wealth in the tourism industry and other businesses for the betterment and transformation of wide cross sections of the Jamaican populace.
The others are a part of our vast talent base in athletics.
A pioneer of our legacy is none other than Herbert McKinley, a former 100m, 200m, and 440 yards world record holder in 1952, who was also a fantastic 400m runner. He was also a great administrator who protected the wherewithal of his alma mater, Calabar High School.
Merlene Ottey is a woman of substance who was a critical part of our athletic exploits in the early years. She was a former world record holder and the first woman to run the 60m below seven seconds. She broke the indoor 200m world record in 1993 with a fantastic time of 21.87.
Mike McCallum was the World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation middleweight champion and is still the most decorated sportsman, alongside his compatriot Merlene Ottey for the women.
Usain St Leo Bolt stands tall as a supposed mortal. He has run times which we had only thought possible in video games — 9.58s over the 100m and 19.19s over 200m. What an amazing character!
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is an affable and loving Jamaican who had the skills and techniques to win medals in the 100m at four Olympic Games, including two gold medals in her first two Olympics.
Elaine Thompson-Herah won gold medals in both the 100m and the 200m at the last two Olympics — Brazil 2016 and Tokyo 2020. She has since run a time of 10.54s in the 100m — the fastest time for a living female over that distance.