Grange mourns passing of Hugh “Mr Festival” NashSunday, July 25, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica—The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange has officially announced the death of Hugh Nash, former Executive Director and Chairman of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), saying she was “deeply saddened by passing of the man who was nicknamed “Mr Festival” for his work in positioning the Festival movement and cultural development at the centre of national development.”
Nash died in hospital Saturday morning at the age of 90.
Grange said, “Mr Nash was a true Jamaican patriot whose energy and commitment to nation-building knew no bounds as he gave tireless service to this the land of (his) birth.
“He was another of those cultural icons in whom resided a repository of cultural knowledge, experience and expertise that rendered him always consulted by Governments of both parties.”
Grange went on to recount Nash’s life and national contributions,
“From his early beginnings, propelled by being chosen to represent the youth of Jamaica at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II to his training in Agriculture through the Jamaica School of Agriculture to his work with 4H Clubs, Hugh Nash’s contribution to national development was carved in recognition and memory.”
In her remarks, the minister stated that Nash was invited by then Minister of Planning and Development, the late former Prime Minister, Edward Seaga, to develop a document to ensure that culture would play an integral role in uplifting the lives of the Jamaican working class.
From this came the Jamaica Festival Commission and when the name was changed to the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission, he again led the charge to develop the organisation.
“Mr Nash was one of those humble souls of rural Jamaica, specifically Manchester, who knew only to give of their all, to care for the working people of Jamaica and to commit their lives to national development of our people. His work in national development stands as emblematic to the role he played in establishing cultural agencies. He was instrumental in the organization of Things Jamaica through which Jamaican craftsmen, women and artisans received support for development, trading and export. Later, he was charged with the implementation of the Jamaica National Heritage Trust when its name was changed from its original National Trust Commission,” Grange said.
“Hugh Nash’s influence on national culture was reflected in his years as Executive Director of the JCDC, Chairman of the JCDC, Director of Things Jamaican and of the JNHT. He was a walking encyclopaedia on the history and culture of Jamaica as well as of his beloved Manchester," she added.
Hugh Nash served for over 25 years as chairman of Mile Gully High School. In this way, his national stature was grounded in his sincere love for the Jamaican people and, in particular, his people of Manchester, Grange said.
According to the minister, “Jamaica has lost another great son of the soil, cultural icon and tradition bearer, management and leadership expert on establishing and brandishing government agencies… a true Jamaican patriot who never said no to any call to serve his beloved Jamaica at the highest levels of civil and civic engagement.
“He will be sorely missed. As I express my deepest sympathy to his family and relatives, I say to them; you have given to Jamaica a cultural powerhouse for which our nation is grateful. May you take comfort in his contribution to our nation.”
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