Grange recalls Tutu's visit to Jamaica in 1986
The late Archbishop of South Africa and 1994 Nobel Peace Awardee Desmond Tutu

CULTURE Minister Olivia “Babsy” Grange yesterday gave tribute to the late Archbishop of South Africa and 1994 Nobel Peace Awardee Desmond Tutu, who died yesterday in Cape Town, South Africa, at the age of 90.

“He was widely regarded for his anti-apartheid and human rights activism. Archbishop Tutu was first ordained as an Anglican priest in the year of Jamaica's Independence, 1962, and later became the first black bishop of Johannesburg in 1985. He was also ordained the first black archbishop of Cape Town in 1986. His strong stance against the apartheid regime in South Africa was admired by Jamaicans at home and in the diaspora. Indeed, our reggae artistes saluted his name on many tracks in much the same way that Eddie Grant did the single Gimme Hope Jo'anna in 1988,” the minister said.

Tutu visited Jamaica in 1986, at the request of late former Prime Minister Edward Seaga, and Grange said that she clearly “recalled when the British Government was staging the Commonwealth Games in Scotland in July 1986, Seaga took the decision to have Jamaica boycott the games to register its frustration with their refusal to impose sanctions on South Africa”. He also invited the archbishop and his family to Jamaica in August of that year, and presented him with an honorary Order of Jamaica (OJ) in recognition of his anti-apartheid work,” said Grange.

During that visit, Archbishop Tutu paid a courtesy call on the governor general where he acknowledged Jamaica's staunch support for the anti-apartheid movement and wrote in the visitor's book: “Thanking you for warm generosity and graciousness in inviting us to Jamaica and for your commitment and support to our struggle for justice and peace.” He also laid a floral tribute to Jamaica's first National Hero Marcus Garvey by National Heroes' Park, on the occasion of the hero's 99th birthday.

“His anti-apartheid advocacy was also complemented by his work to fight discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS and the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and I pay tribute to him as a fearless voice against injustice the world over, who, in the tradition of Bob Marley 'neither could be bought nor sold',” Grange said.

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