Seaga remembered on his 90th birthday

THE leadership of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) yesterday sang praises for former leader and prime minister of Jamaica Edward Seaga at a floral tribute at National Heroes’ Park in Kingston.

Seaga, a legendary Jamaican politician, died on his birthday last year and was buried at National Heroes’ Park. He would have been 90 yesterday.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness led the list of guests present for the tribute. Seaga’s widow, Carla, and son, Christopher, also laid wreaths.

The event also featured the laying of floral tributes by Opposition Senator Sophia Frazer Binns, who represented the Leader of the Opposition Dr Peter Phillips; Metry Seaga, a former president of the Jamaica Manufacturers Association and relative of the late politician; Minister of Local Government and Community Development Desmond McKenzie; Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange; chairman of the JLP, Robert Montague, who is also minister of transport and mining; Lester “Mike” Henry, minister without portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, who represented the Premier League Clubs Association; deputy mayor of Kingston, Councillor Winston Ennis; Ann-Marie Spence, representing the Tivoli Gardens Football Club; and Christopher Bovell, chairman of the board of the Edward Seaga Research Institute.

Prayer was said by Bishop Herro Blair, a musical tribute was provided by Kimielia Isaacs, who sang Sweet Beulah Land, and a special dance tribute was performed by the Tivoli Dance Group.

Edward Philip George Seaga was the fifth prime minister of Jamaica, serving from 1980 to 1989, and the leader of the JLP from 1974 to 2005. He served as leader of the Opposition from 1974 to 1980, and again from 1989 until January 2005 when he retired from political life and joined the staff of The University of the West Indies.

He was the longest-serving member of the Jamaican Parliament up to his retirement, having served in the Legislative Council from 1959 to 1962, and the House of Representatives as Member of Parliament for Kingston Western from 1962 to 2005.

He was also the last-serving politician to have entered public life before Jamaica’s Independence in 1962, and is credited with having built the financial and planning infrastructure of the country after Independence, as well as establishing most of the institutions that helped to develop its arts and crafts and awareness of national heritage.

Seaga was also a record producer and head of West Indies Records Limited, and played a major role in the development of the Jamaican music industry. He died on May 28, 2019.

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