The Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation on Tuesday launched the celebration of Kingston’s 145th anniversary as the capital of Jamaica at South Parade in downtown Kingston.
The year-long celebration was launched under the the theme ‘Connecting the past, building the future’ amidst much fanfare.
Members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, the Jamaica Fire Brigade, Department of Correctional Services, and the Boys’ and Girls’ Brigade formed a guard of honour which was inspected by Senator Pearnel Charles Jr, who represented Prime Minister Andrew Holness at the launch.
Mayor of Kingston Senator Delroy Williams, during his address, said it was not a day for speeches, but a turning point for the city.
In getting to that point, the mayor said he intends to build such a city on the pride of the nation’s children and the youth.
At the same time, he urged the youths to excel in their education so as to add value to Kingston.
“Explore your talents, your skills, to enhance your knowledge, because the vision of the city can only be attained and maintained on your skill sets, your education, your knowledge, your talent. That is what we are going to build the city of Kingston on… We want to set the foundation today to meet the mountaintop of this world,” he continued, adding that the ceremony indicates to the Caribbean that Kingston has arrived and will take its leading place.
The mayor also noted that the city has the ingredients for leadership in the Caribbean.
“We are the only city that is named by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) as a creative city of music — one of only 19 cities in the world. Our culture is rich. We have given birth to many music forms — ska, rocksteady, reggae, and dancehall.
“Dancehall is now giving birth to many other variations across the globe,” he continued. “We can take pride in our city. We can take pride in the accomplishments of our city. We can take pride in the history of our city. We indeed have a rich history,” he said.
Representatives from Cuba, Nicaragua and Mexico were among dignitaries who attended the launch.
Kingston became the official capital of Jamaica in 1872
— Racquel Porter