NEW YORK – Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness was presented with the Distinguished Leadership Award by the New York-based Jamaica Independence Foundation on Saturday.
Also honoured by the Foundation were former Prime Minister, Edward Seaga, who received the Nation Builder Award and Jamaican-born basketball legend, Patrick Ewing, who was given the Son of the Soil Legacy Award.
The awards were presented at the Jamaica 55 Independence Grand Gala, held at the New York Hilton Hotel by the Foundation.
Accepting the award, Holness paid tribute to fellow awardee, Seaga, whom he described as his personal hero and mentor.
He reminded the audience that Seaga was “one of the framers of the Jamaica Constitution, a father of the nation, a social engineer extraordinaire, and a patriot”
“Jamaica is forever indebted to you and the countless contributions you have made to our country’s development,” the prime minister told Seaga.
Turning to Ewing, Holness said that the he embodies the spirit of the Jamaican people, who have excelled in their endeavours.
“Your stellar contributions to sports/basketball have further cemented Jamaica’s reputation as a sports powerhouse. We acknowledge your leadership in this area, and for your ambassadorship in showcasing the talent that is present in Jamaica,” the prime minister said.
Proceeds from the gala will go towards Jamaica 55 Legacy Project – Woman Inc, Jamaica’s women’s crisis centre, as well as the Garvey Elementary School in Bronx, New York, named in honour of Jamaica’s first National Hero, Marcus Garvey.
The prime minister commended the organisers for channelling the proceeds to the centre and the school, emphasising that the Government will not relent in its efforts to get Marcus Garvey’s name cleared of criminal charges in the United States.