Fri | Feb 26, 2021

Bustamante’s birthday to be celebrated with a difference

Published:Saturday | January 16, 2021 | 7:15 AMBryan Miller/Gleaner Writer
Blenheim, home of Alexander Bustamante.
Blenheim, home of Alexander Bustamante.

Western Bureau:

In keeping with the stipulations brought on by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s event to mark the 137th anniversary of the birth of National Hero Sir Alexander Bustamante, which is scheduled for Wednesday, February 24 at his birthplace in Blenheim, Hanover, will not be staged according to its usual format.

The Hanover branch of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) advised that the event will take the form of a wreath-laying ceremony in Blenheim, starting at 11 a.m. The event will be broadcast via social media to the general public.

“On-site (in Blenheim), we will just have the persons doing greetings and laying the wreaths… the ceremony will be streamed live,” Shiyan Williams, the Hanover JCDC parish manager, told The Gleaner. “We have not completed the plans yet, a committee is still working on it.”

In former years, the Bustamante birthday celebration would last for approximately three hours and would feature the participation of schools and community leaders from across the parish. There would also be presentations by political representatives and other stakeholders about the life and work of Bustamante, a noted trade unionist, who ventured into politics and ultimately became the first prime minister of independent Jamaica.

Williams explained that this year’s event in Hanover will be a shortened version of what usually takes place, because of the need to operate within the bounds of the COVID-19 protocols.

She emphasised that only specially invited guests will be entertained at the Blenheim site, and pleaded for all interested persons to join in on the social media link, which will be published nearer to the date of the event.