Grange pays tribute to Jamaica Festival pioneer, Hugh Nash

Kingston, 24 July 2021 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has released the following statement at the passing of Hugh Nash, the former Chairman and Executive Director of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission.

Minister’s Statement

“I am deeply saddened at the news of the passing of Mr. Hugh Nash, former Executive Director and Chairman of the JCDC. Nicknamed ‘Mr. Festival’ for his work in positioning the Jamaica Festival movement and cultural development at the centre of national development, Nash was a true Jamaican patriot whose energy and commitment to nation-building knew no bounds as he gave tireless service to this the land of his birth.

Mr. Nash was invited by then Minister of Planning and Development, the late former Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Edward Seaga, to develop a document to ensure that culture would play an integral role in the upliftment of the lives of the Jamaican working class. Out of this emerged the Jamaica Festival Commission. When the name was changed to the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission, he again led the charge to develop the organisation.

He was one of those humble souls who knew only to give his all to care for the working people of Jamaica.

Mr. Nash was instrumental in the organisation of Things Jamaica through which Jamaican craftsmen, women and artisans received support for development, trade and export.

He also helped to establish the Jamaica National Heritage Trust when its name was changed from National Trust Commission.

The achievements of Hugh Nash in national cultural development were anchored in deep knowledge and appreciation for the working class people of Jamaica whom he saw as creators and guardians of our history and culture. He learnt it all by traversing the villages in his parish Manchester, talking and interacting with the people, while cultivating the management and administrative acumen that reflected his leadership of national cultural development.

With Hugh Nash’s passing, Jamaica has lost a great son, cultural icon and tradition bearer, management and leadership expert.

Mr. Nash never said no to any call to serve his beloved Jamaica. He will be sorely missed.

I say to his family: you have given to Jamaica a cultural powerhouse to whom our nation is grateful. May you take comfort in his service to our country.”

END

Minister's charge

I remain hopeful because of the giftedness of the Jamaican people; their warmth and creativity; their dynamism and indomitable spirit that have resulted in excellence in all sectors.

It is by tapping into the gifts and awakening the spirit of the Jamaican people that we will, by God’s grace, re-group, re-engineer and re-open to a brighter future with Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport.

Olivia Grange

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Jamaica, W.I.

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