25 Jun 2019

Kingston 17 June 2019 – The Minister of the Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange has expressed sadness at the passing of Conroy Cooper, the founder of Fab 5 band.

Minister Grange said:
“I was sad to hear of the passing of Conroy Cooper, an exceptionally talented musician, producer, composer and arranger, whose contribution to the development of Jamaican music has been immense.

Cooper was instrumental in introducing our music to new audiences abroad when he led the first tour of Germany by a Jamaican band, the Reggaes (which later became Fab 5).

His work in advertising, creating memorable radio jingles; his work in the theatre composing and arranging music for several productions, including national pantomimes; his work in the studio as a performer and with several artistes including Ernie Smith, Count Ossie and the Mystic Revelation of Rastafari attest to his vision, his creativity and the range of his contribution to Jamaica’s music.

I offer sincerest condolences to his family, especially to his children and his brother Grub, the current leader of Fab 5.”

Conroy Cooper was 74.

25 Jun 2019

Paris, France 8 June 2019 – The Minister of the Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has lauded the efforts of the Reggae Girlz in their first-ever FIFA Women’s World Cup match on Sunday.

The Jamaicans lost 3-0 to the experienced, 2007 runners-up Brazil in Grenoble.

Minister Grange who has been to see the team to express appreciation for their efforts in the opening game and encourage them ahead of their next games, said:

“They were valiant in their efforts and played their hearts out. They are disappointed at the result, but I want them to know that they did not let down their country. They demonstrated courage and determination. I encourage them to continue to be courageous and to bring steel-like determination and fortitude into their remaining matches.

I also encourage head coach Hugh Menzies and his team who have guided the Girlz on this historic journey.

And I continue to commend Cedella Marley for being the team’s inspiration.

I told them to know that they can continue to count on me as their Minister and #1 cheerleader and on the support of the government and the people of Jamaica.

Let us continue to support them.”

Jamaica will face Italy on Friday in their next game.

25 Jun 2019

Paris, France 8 June 2019 – The Minister of the Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, says her government is embarked on a programme to provide greater support for and give better access to women and girls in sport.

Addressing the FIFA Women’s Football Convention in Paris, France on Friday, Minister Grange said the Government of Jamaica was “leading the way” in creating a more friendly environment for women in sport.

Minister Grange said:

“Women in sport do not get as much support [as men] and so women’s football has its challenge in Jamaica. However, the government leads the way in [providing greater access]. In introducing our various sports competitions at the primary and kindergarten school level, we’ve insisted that at least three girls must play on the team with the boys. So we’re institutionalising recognition and promoting of women in sport.”

Minister Grange also told the FIFA Convention that the government was working “very closely with the Jamaica Football Federation to ensure that the support is there for women’s football.”

Minister Grange is in France as a special guest of FIFA. She will attend the senior Jamaican team’s inaugural game at the Women’s World Cup on Sunday.

Minister Grange said the Reggae Girlz historic qualification to the Women’s World Cup had “created waves throughout the country and throughout the Jamaican Diaspora and the Caribbean. They are icons and we are extremely proud of them and they have served to inspire many young girls who now want to play football."

Recently, Minister Grange announced new rules for local sports federations to access funding from the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport (including the Sports Development Foundation). The rules require federations to give greater support to special olympians, paralympians, women and girls.

The Ministry, through the Institute of Sports, has also awarded equal prize money for girls and boys teams in its Primary Schools football and netball competitions.


25 Jun 2019

Kingston 4 June 2019 – The Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, the Honourable Karl Samuda says schools will recognise the passing of the late former Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Edward Seaga on Wednesday (June 5).

Minister Samuda who has responsibility for the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information says “students will mark Mr Seaga’s passing through either a cultural or religious expression during the final hour of the school day on Wednesday.”

Wednesday marks nine days since the passing of Mr Seaga.

The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has welcomed the initiative of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information and has called on all Jamaicans to join the celebration of Mr Seaga’s life through their own observances.

Minister Grange says “each Jamaican can celebrate Mr Seaga’s life and contribution through musical or other cultural expressions, candle light services, prayer vigils, church services, sports or any community activity that provides safe spaces for residents to come together and reflect.”

Mr Seaga, who was Jamaica’s fifth Prime Minister, died on May 28 on his 89th birthday.


25 Jun 2019

Kingston 4 June 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, is encouraging Jamaicans to observe ‘nine night’ in honour of the late former Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Edward Seaga.

“Wednesday will be nine days since the transition of Mr Seaga and, as you all know, our tradition is to observe the ninth night,” said Minister Grange who announced that a traditional ‘nine night’ for Mr Seaga will be held in the Tivoli Gardens Square on Wednesday evening, beginning at 7:30.

Minister Grange said Mr Seaga “spent much of his life studying, understanding, appreciating, preserving and promoting Jamaican culture and it was important to him that we take pride in our culture and participate in the rituals that our people have created, and the ‘nine night’ is an important ritual in our culture.”

The ‘nine night’, based on African tradition, is a wake that takes place on the ninth night after a person’s death.

Minister Grange has encouraged Jamaicans who are unable to attend the ‘nine night’ in Tivoli Gardens to organise their own tributes to the former Prime Minister on Wednesday.


25 Jun 2019

Remarks by the Minister of Culture, Gender, 

Entertainment and Sport

the Honourable Olivia Grange, CD, MP 

at News Conference announcing plans to honour

former Prime Minister Seaga 

Jamaica House

3 June 2019




Ladies and gentlemen, this is a difficult time for all of us as a nation.


The passing of one of our great sons, the Most Honourable Edward Seaga — who has served us so well — is a time of sadness.  It is a moment for reflection which calls us as a national family to come together in celebration of a life that was devoted to outstanding service, for building Jamaica and enriching its people.


Edward Phillip George Seaga was elected Prime Minister of Jamaica on October 30, 1980 — he became the fifth person to hold that position.


He has also held the posts of:

  • Minister of Finance and Planning (1967-1972) 
  • Minister of Development and Welfare (1962-1967)


During his service to our country, he was responsible for developing a comprehensive range of financial institutions to make Jamaica's Capital Market network a model for developing countries. 

These include the: 

  • Jamaica Stock Exchange 
  • Introduction of merchant banking
  • Jamaica Development Bank Jamaica Mortgage Bank
  • Jamaica Unit Trust

Rural and urban planning and the environment have also been prime areas of focus for Mr Seaga.  He spearheaded waterfront development in the main coastal towns and cities, rural and urban township development programmes, and the development of parks and markets. 


Among his achievements are:

  • Reclamation and development of Ocho Rios waterfront (Turtle Beach)
  • transformation of ‘Back-o-Wall’ slum to develop Tivoli Garden, a modern, fully planned urban development; Hellshire Hills Development; Portmore Town Centre; Torrington Park Housing Scheme
  • Reclamation of Montego Bay waterfront


Mr Seaga also led the creation of a wide range of social programmes which expanded training in human resources, aided small enterprises and protected the poor and vulnerable. 


Achievements include:

  • Introduction of the National School Feeding Programme
  • Introduction of HEART (Human Employment & Resource Training)
  • development of Residential halls for UWI, UTECH and Cultural Training Centre (Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts) 


In the area of Culture, Mr Seaga’s achievements are well known.  And he was the quintessential builder of institutions in this country — the majority of which still continue to serve us well today.


Edward Seaga's political career began in 1959, when the Founder of the Jamaica Labour Party, Sir Alexander Bustamante, invited him to serve in the Upper House of the Jamaican Legislature. The Legis­lative Council later became the Senate. His appointment at the age of 29 made him the youngest member in the history of the Legis­lative Council. He was also the youngest member among the architects of the 1962 Constitution which proclaimed Jamaica as an independent country. 


In April 1962, Mr. Seaga was elected Member of Parliament for Western Kingston in the first Parliament of Jamaica — he went on to serve the constituency for more than 40 years. He was made a member of the first Cabinet, and appointed Minister of Development and Welfare. 


The State Funeral accorded to the Most Honourable Edward Seaga continues the tradition of a grateful Nation bidding farewell to its leaders in a formal manner with appropriate dignity and ceremony. 


In the prevailing policy directive, the Government of Jamaica, through its Cabinet accords Official and State Funerals to the following persons:


  • Governors-General and Prime Ministers who die whilst in office
  • National Heroes
  • Members of Cabinet
  • Such other persons, including former Governors-General, former Prime Ministers, and Members of Cabinet who the Cabinet may from time to time determine to be eligible for such consideration.


The Office of the Prime Minister convenes and chairs the Inter-Ministerial Planning Committee to co-ordinate the detailed planning and execution of the Funeral. The Committee is comprised of Government entities that typically plan and execute such State ceremonial events.  The Committee may include inter alia the Office of the Governor-General, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, as well as the Military (Jamaica Defence Force) and Security (Jamaica Constabulary Force) Arms of Government.


The Chancery and Protocol Division of the Office of the Prime Minister is therefore responsible for the planning and coordination of State and Official funerals. But it discharges this responsibility with the collaboration of relevant government departments and agencies consequent on the formal Decision taken by the Government through the deliberations of the appointed Inter-Ministerial Planning Committee for State ceremonials.


The Key elements of the process would customarily encompass, the formal announcement by the Prime Minister of the passing of the official of State or Government, and of the decision to accord a State or Official Funeral; the establishment of an Official Period of Mourning (flags at half mast, signing of condolence books); the agreement of a Funeral date, the convening of the Planning Committee; the preparation, coordination and execution in accordance with plans of the State or Official Funeral Service  activities and arrangements including formal interment elements such as  laying of wreaths by high officials of State and Government.


Official Activities:

Monday, June 3, 2019

10am - 3pm: Opening of Condolence Books

Office of the Prime Minister (OPM)

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade (MFAFT)

Jamaica’s Missions overseas

Condolence Books will be opened at each Municipality Office in all Parish Capitals


Tuesday, June 4, 2019 – Friday June 21, 2019

10am - 3pm: Opening of Condolence Books

Houses of Parliament (Gordon House)


Wednesday, June 5, 2019

11:00am - 2:00pm:  Lying-In-State

Jamaica Labour Party Headquarters, Belmont Road 


Friday, June 7, 2019

9:00am - 12:00pm:  Lying-In-State

Civic Centre, Sam Sharpe Square, Montego Bay, St James 

2:00pm - 5:00pm:  Lying-In-State

St John’s Anglican Church, Ocho Rios, St Ann

7:00pm:  Candlelight Vigil

Ocho Rios Pier, St Ann (members of Watt Town Revival Church will participate)


Monday, June 10, 2019

10:00am - 1:00pm:  Lying-In-State

Tivoli Gardens Community Centre 


Tuesday, June 11, 2019

10:00am - 1:00pm:  Lying-In-State

Denham Town Community Centre 


Tuesday, June 18, 2019

7:30pm: The Arts in Tribute to the Most Honourable Edward Seaga

Little Theatre, Kingston 

(Featuring - NDTC, Jamaica Folk Singers, Tivoli Dance Troupe, et al, and Spoken Tributes from University of the West Indies and University of Technology)


Wednesday, June 19, 2019 to Saturday, June 22, 2019

Official Period of Mourning 

11:00am - 2:00pm:  Lying-In-State

National Arena 

2:00pm: Special Sitting of Both Houses of Parliament in Tribute to the Most Honourable Edward Seaga

Gordon House 


Thursday, June 20, 2019

11:00am - 2:00pm:  Lying-In-State

National Arena 


Sunday, June 23, 2019

12:00pm: State Funeral

Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity


National Heroes Park (following Funeral Service)


Additionally, the West Kingston constituency will host a series of activities to celebrate the life of the late former Prime Minister as follows:

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

7:30pm: Nine Night

Tivoli Gardens Square


Sunday, June 16, 2019

TBC Football tribute: Tivoli Gardens Invitational vs Premier League All-Stars

Edward Seaga Sports Complex


Wednesday, June 19, 2019

7:30pm: Revival Table

Tivoli Gardens Community Centre


Saturday, June 22, 2019

7:30pm: Set Up

Tivoli Gardens Square


Please note:

Candlelight Vigils are being planned for areas across the constituency, including Fletcher’s Land, Mid-Town and Denham Town 


Lying in state

As per Family’s wishes, the Casket will remain closed and draped with the National Flag. Those paying their respects will file past solemnly as directed within the ceremonial area.


Music Industry tribute

The Government of Jamaica, through the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport and its Agencies (JCDC, Jamaica Music Museum, etc) will use International Reggae Day – July 1, 2019, to highlight and celebrate the contribution of the late Most Honourable Edward Seaga to the birth and development of Reggae Music.  The event will be called Music Industry Tribute to the Most Honourable Edward Seaga and will be staged at the National Indoor Sports Centre in Kingston.


Mr. Seaga’s pioneering recognition of the transformative power of the ARTS first came to international recognition when in the late 1960s, as Minister of Development and Welfare, he promoted  the concept of an international “cultural bank” leading to the establishment of the International Fund for the promotion of Culture by UNESCO in the 1970s. This paved the way for intangible cultural patrimony like Reggae Music to gain a foothold in the international arena. 


Recognition of regional and international communities

Notifications of the passing of the former Prime Minister are being issued by the Government through diplomatic channels as is customary.


Announcements will be made at a later date as to foreign personalities who will be in attendance at the funeral. But several tributes from regional and international Governments and Leaders have already been received by the Prime Minister.

25 Jun 2019

Kingston 28 May 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has paid tribute to the former Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Edward Seaga, who passed away today.

Minister’s statement follows:

“Some people make such a telling impact on people, communities and countries — and Edward Seaga was one of them.

He was the kindest, most caring, most brilliant man I’ve ever known and I loved him dearly. It has been my greatest pleasure to learn from him and to work with him.

He taught me to dine with kings and walk with beggars and to give respect to receive respect.

Today on his 89th birthday, Jamaica and the world lost a great leader; and I have lost my teacher, my mentor and my friend.

I give credit to Mr Seaga for much that I have achieved in my professional life. He saw great potential in me and invested his time and effort into helping me to rise and to contribute to the country that we both love.

Mr Seaga loved Jamaica and our people. He understood the value of our culture and way of life in a way that few other people do. He dedicated his life to advancing Jamaica in every way; and we have become a cultural powerhouse because of Mr Seaga’s vision and service.

All of us — especially those of us from West Kingston — are heartbroken today — he was ‘closer than a brother.’ But in this moment, we are also proud to have benefitted from, be associated with, and counted as family by Edward Seaga. And to us, he was and will always be family.

Thank you for your service, Mr Eddie. Thank you for loving us and working so hard for each of us every day. Walk good. I will always love you.”


25 Jun 2019

Kingston 21 May 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, is this year’s recipient of the coveted DUSUSU Award in the Gender Minister category.

The awards are presented annually to a First Lady and a Gender Minister who have shown exemplary work in Gender Development issues.

The award was presented to Minister Grange at her offices in New Kingston by the founder of the DUSUSU Awards, the world renowned girls education advocate Zuriel Oduwole.

Zuriel said Minister Grange was selected because she is “doing a lot in the areas of and in issues surrounding girls education, gender development and teenage pregnancy.”

Zuriel started the awards in 2014 when she was 11 years old to recognise the work of First Ladies and Gender Ministers in Africa.

Minister Grange has created history by becoming the first person outside of the African continent to receive the DUSUSU Award.

The Minister said she was honoured to receive the award from young Zuriel. Minister Grange pledged to continue working towards the empowerment, protection and education of girls.

Previous recipients of DUSUSU Awards have included Ministers of Gender Affairs in Mauritius, Ghana and Rwanda.


25 Jun 2019

Statement from the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport

the Honourable Olivia Grange, CD, MP


The Reggae Girlz will play their final home game against a strong Panama team on Sunday, May 19 before heading to the FIFA Women's World Cup in France.

It will be no ordinary match.  It will be our official send off for the girls who’ve made us so proud.

Come out to the National Stadium on Sunday.

Let’s all wear GOLD.  Let's show them love.  And let's give full support to our girls.

See you there!


25 Jun 2019

Kingston 11 May 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has expressed deep concern about the reported maltreatment of Reggae artiste JahDore and his family by the police.

Minister Statement follows:

I am shocked and deeply concerned by the allegations against the police made by Rastafari Reggae artiste JahDore. The very serious allegations surround human rights abuses, including physical violence and the infringing of religious freedom involving the alleged feeding of meat which is forbidden by the family and the cutting of locks.

If these allegations are true, they are unacceptable and an affront to justice and the peaceful ‘livity’ that we all desire; they should be condemned in the strongest manner; and the perpetrators left to face the consequences.

Many Jamaicans, including members of the Ratafari community, share my concern about these allegations and are anxious for us to get to the bottom of what happened. I have been in touch with my colleague Minister of National Security, Dr Horace Chang, on the matter and I welcome the quick intervention of the Commissioner of Police to order an immediate investigation.

I have also spoken with JahDore and assured him of the Government’s commitment to investigate and take appropriate action where necessary. I also assured him of my respect for and commitment to the Rastafari community and its beliefs and will fight any act to deprive Rastas of their rights.


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We place people at the heart of everything we do.

We believe that culture is the great equaliser and transformer that makes ordinary men and women great.

We believe that gender equality is essential in a modern society.

We believe that an entertained person is a happy person and happy persons make happy societies.

We believe that physical activity enhances lives and sport is the medicine that heals and corrects.

Olivia Grange


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  4-6 Trafalgar Road

Kingston 5

Jamaica, W.I.

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