05 Dec 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.

05 Dec 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.”


05 Dec 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.


05 Dec 2019

Kingston 20 May 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has told the Reggae Girlz that the entire nation is behind them as they departed Jamaica on Monday (today) to begin final preparation for the FIFA Women’s World Cup. 

Addressing the Girlz at a send-off reception at the Norman Manley International Airport, Minister Grange said the entire Jamaica was proud of their accomplishments to date. 

"As Minister, I must tell you that I couldn’t be prouder.  But I just want to remind you to strike hard.” 

Minister Grange said she was encouraged by the performance of the team in the friendly international against Panama at the National Stadium on Sunday, which Jamaica won 3-1. 

“You really looked good and you made us feel good,” remarked Minister Grange while urging the players to remain focused and continue training hard. 

“Each of you has the kind of grit and determination to make things happen.  That is why you are part of this squad to the FIFA Women’s World Cup.   This is the chance of a lifetime and so you have to resolve to make the best of it.  Always work hard.  Never give up.  Fight until the end." 

The Reggae Girlz captain Konya Plummer presented Minister Grange with a football signed by members of the team. 

Monday’s send-off was organised by Caribbean Airlines, the travel sponsor of the Reggae Girlz.  Minister Grange thanked the company for its support and repeated her call for other corporate entities to get behind the national women’s team.

05 Dec 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!


05 Dec 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.


05 Dec 2019

Kingston 10 May 2019 – Lane two in the Class Three 100 metres for girls was supposed to be Chantea Skyers’ lane. The young Red Hills Primary School athlete had been preparing for months to compete in the Insports Championships when she went missing and was later found dead.

Today — the second of the three-day Championships — was to have been Chantea’s moment; the day she had been working towards.

Her coach, Phillip Anderson, said she was a “very promising” athlete. “She had the ability to reach just as far as Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. She was there and somehow we lost her… I don’t know why they had to take her,” Mr Anderson continued.

At the request of the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, Chantea’s lane was not taken by another athlete. Instead, as the competitors faced the starter in the Class Three 100 metres for girls, a picture of the slain athlete and roses placed by her mother, Christal Service, and Minister Grange, occupied lane two.

Miss Service, overwhelmed, was unable to give a statement.

Minister Grange said it was “sad to recall that on her way from school, Chantea was taken, abused and tragically killed. We all feel the loss deeply, so you can imagine how her mother feels today… She’s here in spirit. She ran her race today.”

The decision to “keep her lane free” was intended to honour the young runner and to appeal to the nation for greater effort to protect children.

“As a government we will continue to do what we can to safeguard our children. This is Child Month and it is also the launch of Workers’ Week and Labour Day and our theme for Labour Day is safety of our children and it’s our responsibility, it’s your responsibility, it’s the responsibility of all of us and so we will continue to play our part and to do even more to secure our children.”

The Eastern Zone of the Insports Primary Schools’ Track and Field Championships concludes on Saturday.

The Central Zone Championships will take place at GC Foster College of Physical Education and Sport from May 13-15; and the Western Championships will be held at St Elizabeth Technical High School from May 16-18.


The voice of the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange.
05 Dec 2019

Kingston, 9 May 2019 – The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport today announced that Government has signed a contract with APEC Consultants in relation to the redevelopment of the National Stadium and the Trelawny Stadium. 

The Sport Minister made the announcement as she spoke at the launch function for the 2019 Racers Grand Prix which was held at the Jamaica Pegasus.

“The contract which is valued at Thirty-Million (JA$30M) is for the development of financing proposals for the redevelopment, expansion, and upgrading of these two national facilities. 

“The contract was signed under a programme facilitated by the Public Sector Investment Management Secretariat (PIMSEC) which falls under the Ministry of Finance and aims to streamline the preparation, appraisal of all Government projects to ensure that the Government receives value for money. 

“At the end of the four months for which the contract is signed, we will have a business plan and architectural design for both facilities. 

“There will be a state of the art anti-doping facility at the National Stadium and at least 10,000 more seats. The Bleachers section will also be partly covered.” 

Miss Grange said that the existing velodrome at the National Stadium will also be removed and new one built and there will also be a new Royal Box. 

She said facilities for the media will be put in with upgraded broadcast infrastructure as well as a state of the art gymnasium and meeting and conference rooms “for ongoing small events. 

“At the Trelawny Stadium, a cricket academy will be established along with a running track, a basketball arena, a baseball diamond and that facility too will have a state of the art gym. 

“The redevelopment project will bring the National Stadium and the Trelawny Stadium up to first world standards putting us in a position to demand our share of the lucrative Sports Tourism Market as well as positioning us to host major international sports events in the National Stadium. These facilities will transcend the staging of Sporting events, offering also exciting options for Festival and entertainment events. 

“So ladies and gentlemen, the Government of Jamaica remains firm in its commitment to advance the development of sport and entertainment as critical components of nation building.”  

In congratulating Racers Track Club, Miss Grange said that, “In a short four years, the reputation of the Racers Grand Prix has grown to match those of any of the major stagers of international track and field meets.
“This is not surprising because of the work that the Racers Track Club has put in to make the Grand Prix worthy of world ranking. 

The Racers Grand Prix will be held at the National Stadium on June 8.

05 Dec 2019

Kingston, 8 May 2019 – The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, has said that it is a proud accomplishment that the 2019 Institute of Sports (INSPORTS) Primary School Track and Field Championship has attracted a record number of schools from all of the parishes.

Minister Grange spoke today at the National Indoor Sports Centre as she officially launched the 39th staging of the Meet, which starts tomorrow (May 9), “This year it is a record 217 schools and all 14 parishes that have indicated they are participating. Is this not wonderful that a record has already been set without a race being run. 

Miss Grange pointed to the fact that as of this year, because of the substantial increase in the number of participating schools, the championships is now zoned into Eastern, Western and Central. 

 “We must note that this accomplishment is due to the outstanding work of the INSPORT staff in the field and with assistance from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.”  
“As we develop even further, my vision for the 40th staging next year, is to host in the National Stadium a boys and girls’ primary schools’ championships as big as the secondary schools’ championships.”

She paid tribute to retired Sports Officer Keith Lattimore, whose pioneering work was responsible for the Meet which started with just five schools.  

The Sport Minister announced that this year, the top school will receive $250,000.00; second place $200,000.00 and third place $150,000.00. Schools placing from 4th to 10th will receive $75,000.00 each. 

She said the prize money will be used for the purchase of gear and equipment for the winning school. 

“I urge Jamaicans to come out to see the wonderful performances that we know these youngsters are capable of.” 

The three-day Meet, which takes place at the National Stadium, is free to the public.

05 Dec 2019

Kingston 7 May 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has announced four national projects for Labour Day on May 23, 2019. 

The four projects are the Papine High School in St Andrew, Holland Primary School in St Elizabeth, Fair Prospect Primary School in Portland and the Barrett Town All Age/John Rollins Primary School in St James. 

National Project

Main activities


Papine High School, 

St. Andrew


  • Install pedestrian crossings
  • Pave/repair local road
  • Pave sidewalks
  • Heighten block wall
  • Construct chain link fence

Project to be led by Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Andrew Holness

Fair Prospect Primary School, Portland


  • Pedestrian crossing
  • Repair main road

- Install murals

  • Install signage 
  • Create/pave sidewalks

Project to be led by Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Daryl Vaz

Holland Primary School, 

St Elizabeth


(There has been a number of fatalities and near misses at the school over the years)

  • Pedestrian crossing
  • Install sidewalks and bus lay-by

Project to be led by Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. J.C. Hutchinson

Barrett Town All Age/John Rollins Primary,

St. James

  • Pedestrian crossings
  • Road construction

Project to be led by Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett

 Speaking at the launch of Workers’ Week and Labour Day at the Office of the Prime Minister this morning (Tuesday), Minister Grange said the projects were proposed by the broad-based National Labour Day Committee in keeping with the theme for Labour Day 2019: Child Safety…it’s you, it’s me, it’s all ah we. 

“Translated this means that all of us must come together and ensure that our children are safe and secure.  This is a responsibility that we must take very seriously. Collectively we must assure them safe passage as they journey to adulthood and national productivity,” said Minister Grange. 

The scope of work includes installation of pedestrian crossings, installation of rumble strips, paving of roads, installation of sidewalks, installation of bus lay-by, installation of fencing, installation of signage, bushing of school environs and painting of murals. 

The works will be carried out with the support of Unicef, the JN Foundation and JSIF which are working closely with the National Labour Day Committee this year. 

Additionally, there will be parish projects, organised and led by Mayors and Councillors across the island. 

Minister Grange has invited Jamaicans to “volunteer in activities geared at making our children safe and secure as they move about our communities.” 

The Minister encouraged people to register their projects with the municipal corporations, with the Labour Day Secretariat in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport or on the JIS website. 

Labour Day on May 23 is the culmination of Workers’ Week activities.  Workers’ Week, which begins on May 19 was launched by Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Andrew Holness this morning (Tuesday).  Workers’ Week is being observed under the theme “Yes to decent work; No to child labour”. 

A schedule of Workers’ Week activities follows:




National Thanksgiving Service

Sunday, 19 May

10:00 am

Meadowbrook United Church

2 Flemington Drive, Kingston

Wreath Laying Ceremony in Commemoration of the 1938 Riots

Monday, 20 May 

10:00 am

Aggie Bernard Monument

Craft Market

Awards Banquet in Commemoration of Centenary of the International Labour  Organization and the Trades Union Act in Jamaica

Wednesday, 22 May

7:00 pm

Jamaica Pegasus Hotel

Floral Tribute Commemorating date on which National Hero Sam Sharpe was martyred

Thursday, 23 May

7:30 am


8:00 am

-Sam Sharpe Square, Montego Bay, St James


-National Heroes Park, Kingston


All day


National Labour Day Concert

Thursday, 23 May

6:00 pm

Emancipation Park, New Kingston



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


  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  4-6 Trafalgar Road

Kingston 5

Jamaica, W.I.

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