Grange announces activities to honour late former Prime Minister Seaga

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, announces plans to honour the late, former Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Edward Seaga Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, announces plans to honour the late, former Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Edward Seaga MCGES/Oliver Watt

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.


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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