Jamaica Information Service (JIS) writer/producer, Carry Bishop, gets a big hug from Prime Minister-elect, Portia Simpson Miller following the taping of her New Year’s message on Saturday.
Bishop, the stepson of Share’s publisher, Arnold A. Auguste, had just finished covering the speech in which an exuberant Simpson Miller called “upon all Jamaicans everywhere to recommit to our national objective of making Jamaica the place of choice to live, work, play and raise our families”.
“We are on the threshold of a new beginning. We stand in the moment of a new dawning,” she said. “It is against this backdrop of reality and new possibilities that I bring you a message of hope and resolve for the New Year.
“The general election is behind us. We must now get on urgently with the business of creating more economic and social opportunities for our people.
“In creating those opportunities, I give you my commitment to offer leadership that is consultative and inclusive.
“As a nation we must move quickly past the elements which divide us. As we begin this march towards our 50th anniversary, we must, as a nation, strive to attain real equality of opportunities for all. It is time to achieve an authentic democracy which is of the people, for the people and by the people.”
Simpson Miller called on the “nation builders” – the business organizations, religious groups, trade unions, civil society, “every political party” and Jamaicans in the Diaspora to join in building the country.
“We must work with every fibre of our beings, individually and collectively, to realize peace, progress and prosperity for all our people.”
Mindful of the severe economic restraints facing the country (and the world), she said that “we cannot despair and we must never lose hope”.
The challenges, she said, calls for “a national consensus on the way forward. They require the creativity, perseverance, fortitude and conquering spirit for which Jamaicans are known.
“National action is required to create employment and for our people as we generate wealth in honest and productive ways.
Simpson Miller said that while she was fully aware of the challenges that lay ahead, she is “equally excited by the prospects for truly united national action to confront them.
“I invite the nation to unite, as one family, shaping the future together around our common vision and goals.”