Daniel Morgan | Jamaica 58: Resilient and strong
LAST SUNDAY, I attended the Independence church service which was held at the Portmore Church of God. The pastor preached a lovely sermon on how Jamaica has survived over the years, despite all the struggles that we faced as a nation.
In particular, he mentioned that while he was a student at The University of The West Indies and studying for his exams in organic chemistry, he heard that the Pentecostal Gospel Assembly on Windward Road was partially destroyed by Hurricane Gilbert in 1988.
I had vivid recollections of that dilapidated structure when I drove through that area in the aftermath, and I must confess it was in a terrible state and seemed beyond disrepair. However, with time, the building was restored to its present state in record time. I was truly amazed. That sermon was particularly interesting because, in retrospect, Jamaica has travelled a similar journey in its 58 years of Independence. For instance, the earthquake of 1692 was a terrible event that severely destroyed most parts of Port Royal. The Kingston earthquake of 1907 had a magnitude of 6.5 and was described by the United States Geological Survey as one of the world’s deadliest earthquakes recorded in history.
It was reported that every building was damaged by the earthquake in Kingston, which resulted in the death of over a thousand people, with the ensuing fires causing further destruction. Similarly, other hurricanes such as Charlie, David, Gilbert and Ivan rendered untold damage. The agricultural sector got a significant battering resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in aggregate losses. We also have our fair share of crime, however, I must commend the Holness administration for the recent inroads the security forces have been making to disrupt the gangs and criminal activities.
However, despite all these struggles we bounced back as a nation, as our athletic heroes, such as the indomitable Dr (Honorary) Usain Bolt, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and others, took the Olympic Games by storm and raised our flag high, Indeed, we have nothing to be ashamed of, because we have made a significant impact in every aspect of life, be it athletics, reggae, theatre, Miss World pageants, academia, and many others.
Daniel Morgan is a student pursing a master’s of science in business administration. Send feedback to email@example.com.