Most Hon. P.J. Patterson, Prime Minister of Jamaica
Secretary General Edwin
Other Members of the Head Table
Honourable Ministers and Ministers of
State of the Government of Jamaica
Members of the Diplomatic Corps
Staff and Students of the UWI, Mona
of the Media
Ladies and Gentleman
Well, we are drawing to the close of what I am sure you will agree, has been
a very informative and entertaining evening. Getting to this point in the
programme and to this stage of the book project has involved the commitment,
collaboration, co-operation and goodwill of numerous individuals - in the
CARICOM Secretariat and in the wider community - including institutions and
businesses throughout the Region.
Mine is the unenviable task of thanking these contributors and collaborators.
Before conveying thanks however, it may be appropriate to convey apologies first
- apologies to the many persons who, in the time available, I may fail to
recognise. The fact that certain names may not be mentioned here tonight in no
way diminishes our gratitude for their contributions.
Having said that, let me begin by conveying sincere thanks and appreciation
to the distinguished Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Most Hon. P.J. Patterson,
undoubtedly one of our integration movement's greatest champions. Prime
Minister, we are indeed indebted to you for your support of this project,
tangibly demonstrated by your contribution to the book as reflected in the
section on perspectives of the future in chapter 10 of the book, and for your
invaluable presence and contribution to this evening's proceedings.
Those of you who wish to see a somewhat more youthful P.J. Patterson may find
the photograph on page 347 of interest. Look for a dapper gentleman with a great
Our thanks go also to the many other persons who accepted the
Secretary-General's invitation to be here -
- Ministers and Ministers of State of the Government of Jamaica;
- Members of the Diplomatic Corps in Jamaica led by their Dean, the High
Commissioner of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago who is represented
- The representative of the President of the Caribbean Development Bank. The
CDB has been very supportive of the project and made a significant
contribution toward the publication;
- Former Secretaries-General, Hon. Sir Alister McIntyre, OCC, and Mr.
Roderick Rainford - thank you for your presence.
It was under Mr. Rainford's watch that the concept for writing the book
emerged and also during his tenure that I began my career at the CARICOM
Thank you to -
- Officials of the Government of Jamaica, in particular our colleagues in
the Office of the Prime Minister as well as in the Ministry responsible for
CARICOM Affairs - namely, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade;
and to the Acting Chief Education Officer;
- Representatives of the Jamaica Library Service, the National Library, the
UWI and UTech Libraries. We look forward to your support in promoting this
book as a useful reference for all who wish to learn about the enterprise of
Community Building and Regional Integration;
Thank you to the many other educators present, including from the Jamaica
Teachers Association, the Jamaica Association of Principals and Vice Principals;
as well as Principals and Teachers from several Secondary schools here in
Jamaica. We hope that you and your students will find this text as handy and
useful as we envisage it could be.
Sincere thanks to our hosts the UWI - in particular Principal Hall who is
also the current Chair of the Caribbean Examinations Council, but who
unfortunately is not able to be with us; to his staff; and of course to the
Management and Staff of the Mona Visitors' Lodge and Convention Centre for
providing us with these pleasant surroundings.
We are also pleased to have present tonight many faculty Members of the UWI
and student representatives including the President of the Guild of Students,
who brought greetings.
Heartfelt appreciation and thanks to Ian Randle and his publishing team. When
approached about this project, Mr. Randle readily embraced it as did his very
professional staff. I must say a particular word of thanks to Kim Hoo Fatt,
Ian's Executive Assistant who co-mothered the project with me and to Arlene
Hansen who, among other things, coordinated the arrangements for tonight's
function along with my colleagues Huntley Medley and Roseann Collymore.
To the performers of the Ashé Ensemble and the UWI Panoridim Steel Orchestra
we say, thank you, for your lively and spirited contributions to tonight's
proceedings. You will be hearing more from the Panoridim Steel Orchestra during
the reception to follow.
We are very much indebted to several individuals who may not be here tonight
but who have made significant contributions through the provision of research
assistance, actual text and/or very useful comments, on different versions of
the draft - and indeed there were many versions before we got to the final
stage. Included among these persons are:
- My colleagues across programme areas in the CARICOM Secretariat, who after
a while, began avoiding me for fear that I might seek "just one more
small clarification" which would often end up in very lengthy
discussions and even rewrites of entire sections;
- Individuals in other Community Institutions, in particular the OECS
Secretariat and the CXC;
- Government Officials in Member States, particularly High Commissioner
Leonard Archer of The Bahamas, who we are pleased to have with us tonight;
- Thanks also to Mr. Andrew Davies of Jamaica and Barbados for his very
creative design which won the book cover design competition. Unfortunately
Andrew is not able to be here this evening.
There are also several Private Sector Companies we must thank for their
donations to different aspects of the project. These include most notably:
- Goddard Enterprises of Barbados;
- Air Jamaica here in Jamaica;
- Banks DIH in Guyana;
- The East Caribbean Group of Companies in St Vincent and the Grenadines;
- BWIA, RBTT, Unit Trust, Ansa McAl and Neal and Massy Holdings in Trinidad
On a personal note I must say thank you to my husband Jo Bayah, for his
support and patience, particularly during those periods of intense research and
writing when he had to endure much neglect.
I am, as the saying goes, saving the best for last and that is to convey
heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to our dear Secretary-General, His
Excellency Edwin Carrington, for his determination to see vision, insight and
encouragement throughout the process. S.G., I sincerely doubt that we could have
completed this Opus without your guidance and direction. You continue to inspire
us in the Secretariat with your tireless focus and commitment to the building of
this our Caribbean Home. Many thanks to you.
Ladies and Gentlemen, once again thank you all for coming.