KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaicans need to adopt the principle of being ‘born again’ in order to meet the country’s developmental objectives, says Earl Jarrett, general manager of Jamaica National Building Society
The country is entering the second half-century of its political independence, having largely failed to sustain its growth and development thrust, Mr. Jarrett stated. To change this trajectory, he said, Jamaicans need to unlearn some long held traditions and concepts, and learn some new things.
“I believe that today, there is a great need for everyone, in their personal life and in business, to constantly renew themselves and find new ways to serve,” JN general manager said. “There are examples of ways in which people can serve differently; and, we have universities and colleges where senior professionals can work to repurpose themselves.”
As the guest speaker at the well-attended Inaugural Awards Banquet of the Methodist Church held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in November, he made the point that the lesson Jesus tried to impart to Nicodemus, a biblical leader of Israel, had relevance to individual Jamaicans; as well as, on a national basis.
The country needs a revival among its political, civic, religious and corporate leaders, he declared.
“Many of our leaders hold on to particular methods of operation, thinking and perspectives, without adapting to changing times. The result is that they stay in the same place or position for in excess of 25 or 30 years…trying to do the same things over and over, but expecting different results.”
An examination of the biblical example provided by Jesus shows that he overturned tradition by healing a sick man on the Sabbath, driving the sellers out of the temple, and dining with persons considered unfit by the righteous. Mr. Jarrett said, “He did all of this as he carried out his mission of leadership and relevance to the people he came to serve.”
“I encourage us to hold our leaders to account, and to challenge them to become born again – to adopt new perspectives and new approaches to the issues that face us as a nation,” Mr. Jarrett stated. “There must be constant refreshing, regeneration and rebirth.”
The first Annual Awards Banquet of the Methodist Church was held in celebration of its 225th anniversary in Jamaica, said President of the Jamaica Methodist District, Reverend Everald Galbraith. He explained that the anniversary was being used to pay tribute to those who had dedicated themselves to serving god and humanity.
The leaders receiving recognition at the Awards Banquet were Reverend C. Evans Bailey; Dr. Audley Betton; Reverend Gilbert Bowen; Reverend Dr. Claude Cadogan; Mrs. Shirley Carby; Reverend Dr. Byron Chambers; Mr. Rion Hall; the Hon. Dorothy Pine-McClarty and Mr. Morin Seymour.
Custos Rotulorum of St. Andrew, the Hon. Marigold Harding, speaking on behalf of Governor General, Sir Patrick Allen, congratulated the awardees, and also pointed to “the seminal role of women” in the Methodist Church. She singled out the successful proseltising of Mary Wilkinson, from Machioneal, whose efforts from 1807 to 1814 prompted the building of the Coke Methodist Church.