Turks and Caicos, may 29, 2017 – Providenciales – Today, on National Heroes Day, the day he officially established into law, the leader of the Opposition, Washington Misick made a series of distasteful remarks in his address at the Memorial Service for the country’s only National Hero, Rt Excellent JAGS McCartney.
Below are Mr. Misick’s complete remarks:
“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” Henry David Thoreau
That my friends is why most heroes live short lives but achieve more than many who go on to live into old age and Honourable JAGS McCartney was no different – meeting his early demise just shy of his 35th birthday.
As someone growing up in the sixties, just five years younger than McCartney and witnessing the unprecedented wave of decolonization: 32 countries gaining independence between 1960 and 1968, including Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Guyana – a combination of the civil rights and the black-power movement in the US resulting in the civil rights act in 1964 and the voting rights act in 1965 instilled a sense of racial pride and self-esteem in blacks across the world, and greatly influence the fearless courage of McCartney and others to agitate for change in the status quo from colonial rule to the attainment of self-determination.
I knew JAGS; we disagreed on the means and the timetable for self-determination – a divisive argument to this day, but we were never disagreeable. JAGS had a strong conviction and an unshakeable focus on improving the future of these islands. And in this he was selfless. McCartney was a humble man who never forgot his roots, or seek out credit for things he did or did not do, as so many of us do today. He was empathetic, and compassionate, always displaying a sense of concern and kindness devoid of partisan politics.
Don’t get me wrong JAGs was no saint. He was human and never hypocritical about his faults. His love of women is legendary. He was a regular guy with his share of domestic issues, but he was also a great visionary with a profound sense of purpose leaving a legacy that testify to the fact that imperfection, has never been a barrier to greatness. JAGS were about love and about cooperation and compromise and working together. The decision to introduce legislation to establish a National Heroes Day on which JAGs was inducted as our first National Hero was easy for all of those reasons.
There is a lot of cheap talk these days about change, but Jags was a real change agent, a leader who refused to work in the system but choose to work on the system instead. Change – historic change and heroic change comes by working on the system. Real change is not spin without substance. It is honesty in the face of vulnerability. McCartney despite his vulnerabilities demonstrated that he could be trusted with power. May those who have inherited his baton and all of us who lead prove to be trustworthy as we remember the contribution of our first National hero.