#Providenciales – June 4, 2018 – Turks and Caicos – While Americans celebrated Memorial Day and its many heroes, Turks and Caicos Islanders marked National Heroes Day and its one national hero… the country’s first democratically elected leader, the late Rt Excellent James Alexander George Smith McCartney aka JAGS. For as many birth names that he has… there are even more titles and accolades credited to the man who valiantly stood up to the British and demanded that natives have more say in the day to day political affairs of the TCI.
Rt Excellent JAGS died in 1980 over New Jersey in a plane crash… he was just shy of four years in his tenure and every final Monday in May the country holds a memorial and taxi drivers hold a motorcade.
Member of Parliament for Cheshire Hall and Richmond and former leader of the People’s Democratic Movement, the party JAGS founded, agrees that the commemoration is vital.
“JAGS had a clear mandate for the growth and development of the people, growth and development of the country, and it was his vision and he wasn’t around to carry it through. We are still eager to carry on the legacy and complete the vision of Honorable McCartney.” – Doug Parnell – Cheshire Hall & Richmond – MP
A family fun day was also staged at the Butterfield Square in Down Town, Providenciales while in Grand Turk there was more pomp and pageantry at the National Memorial, including wreath laying led by JAGS’ family.
There are many islanders alive today who were personally connected to and touched by the courage and fearlessness of Rt Excellent JAGS, they are still around and they still remember.
“He was just like my brother, just like my brother and he was going out seeking more opportunities for the Turks and Caicos islanders when the plane crashed there in Atlantic City, in New Jersey in 1980. All of this you see here, it was vision from us, the Turks and Caicos islander mainly through him, and the vision continues.” – Earle Baranco – Former Pres. TCI Taxi Association
The theme for this year’s National Heroes Day was ‘Enriching our Heritage, Promoting Our Culture’.