Saturday, April 28, 2012

Beautiful 'Jamaica Gold' Flower Show by Jamaica Horticultural Society

Excerpts of Address to the Opening of 'Jamaica Gold' Flower Show - by Jean Lowrie-Chin

Prof Wilma Bailey, President of the Jamaica Horticultural Society inspecting one of the exhibits

This Horticultural Society is a special blessing to our beloved Jamaica. I note your distinguished history, dating back to 1825, confirmed by a letter from the first President preserved in the British Museum of National History. Although there were several years of dormancy, this present Jamaica Horticultural Society was founded in 1955 and has not looked back.

Your regional focus is realized here today with the participation of the Horticultural Society of Trinidad & Tobago who are paying tribute to you, their Jamaican colleagues on the occasion of our Golden Jubilee.

Tribute to JAMAICA 50 by the Trinidad & Tobago Horticultural Society

We in the islands of the Caribbean know that we cannot take our environment lightly. Your respective countries, Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica - owe you a debt for your responsible stewardship. You understand the delicate balance of nature and you have ensured that some of our rare plants have been preserved.

This is why we can never trivialize the work of organizations such as the Jamaica Horticultural Society.

The close ties between us are undeniable: UWI graduates have inter-married and through our various churches and clubs, we have maintained close friendships with our West Indian brothers and sisters.

We can use this bond for the greater good of our region. As we survey this stunning display of plants, some of which are indigenous to our respective countries, we see the opportunity to become a powerful floral exporting international hub.

We have heard the rave reviews you have received for your shows, here and abroad. We can pool our passion for horticulture to create those well needed jobs and foreign exchange for the Caribbean region. Only last week the IMF Senior Representative for Jamaica, Dr. Gene Leon, commented that “The Gold of Caricom’s promise is yet to be mined”.

Ferns of Jamaica

He appealed to us to be regionalists, planning a future bigger than single operating islands. At our various seminars and social gatherings for our CCRP members, I am amazed increasingly by the brilliance, wisdom and warmth of our seniors.

I believe that this collective wisdom and experience is the Caribbean’s most precious resource and we must find every possible way to bring this to the attention of our leaders. It is by bridging this ever-widening gap between the generations, that we will strengthen our nations and our region.

I know that you, who are so passionately dedicated to the development of horticulture would like to ensure that the foundations you have laid are strengthened and built upon by equally committed successors.

We should re-double our efforts to nurture and mentor our young people so that all of this wonderful work will not only continue but become a meaningful part of our regional development.

The Caribbean is a veritable bouquet of the peoples of the world, displaying hybrid strength of all the races, colours and creeds. We bloom vividly, showing those in the developed world how excellent we can be. As we see the challenges facing even the most developed countries, we realize that we can bloom even more beautifully where we have been planted, where we are nurtured by God’s glorious sunshine and cooled by His wonderful rivers and seas.

Hearty congratulations to Prof. Wilma Bailey, the Executive and members of Jamaica Horticultural Society and the Horticultural Society of Trinidad & Tobago Executives for staging this wonderful exhibition. Let us take away from this event, the pride that each and every person brings to these exquisite exhibits.


  1. Donna Oniss BlakeMay 2, 2012 at 7:58 AM

    What a wonderful tribute to the JHS! Thank you so very much. You gave a thought provoking and inspiring address at our opening ceremony and shared a poem also. (My 2 girls loved your poem by the way. I think it was one of the few things that the smaller of the 2 (6 years) heard all night :-)) I consider myself a child of the Caribbean, loving the similarities and diversity of our islands and people; and am training my 2 girls in that same path. It is my belief that there is hope for us as a region to achieve our greatest potential as we move towards even greater integration. Thanks again!

  2. Thank you Donna! It was such an honour to address your dedicated and distinguished group. So glad your girls enjoyed the poem - they are blessed with a discerning and generous Mother.

  3. THere is a flower show that occurs every year near Falmouth in June and I would like to know when it is this June. I hope you can help.