For the past four years the Ocho Rios Branch Library in St Ann has been the recipient of books from the passengers aboard the Welcome To Jamrock Reggae Cruise organised by Damian “Junior Gong” Marley. This year was no different.
Third World frontman Stephen “Cat” Coore represented the Marley family at the presentation when the cruise docked at the resort town on Monday. He noted that even in this electronic age books were still an important contributor to the development of young minds and must therefore be encouraged.
“In this day and age everybody is on their phones , but we are encouraging all the kids to read as much as you can. There are tons of books which are being donated to you guys and it's a pleasure to be donating these books to you guys. You are the future of this country , everything is in your hands, so make sure you don't joke around, study your books and be good people because that's what the world needs now… good people,” Coore told the gathering which included students from the Ocho Rios Primary and Milford Basic Schools.
In her response, regional directior of the Jamaica Library Service's Region 3, Marlene Walker noted that over the years the library has been the beneficiary of more than 800 books from the Marley-organised cruise.
“I thank the organisers of the Welcome To Jamrock Cruise for your generous donation of books. The Jamaica Library Service welcomes donations of this nature as the library is the ideal institution to inculcate the love of reading and hand in hand we can reach our objective of encouraging everyone to read. You have made a real difference in the lives of the children we serve,” she noted.
The Alpha Institute located in the Corporate Area will also benefit from the book drive.
The Welcome To Jamrock Reggae Cruise is in its fifth year. More than 3000 passengers boarded the vessel the Independence of the Seas in Fort Lauderdale, Florida last Saturday. The cruise made two stops in Jamaica, Ocho Rios and Falmouth, before returning to Florida yesterday. Among the acts who performed on this year's cruise were the Marley Brothers — Ziggy, Julian Stephen and Damian — Tarrus Riley, Queen Ifrica, Bounty Killer, Jesse Royal and Jah Cure.