National Hereos Day takes place in the Turks and Caicos Islands on the last Monday of May. This day was created to honor James Alexander George Smith McCartney, better known as J.A.G.S., the country’s first chief minister who served these islands from August 1976 until his untimely death in a plane crash over New Jersey in May of 1980. Jags McCartney was born on June 30, 1945 on Grand Turk to an accomplished Jamaican barrister, Harvey O.B. Fernandez McCartney, and Sally (Taylor), a Sunday school pianist from TCI. The couple named their son after a successful Jamaican barrister and legislator, James Alexander George Smith who died in 1942.
“J.A.G.S. McCartney was the leader and founder of the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM), a grassroots organization established to address the many social and economic ills that had been pervasive throughout the Turks and Caicos Islands. A central goal of his was the attainment of self-determination for the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands. McCartney had particularly sought to mobilize the youth in the political process. A charismatic, dynamic and visionary figure, McCartney was determined to usher in a new Constitution that would foster and safeguard the rights of all Turks and Caicos Islanders, create new opportunities for citizens and advance the Country. Assuming office at age 31, McCartney remains one of the world’s youngest democratically elected leaders in history.”
To read more on the history of this great man, please visit 107fm