“Never take up smoking or drinking and [see] your life as a gift from God and preserve it.”
Today students of the Belmont Primary School at Belle Gully, St. Michael received this message from former parliamentarian Joseph Johnny Tudor during a presentation by the National Committee for the Prevention of Alcoholism and Drug Dependency.
Tudor, who gave the feature address at the school as part of World No Tobacco Day observance, shared his personal experience of having a father who lived his life under the influence of drugs and eventually succumbed to them.
“I made a decision that smoking will be out for me. I will never smoke, I will never drink alcohol and I am now approaching 65 and I will say to you that I do not smoke and I have never ever tasted alcohol,” the automotive industry executive boasted.
He added that he takes the opportunity of public fora to condemn the use of cigarettes and alcohol as well as those who profit from their sale and use.
The former Minister of Transport and Works informed the group of primarily Class Four students that: “You would not want to take your beautiful body [and harm it] because inside your body is a pink heart, a pink lung, a pink or purple liver — God gave you a pure body and when you put smoke or alcohol inside, it is destroyed due to the irresponsible behaviour and … contamination…”
Tudor noted that the men in his family did not always exercise wise judgements in terms of lifestyle choices, and passionately implored the students never to take up smoking or drinking.
“I had a father who was popular and loved by everybody, but he contaminated his body and died before he was 50 years old. He did not have asthma, [but] can you imagine what is was like when he died and his body was cut open? With tears in my mind I had to watch the inside of my father and I was clear in my mind then that I had made the right decision not to smoke and not to drink alcohol.”
After Tudor’s address to the children, the message of not using drugs was further emphasised by a puppet presentation by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Elder Jensen of the Mormon Church asked the students questions following each of the three scenes. NCPAD leader Victor Roach also presented a select number of students with posters of denatured and drug abused bodies.