Jamaicans in New York Celebrate Independence with Black Tie Ball


Jamaicans in New York celebrated the nation’s 48th year of Independence at the annual anniversary ball held on Saturday (Aug. 14) at the Hilton Hotel in New York City.
Organised by Jamaican Independence Celebration Foundation Inc., under the patronage of Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Olivia Grange, the black tie event attracted some 600 Jamaican nationals and friends of the island.
Decked in elegant gowns and suits, they listened to steel drums played by a local band and enjoyed the best of Caribbean and American cuisine, before hearing formal speeches.
Minister Grange, in her address, paid homage to the founding fathers, noting that they fought to ensure better working and living conditions for all.
“Jamaica’s national heroes will be remembered for their unforgettable sacrifice. They were the architects of our freedom,” she stated.
Consul General to New York, Geneive Brown Metzger in her remarks, stated that Jamaica is a young country with a great future.
She noted that Jamaicans are determined to overcome obstacles in order to solidify the island’s rightful place on an international level. “We are hardworking, creative and innovative, and we will prevail,” she said.
Communications Consultant and radio talk show host, Dr. Barbara Gloudon, who was the guest speaker at the event, regaled the audience with humorous anecdotes of Jamaican experiences to which they could all relate.
She said that Jamaicans must recognise and be proud of their history. “We need to know our history. Until we know our history, we won’t be able to cross the bridge to the next generation,” she stated.
“Do not let our heritage die without passing it to our children,” she further urged. “There’s no finer heritage than ours. Let the history continue,” she said.
The ball was attended by a number of high profile Jamaicans in New York, including Jamaica’s representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Raymond Wolfe; Brooklyn Congresswoman, Yvette Clarke; President and Chief Executive Officer of Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery, Lowell Hawthorne; and Chief Executive Officer of Royal Caribbean and Caribbean Food Delights, Vincent HoSang. Reigning Miss Jamaica United States, Diane Johnson, was also present.
The 2010 Jamaican Independence Celebration Foundation youth award went to Matthew J. Thomas, an honour student, who will be attending the University of Maryland College Park. The community award was presented to George Crooks, a Jamaican-born United States navy veteran, who is involved extensively in the development of young people.
The foundation also auctioned a number of sports memorabilia to raise funds for charity, including items signed by Brazilian soccer great Edson Arantes Do Nascimento, popularly known as Pel

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