Jamaicans told to be Proud of their Place in Canada


Veteran trade unionist and human rights activist, Jamaican-born Bromley Armstrong, has said that Jamaicans have been living in Canada for over 200 years and should be proud of their heritage and place in that country.
“We are the cream of the crop. We are the leaders, the trailblazers. We have done many things to make this country a better place,” Mr. Armstrong told patrons attending the Annual Dinner, Dance and Awards Ceremony of the Dinthill Past Students’ Association, held recently in Toronto, Canada.
The 77 year-old who migrated to Canada more than 50 years ago was presented with the Spirit of the Community Award, in recognition of his “outstanding community involvement, benevolence and unselfish regard for the interest of others”.
Mr. Armstrong, whose memoirs are documented in the book, ‘Bromley: Tireless Champion for Just Causes’, is credited with helping to change Canada’s immigration policy of “racial exclusion” in the 1950s. He was part of a 35-member delegation that travelled from Toronto to the Canadian capital in April 1954 to request that the government open immigration to more West Indians.
“Don’t be complacent,” Mr. Armstrong told the former students of Dinthill, urging them to get into Canadian politics so that they could change more laws. “That is the only way we can make things better for our children and our children’s children in this diversified country where we are not visiting, but we are here to stay,” he said.
Mr. Armstrong was founding member of several organizations, including the Jamaican Canadian Association, the Urban Alliance on Race Relations, Black Business and Professional Association, and the National Council of Jamaicans and Supportive Organizations in Canada (NCJSOC). He is also the recipient of the Order of Canada, the Order of Ontario, and Jamaica’s Order of Distinction.
Other awardees included Ron Fanfair, a newspaper reporter and photographer, who received the Continuing Education Award for “dedicated efforts in informing and educating the community by way of journalism”; Dr. Ronald Ingleton, a certified Holistic health counsellor, received the Outstanding Supporter Award for his “continuous support and dedication to the Dinthill Alumni Associations”; John Sayers received the Distinguished Alumni Award, in recognition of his “outstanding lifetime accomplishments and dedication to the affairs of Dinthill and its fraternal bodies”; and the Founding Fathers award was presented to the family of the late Oliver Percival Martin, to show eternal gratitude for his wisdom and vision in helping to establish Dinthill.
Jamaica’s Consul General to Toronto, Vivia Betton, congratulated the awardees and commended the Association for being in existence for 19 years.
“Be assured that your activities in fostering togetherness among your alumni and giving assistance to your alma mater are appreciated by the Government of Jamaica and our people, especially those who benefit directly,” said the Consul General. “When you provide assistance to your alma mater, you underline the love and respect for your country,” she added.
President of the Alumni Association, Diane Frans, said she has grown more passionate for the Alumni and the school.
She pointed out that through several events hosted earlier this year, such as the April brunch, a family picnic in July and a golf tournament in August, the association was able to continue providing scholarships to graduates of Dinthill to pursue a higher level of education.
“In addition, we were able to contribute to the Dinthill Trust Fund established to finance the capital development of the school and student welfare programmes,” the President said.

JIS Social