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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The activities will commence with the Jamaica Association of Maryland (JAM) annual independence ball
  • JAM will present the Marcus Garvey UNIA Award to Dr. Maxine Clarke
  • Three charities in Jamaica have been selected to receive this year’s offering.

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Jamaicans residing in Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, Maryland, will be celebrating the 51st anniversary of the country’s independence  with several activities, beginning  this weekend.

Also, from August 3 to 11, the Embassy of Jamaica in Washington, D.C., under the leadership of Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Stephen Vasciannie, will be engaged in a number of activities supported by leading Jamaican organisations.

The activities will commence with the Jamaica Association of Maryland (JAM) annual independence ball, which will be held at the Martins West Conference Centre, Baltimore, and is expected to attract about 400 Jamaicans and friends of Jamaica.  Ambassador Vasciannie will deliver the keynote address.

This year, JAM will present the Marcus Garvey UNIA Award to Dr. Maxine Clarke, while the distinguished community service award will go to Dr. Hyacinth Dunston-Hunter.

Among those to bring greetings at the event are Maryland’s Lieutenant Governor, Anthony Brown, who is of Jamaican parentage; US Congressman, Elijah Cummins and Baltimore’s Mayor, Stephanie Rollins Blake

The Dumbarton Chapel at Howard University’s School of Law is the venue for the annual Service of Thanksgiving on Sunday, August 4, starting at 11:00 a.m. Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kingston, the Most Reverend Charles Henry Dufour, will deliver the sermon.  Ambassador Vasciannie will give the official welcome and deliver Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller’s Independence Message.

Members of the diplomatic corps, and representatives of the U.S. Congress and Senate along with other officials will attend the service.

Three charities in Jamaica – Harmon Valley Basic School in Claremont, St. Ann; Heroes Circle Basic School in Kingston and the Good Shepherd Foundation – have been selected to receive this year’s offering.

On Monday, August 5, Ambassador and Mrs. Vasciannie will host a reception and independence art exhibition at the Embassy, commencing at 6:30 p.m.  The exhibition will feature the works of Jamaican artists, Webster and Charlene Ferguson-Campbell, who will display over 50 pieces of their art.

On Sunday, August 11, the activities will come to a close when Jamaica Association of Maryland (JAM) will hold its annual Independence Thanksgiving Service at the Baltimore Central New Testament Church of God, commencing at 5:00 p.m.  The guest preacher will be Bishop Stanley Murray.