JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Jamaica has made great strides in several areas since gaining independence 51 years ago
  • Ambassador Vasciannie addresses the Jamaica Association of Maryland Grand Gala event
  • Jamaica Association of Maryland lauded for its mission

Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Professor Stephen Vasciannie, has commended the Jamaican Diaspora in that country for its invaluable contribution to the process of nation building.

“Rest assured that your efforts have not gone unnoticed by the government and people of Jamaica.  In fact, it is fair to say that support by organizations such as yours has prompted the Government’s renewed thrust to strengthen its engagement with the Diaspora,” the Ambassador said.

Ambassador Vasciannie was addressing the Jamaica Association of Maryland Grand Gala event in commemoration of the country’s 51st year of Independence, held at the Martin’s West Conference Hall in Baltimore on August 3.

He noted that Jamaica has made great strides in several areas since gaining independence 51 years ago.

“In this relative short span of nationhood, we have overcome many challenges and have made outstanding strides in several fields of endeavour including diplomacy, academia, music and sports,” Ambassador Vasciannie said.

The Ambassador pointed to several areas in which the country has fallen short but urged persons not to lose faith. He told the over 400 Jamaicans and friends of Jamaica that they must remain steadfast in their efforts to build on the positive aspects of the legacy that they have inherited in order to achieve economic development.

In his remarks, Maryland‘s Lieutenant Governor, Anthony Brown, who is of Jamaican parentage, lauded the Association for its mission to promote the cultural heritage and welfare of Jamaicans residing in the state.

He said that by encouraging a better understanding of the Jamaican culture, the Association was making Maryland a better, more diverse place to call home.

Lieutenant-Governor Brown noted that diversity was one of Maryland’s great strengths and that by working together the State could create a brighter, more progressive society.

The Association presented two distinguished awards at the gala. The Marcus Garvey United Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) Award went to Dr. Maxine Clark; while the Distinguished Award was presented to Dr. Hyacinth Dunstan-Hunter.

Among those in attendance were Delegate Shirley Nathan-Pullian of the Maryland House of Delegates and former Jamaican Ambassador to the United Nations, Ambassador Curtis Ward and Mrs. Ward.