WASHINGTON, D.C. — The city of Stone Mountain in Atlanta, Georgia has declared the month of August as 'Jamaica 50th Independence Celebration Month.'
Honorary Consul in Atlanta, Vin Martin, presented the proclamation to Ambassador to the United States, Professor Stephen Vasciannie, on behalf of Mayor of Stone Mountain, Patrice Wheelen, at a town hall meeting held on Friday (Aug. 17) at the Hillside Presbyterian Church in the city.
The proclamation lauded Jamaica for having influenced the world and making its mark in the field of athletics, academics, culinary arts, religion and music.
The proclamation further noted that the city of Stone Mountain recognises and acknowledges the resilience of the Jamaican people, their ambition and the creative spirit, which allow them to excel in their chosen fields.
"Jamaica’s culture fills its people with pride in their homeland that translates into a high competitive spirit,” the document said, while also lauding the many accomplishments of the numerous Jamaicans residing in that city and throughout the United States.
Ambassador Vasciannie, who accepted the proclamation on behalf of the government and people of Jamaica, expressed thanks and appreciation to Mayor Wheelen and members of the city council for passing the resolution recognising Jamaica’s 50 years of Independence.
In the meantime, he called on the Jamaicans present at the town hall meeting to pool their resources and offer their skills towards the development of their homeland.
"Many of you have come to the shores of the United States and attained many skills in various fields, which, if channeled properly, will be of great benefit to Jamaica,” he stated.
He then commended Jamaicans in the Diaspora for their continued support and steadfast commitment to nation building, particularly through the many successful missions and projects undertaken, noting that they have a key role to play in the county’s social and economic development.
Ambassador Vasciannie, who was addressing his first town hall meeting since assuming office, pledged to work to strengthen relations with the United States; increase investment and trade opportunities; continue to support the efforts of the Organization of American States (OAS); and work with the Diaspora to identify ways to meaningfully contribute to the island.
The Ambassador also provided updates on economic issues and the crime situation in the country.
The town hall meeting was organised by the Atlanta Jamaica Association and was chaired by Mr. Martin.