Consul General to New York, Geneive Brown Metzger, has hailed the Friends of Trelawny Association (FOTA), for its commitment to the development of parish and the wider Jamaica.
Speaking at a FOTA-organised Business and Investment Symposium at the JFK Holiday Inn in Queen’s, New York, U.S.A recently, Mrs. Brown Metzger told the audience of Jamaicans looking for investment opportunities in the parish that FOTA represented “the best of what we have in the Diaspora.”
“I want you to know that my office appreciates the commitment that you display to your parish, even though you are living abroad, and the hard work that you continue to exhibit in organising this annual weekend of activities,” she stated.
The symposium was one of three Trelawny reunion weekend activities FOTA staged from May 22 to 24 throughout the New York area. A cocktail reception and dance in Brooklyn kicked off the weekend, which ended with the 27th annual reunion picnic at the Anthony Wayne Recreation Area near Bear Mountain, which drew thousands of patrons from North America, Europe and Jamaica.
A section of the large crowd that flocked the Anthony Wayne Recreation Centre for the annual Friends of Trelawny Reunion on May 24.
Mrs. Brown Metzger said she was delighted to learn that FOTA was the only organisation in the US Diaspora that brings together former residents of the parish in such large numbers, not only to have a good time, but to also have serious discussions about advancing the social and economic conditions of their homeland.
“I want to laud you for not only looking at having festive events on the weekend, but for also taking time out to look at how you, as former residents, can take part in the large number of investment opportunities in the parish as well as giving back through the various programmes and projects you have organised over the last few years,” she stated.
Consul General Brown Metzger said the fact that FOTA was able to put together the business and investment symposium in the midst of harsh economic conditions in the United States, “tells us that the organisation and its members are not only focussing on its own initiatives, but certainly recognise what is necessary to support Jamaica.”
In his presentation at the symposium, Falmouth Mayor, Colin Gager, disclosed that the parish would benefit from some $30 billion in investments over the next 10 years in tourism, housing and infrastructure.
FOTA President, Michael Wattkis, in his remarks, pledged to continue to bring Trelawnyites together and involve them in the development of the parish. “Our people must become serious stakeholders in a vast array of developments on stream in the parish – from the cruise ship to pier in Falmouth to the new hotels to the exciting prospect for eco-tourism in the Cockpit Mountains,” he said.
Scotiabank, the lead sponsor for the Trelawny Reunion weekend, updated the audience on the overall investment climate in Jamaica highlighting the assistance that Scotia and other financial institutions in Jamaica can deliver to Jamaicans living abroad.
Michelle Fagan of Coldwell Bankers highlighted the real estate investment opportunities available at the Richmond housing development in St. Ann.