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JIS News

An ecumenical Thanksgiving Service on Sunday, July 30 and the Grand Independence Ball on Saturday, August 12, are among several events planned to celebrate the country’s 44th anniversary of independence in New York.
The church service will be held at the historic Riverside Church, at 490 Riverside Drive, Harlem, commencing at 4:00 p.m. Bishop Dr. Cecil G. Riley, senior pastor of the Freedom Hall Church of God, Brooklyn, will preach the sermon.
A 50-voice Independence choir, under the direction of Lloyd Chung; a dance by the acclaimed Movements Dance Company, and prayers for the nation and its leader from heads of community organizations will highlight the service.
The Independence Ball will be held at the New York Hilton Hotel & Towers, 1335 Sixth Avenue, Manhattan, beginning at 6:30 p.m.
The Consulate General of Jamaica will join forces and pool resources with a number of individuals and groups, “to showcase the best of our island’s rich history and cultural heritage at this time,” Consul General, Dr. Basil K. Bryan told JIS News.
Dr. Bryan chairs the Jamaica Independence Anniversary Committee (JIAC), a voluntary community group that works with the Consul General to organize events to showcase Jamaica’s rich history.
The activities will include civic and cultural offerings, with stops at the Brooklyn Borough Hall, the chambers of the New York City Council and the raising of the Jamaican flag at historic Bowling Green in the heart of the New York’s financial district in lower Manhattan. All events are open to the public.
There will be the opening of an art exhibition at the Jamaican Consulate, 767 Third Avenue on Monday, July 31, at 6:00 p.m. The exhibition will last until August 4, and features contemporary works by Alphanso Blake, Lennox Coke and Cherry Stewart, all members of the Trafalgar Artists Co-operative, Kingston.
On Tuesday, August 1 (Emancipation Day), Marty Markowitz, President of the Borough of Brooklyn and Deputy President, Jamaican born Yvonne Graham, will host ‘Jamaica 44’ with a 6:00 p.m. civic ceremony, recognizing the contributions of Jamaicans to the Borough of Brooklyn.
On Thursday, August 3, the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) presents ‘Culture Fest 2006’, a series of short documentaries on reggae artiste, Freddie McGregor; the late Clement ‘Sir Coxsone’ Dodd, music producer; and life in a New York City housing project by Jamaican filmmaker Selena Blake. The first screening begins at 7:00 p.m. at the Jamaican Consulate.
A Youth Symposium recognizing a number of young achievers from across the city takes place at the Jamaican Consulate on Friday, August 4, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Guests include Columbia University honour student, Saleem Joseph and ‘America’s Top Model’ finalist, Camille McDonald.
Air Jamaica, GraceKennedy Ltd., and New York Life Insurance Company are among the presenters.
The Bowling Green Association will co-host the flag-raising ceremony on Tuesday, August 7, at 12:30 p.m. Local elected officials of Jamaican heritage are expected to participate.
Later that day, at 5:30 p.m., Yvette Clarke and City Council colleagues host a ceremony at City Hall celebrating the mix of Jamaicans in New York. The ceremony is complete with music, island cuisine and presentations. Part proceeds from this year’s Grand Independence Ball will benefit the Boys’ Town Basic School (Jamaica), the Leaf of Life Fund for Critically Ill Children (USA) and the Organization for International Development (USA).