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The Embassy of Jamaica in Washington in the United States has honoured two organisations and three individuals for their outstanding contribution to Jamaican communities in the Maryland and Washington, D.C. metropolitan areas.
At the first National Heroes Day reception and awards ceremony hosted by the Embassy on October 21, the Jamaica Association of Maryland was awarded for more than 20 years of activism and representing the interests of the Jamaican community in the state of Maryland.
The 40-year-old Jamaican Nationals Association was recognised for “fostering and defending the welfare of Jamaicans in Washington and for encouraging nationals to return home and participate in the development of the nation.”
Leopold and Carmen Edwards were acknowledged for their active role in the establishment of the National Coalition on Caribbean Affairs (NCOCA), for promoting Caribbean interests in Washington, and for “galvanising the Caribbean community to participate fully in civic matters at the local, state and national levels.”
The other honouree was internationally acclaimed Jamaican painter, Albert Huie, best known as a landscape and genre painter. He was unable to attend, but his daughter Christine Huie accepted the award on his behalf.
Mr. Huie has mounted some 24 major art exhibitions in Jamaica and the USA and around the world, and is a founder and tutor at the Jamaica School of Art.
Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Anthony Johnson, lauded all the honourees for their unyielding commitment to making a positive difference in the Jamaican communities in the Diaspora.
He also paid tribute to the country’s seven National Heroes whom, he said, gave selfless sacrifice for the freedoms Jamaicans now enjoy.
Ambassador Johnson also highlighted five outstanding late Jamaicans whom he described as the “magnificent five” and would have been 100 years old this year.
They are: former Governor-General Sir Florizel Glasspole; the Hon. Theodore Sealy, OJ; the Hon. Robert Lightbourne, OJ; the Hon. Aston Wesley Powell, OJ; and Sir George Alphonso Headley.
He said the five had “created innovations and suffered major setbacks, racial slights and other challenges, but ended up being the best in their field.” He added that they were the first persons of African ancestry to hold major posts in Jamaica.
“The fantastic five would have been centenarians had they lived until today. But their life stories, successes and heroism cannot go unnoticed. When you celebrate heroes, you are celebrating the best of you,” Ambassador Johnson stated.

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