JIS News

Jamaica’s High Commissioner to Canada, His Excellency Carl Marshall, has praised former Consul General Vivia Betton, for her work in strengthening bilateral relations between Canada and Jamaica.
“Miss Betton has done much to strengthen the bilateral relations between Canada and Jamaica, both in how she has managed those aspects of international relations and her adroitness in the management of personal relations,” he said.
The High Commissioner’s comments were made recently at a farewell function held at the Jamaican Canadian Centre in Toronto for Miss Betton, whose tour of duty ended on September 1. The veteran diplomat, who has served Jamaica since 1972, has retired.
He also lauded the Consul General, who has been Jamaica’s top diplomatic representative in Toronto since May 2002, for her work in forging links among various agencies and community organizations.
“She has done a marvelous job in building and maintaining camaraderie and a truly effective working relationship between and among the various agencies of government resident in Toronto. Also of note, is the excellent relationship she has forged with the different community organizations. Miss Betton has been consummate in the way that she has performed her tasks,” he noted.
Hundreds of Jamaicans joined the High Commissioner in bidding farewell to the Consul General. Among the attendees at the event, organized by a committee representing various community organizations, were heads of community groups, government representatives and members of the consular corps.
Those paying tribute to the Consul General included President of the Jamaican Canadian Association, Sandra Carnegie-Douglas; President of Arts and Culture Jamaica Inc., Cherita Girvan-Campbell; President of the Jamaica Foundation of Hamilton, Bill DeLisser; Deputy Speaker of the Canadian House of Representatives, Jean Augustine; President of the Jamaica Diaspora-Canada Foundation, Philip Mascoll; President of Women for PACE (Canada), Diana Burke; Regional Vice-President of the National Council of Jamaicans and Supportive Organizations in Canada, Nzinga Walker; President of the Alliance of Jamaican Alumni Associations, Alene Miller-Chen; and President of the Caribbean Chinese Association, Clifton Li.Describing the Consul General as “tireless and unfailingly pleasant” Mr. Mascoll said she “beautifully stick-handled the affairs of Jamaica among the thousands of sometimes incredibly difficult members of our community in this city. Your vast knowledge, grace and calmness have been a tribute and boon to Jamaica and to our community.”
In her response to the gathering, Miss Betton said her experience in Canada “has further validated all the positive thoughts I have had of our great country. The great cultural performances, paintings, artwork, cuisine, music, fashion, a high standard of educational and sports achievements – all Jamaican stamped, fill me with hope and pride.”
The outgoing Consul General noted that her work was greatly facilitated by interaction with “hardworking, patriotic and dynamic individuals,” who came from the many Jamaican community and alumni associations in Toronto. She also paid tribute to the staff of the Consulate and the Jamaican government agencies. “I stand on their shoulders and I am grateful to all the members of the country team in Toronto,” Miss Betton said.
The Consul General praised the board and membership of the newly formed Jamaican Diaspora-Canada Foundation (JDCF), reminding them that they were in a unique position to contribute to Jamaica.
“You have a great opportunity to fulfill your plans to open new channels to assist in our country’s development. As you work towards the institutionalization of the links between those of our people at home and those abroad, you are greatly implored to create an awareness of the wisdom of investing in Jamaica. Share your expertise and exposure with those at home, and it is also lucrative to develop stronger trading links for our country and for our nationals abroad to benefit from this,” she told them.
Dale Jones, Consul at the Jamaican Consulate, will act as Consul General until the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade appoints a successor.