Jamaica’s High Commissioner to Canada, Her Excellency Sheila Sealy Monteith, has lauded the accomplishments and achievements of Jamaicans living in Toronto, Canada.
“You have done well for yourselves and for our country Jamaica. You are represented in every sphere of productive activities in this city, in the public sector and at very high levels in academia, among others. You are visible everywhere throughout the community and we are proud of you,” she said.
The High Commissioner, who assumed duties in Canada on February 15, was speaking at a very well attended community welcome, organised by several Jamaican community associations and businesses in Toronto, and held at the Jamaican Canadian Centre, on Monday, April 19.
President of the Progressive Jamaicans Organisation (PRO-JAM), Mrs. Dorothy Vernon Brown (left), was one of the many Jamaicans in Toronto who co-hosted a Community Welcome for Jamaica’s High Commissioner to Canada, Her Excellency Sheila Sealy Monteith (centre). At right is Jamaica’s Consul General to Toronto, Mr. George Ramocan.
She was presented to the Jamaican community by Jamaica’s Consul General to Toronto, Mr. George Ramocan, who described her as a distinguished servant and daughter of Jamaica, and very committed to her office.
Noting that the Jamaican Diaspora consists of every Jamaican or person of Jamaican heritage living outside of Jamaica, the High Commissioner said the government recognises and values their presence in locations and countries, which are sometimes “far-flung.”
“You have worked tirelessly and through enormous odds to build a life for yourselves and for your families, sometimes in less than friendly circumstances and with a reputation for being industrious and ambitious, which has redounded to the benefit of Jamaica,” she said.
President-elect of the Community of United Jamaicans (CUJAM), Ms. Tamaisha Eytle (right), presents a gift on behalf of the Jamaican community in Toronto to Jamaica’s High Commissioner to Canada, Her Excellency Sheila Sealy Monteith (centre), at a Community Welcome, recently. At left is Jamaica’s Consul General to Toronto, Mr. George Ramocan.
The High Commissioner told the Jamaicans in the audience that their support of her work, is critical to her success.
She encouraged them to work with the Jamaican government agencies in Toronto, which include the Consulate General, the Jamaica Tourist Board, Jamaica Liaison Service, Jamaica Information Service and Jamaica Promotions (JAMPRO).
Ontario’s Minister of Health Promotion, Jamaican-born Hon. Margarett Best (left), welcomes Jamaica’s High Commissioner to Canada Her Excellency Sheila Sealy Monteith (right), to Toronto, at a Community Welcome, recently.
Turning to tourism, Ms. Sealy Monteith said it is the life-blood of Jamaica, as it is the largest earner of foreign exchange and the engine of the economy. Noting that Jamaicans are the best tourists and best ambassadors for Jamaica, the High Commissioner also acknowledged that Jamaicans can also be the country’s worst enemy in the way they “bad-talk” Jamaica.
“Our words and actions may be the closest that others around us come to know of Jamaica. We highlight the worst of the news of the crime and violence and the difficult economic situation, without tempering it with the reality of the hard work that is being done by loving, caring Jamaicans; of the bounty of the land and of the wonder of nature,” she said.
In his remarks, Dean of the Consular Corps and Consul General of Trinidad and Tobago, Mr. Michael Lashley, who met the High Commissioner when they both served at the same time in the 1970s in Caracas, Venezuela, pointed out that in more ways than one and in every field, the Caribbean has the very best to offer.
Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Hon. David Onley (left), presents a gift to Jamaica’s High Commissioner to Canada, Her Excellency Sheila Sealy Monteith, when she visited him recently.
Ontario’s Minister of Health Promotion, Jamaican-born Hon. Margarett Best welcomed the High Commissioner on behalf of the six million residents of the province. Noting that Canada has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Jamaica, Minister Best said Canada is also home to a proud Jamaican diaspora, of which she is pleased to be a member.
In attendance were a wide cross-section of Jamaicans, community leaders, heads of organisations, government officials, members of the diplomatic corps, police services and the clergy.
While in Toronto, High Commissioner Sealy Monteith also met with Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor, Hon. David Onley; Minister of Health Promotion, Hon. Margarett Best; Jamaica’s Trade Counsel and Dean of the University of Ryerson, Dr. Ray Chang; and executive members of the Jamaican Diaspora Canada Foundation (JDCF).