JIS News

Hundreds of Jamaicans attended a recent Service of Thanksgiving at the Deer Park Anglican Church in Toronto, Canada, to commemorate Jamaica’s 46th Year of Independence.
Heading the congregation were Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister, with responsibility for Local Government Reform, Robert Montague; Jamaica’s High Commissioner to Canada, Evadne Coye; Jamaica’s Consul-General to Toronto, Anne-Marie Bonner and Director General for Local Government, Devon Rowe.
Reverend Hopelyn West, who preached the sermon, said she is a proud Jamaican. “Many of us can attest to the fact that it is our Jamaican heritage and upbringing that sculpted us into the men and women that we are today. And I speak with boldness, pride unashamedly and without apology about Jamaica the land of my birth and yours as well,” she said.
She commended those who wrote the National Anthem, noting that any country would be proud to call it their own. “The first two words, ‘Eternal Father’, have set the foundation and are the fundamental principle upon which Jamaica is established,” she added.
Rev. West said Jamaica is a nation to be reckoned with and Jamaicans are strong, determined and resilient ‘overcomers’, who possess creativity.
“We have made an indelible mark on society. We have tapped into every sector. We might be small in land size and population, in comparison to other countries, but our achievements and intellectual abilities are insurmountable,” she emphasised.
Mr. Montague, who was in Toronto to attend Independence activities, read Prime Minister Bruce Golding’s Independence Message, while High Commissioner Coye and Consul-General Bonner, read scripture passages. A third passage was read by Stacey-Ann Dunkley, one of the young members of the Jamaican Diaspora Canada Foundation.
Part proceeds from the offering will be donated to the Jamaica-based Rose Town Benevolent Society and the Jamaica Society for the Blind.
Performers at the service included Rayandra Hudson, Shelly Glasgow-Mullings and Simone Carpio, who rendered musical selections; the dance group, Chosen Vessel; Praise Cathedral Choir and Letna Allen, who performed a ‘Miss Lou’ verse on Independence.