JIS News

Hundreds of Jamaicans from across the United Kingdom (UK), gathered in London on August 2 for the annual service of Praise and Thanksgiving, organised by the Jamaican High Commission, to mark the island’s 46th Anniversary of Independence.
Vicar of the Church of the Ascension, Reverend Jennifer Thomas, who preached the sermon, said it is time for Jamaicans to set the record straight, about the country’s true history and culture.
She said while Jamaica’s Independence is being celebrated, Jamaicans must commit themselves to the truth and put right the half truths, myths, and stereotyping of Jamaica and the Caribbean.
“We must set the record straight by knowing ourselves, our history, and our culture. We are a strong, hardworking people; we are not lazy or aggressive. We have strength of character, we are straight talking and we are up for a challenge,” she said, adding that “we must celebrate our history and identity in the name of God.”
Rev. Thomas also urged the congregation to be good examples for the next generation and be one with their communities. She called for unity and a common mission to put “right our society here and at home in Jamaica.”
During the service, a special tribute in poetry and dance was paid to the ‘Windrush generation’. The arrival of the Windrush at Tilbury, in Essex, 60 years ago, heralded the start of the mass migration from Jamaica and other West Indian islands, to the United Kingdom.
High Commissioner, Burchell Whiteman read the Prime Minister’s message, while lessons were read by the Chairman of the Windrush Foundation, Verona Panton, and Lord Bill Morris. The Psalm was read by Micah King, grand son of Windrush veteran, Sam King.
A special patriotic song was done by the London Seventh Day Adventist Male Voice Choir, and the National Prayer was led by Jamaica Diaspora Board UK Representative, Celia Grandison Markey. This year’s collection from the service will go to the Hope Institute Hospice, at Mona in St Andrew.