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JIS News

A little more than a year after Hurricane Ivan hit, Jamaica along with five other CARICOM member states were last week presented with cheques totaling more than US$11,000 to repair damage caused by the hurricane in September 2004.
The cheques represent part proceeds from a Caribbean hurricane benefit concert staged at the Riverside Interdenominational Church of New York City (Upper Manhattan) last November featuring performances by Byron Lee and The Dragonnaires, and Slinger “Mighty Sparrow” Francisco.
The presentation ceremony, which was held at the church, was attended by Senior Minister, Reverend Dr. James Forbes, members of the Riverside Church community and representatives of the New York Caribbean Consular Corp including Consul General to New York, Dr. Basil K. Bryan Vice Consul of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, Renee M. Pinder; Counsellor with the Permanent Mission of Grenada to the United Nations, Allen M. McGuire, and John Weaver of Church World Services representing Cuba and Haiti.
In noting the work of the Million Men Marchers, Island Radio, the Social Justice Commission and the Riverside Church community, which organized the benefit concert, Dr. Forbes said, “their efforts are a testimony to the spirit of volunteerism and support at it best.”
“Long after the TV cameras have moved on, you continue to reach out and keep your focus on a devastated area. We appreciate you mobilizing the Riverside church community. The entire event has been an example of how even on an international level, we can work together to respond to human needs. It is the church being the church when we respond to those who are in special need,” the Reverend Dr. Forbes further observed.
Responding on behalf of the government and people of Jamaica, Dr. Bryan called the occasion “special” as it marked the one-year anniversary of one of the deadliest natural disasters to hit the Caribbean region in decades.
“Today is very special in that even in our hour of need we are not forgotten. There are many people even today, one year after that hurricane who are still in need and even now, we have Jamaicans and others from the Caribbean region who have been devastated along with their American brothers and sisters and people from different countries with what happened -Hurricane Katrina – in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region of the USA,” Dr. Bryan said.
He praised the church community for “doing the Lord’s work” and noted that the reconstruction work was an ongoing process.