JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Jamaicans and friends of the country packed the Dunbarton Chapel at Howard University School of Law, in Washington, for the Service of Thanksgiving in celebration of Jamaica’s 54th year of independence, on Sunday, August 7.
  • In his message, read by Chargé d’affaires at the Embassy of Jamaica, Mrs. Marsha Coore Lobban, Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, said Jamaicans are a people of distinction with an illustrious history.
  • Mr. Holness noted that the country has had spurts of economic growth, only to be followed by long periods of economic decline.

Jamaicans and friends of the country packed the Dunbarton Chapel at Howard University School of Law, in Washington, for the Service of Thanksgiving in celebration of Jamaica’s 54th year of independence, on Sunday, August 7.

In his message, read by Chargé d’affaires at the Embassy of Jamaica, Mrs. Marsha Coore Lobban, Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, said Jamaicans are a people of distinction with an illustrious history.

“That a country with a population of approximately 2.8 million people can have the fastest man and woman  in the world and produced an artiste, Bob Marley,  whose single, ‘One Love’,  the BBC could have designated ‘theme of the millennium’,  and whose album , ‘Exodus’, Time magazine could have voted ‘Album of the Century’ is indeed, thrilling,” he said.

The Prime Minister pointed out that Jamaica has produced the world- famous Blue Mountain coffee; world-class scientists, intellectuals, entrepreneurs and statesmen, and has given the world the all-inclusive hotel concept.

“The fact is, we are yet to maximise our potential.  That must be the mission of this generation.  Independence is as good a time as any to soberly reflect on our 54 years as a nation,” he said.

Mr. Holness noted that the country has had spurts of economic growth, only to be followed by long periods of economic decline.

“We must begin to reverse that and normalise economic growth and prosperity, which must be the commitment of this generation,” he said.

Delivering the sermon, Professor of Theology at Howard University School of Divinity, Rev. Cannon Kortright Davis, said Jamaica must constantly transcend itself.

“Jamaica, as a treasure, must be that nation shining way in the distance of our noblest vision, our deepest values, and our most fervent vitality,” he added.

Rev. Davis said Jamaica must constitute that ideal form of social, cultural, religious, political and personal existence which, day by day, strives to become a true reality, and a living and contagiously exemplary experience.

He added that Jamaica must become the place where the face of God, the mind of Christ and the spirit of justice, truth and love will surely be found.

In a proclamation read by Minister Counsel at the Embassy of Jamaica, Mrs Ariel Bowen on behalf of the Mayor of Washington, DC, Muriel Bowser, August 6 was declared Jamaica’s Independence Day in the city.

Lessons were read by Jamaica’s Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS), Mrs Julia Hyatt; Diaspora North-East Board member, Miss Joan Pinnock; President of the Jamaica Association of Maryland (JAM), Rev. Noel Godfrey; and Mr. Jordan Bowen, representing youth in the diaspora.

The service was officiated by Jamaican theologian and Dean at the School of Divinity at Howard University, Dr. Bertram Melbourne.

This year’s offering will benefit the Wortley Home in Kingston.