Is Paul Smith the most patriotic Jamaican living in Canada? Most Jamaicans are wondering, every time he drives past them in Toronto, Canada. He has decorated his vehicle, a Mitsubishi SUV, in honour of Jamaica’s athletes to this year’s Olympic Games in Beijing, China, with four large flags on the roof, a large one on the bonnet and another large one on the side. In addition, he has placed copies of newspaper articles highlighting Jamaica’s success on the back, front, and side windows.
He says he is very proud of the athletes, noting that they have done well for Jamaica and adding that this is his way of showing his pride. Dressed in his Jamaican jacket, hat, and shoes, he quipped, “You don’t want to see my house.”
Smith is just one of many persons, who were celebrating Jamaica’s success on Eglinton Avenue West recently. For the second time, Jamaicans held impromptu celebrations on the strip, which is known as “Little Jamaica”, because of the number of Jamaican business establishments in the area.
Celebrating on Eglinton Avenue West. At left, with the microphone, is event organizer, Letna Allen-Rowe.
Organised by business person, Letna Allen-Rowe, approximately 600 Jamaicans passed through the area during the eight-hour period of the celebrations, waving flags, blowing whistles, and beating dutch pot covers. Shouts of “Usain!, Jamaica!, Veronica! Asafa! Melaine! Shelly-Ann!” punctuated the air. Jamaican music blared from two large speakers, and every 30 minutes the Jamaican National Anthem was played, which everyone sang lustily. The evening ended with the group marching for about a mile, singing Jamaican songs.
Mrs. Allen-Rowe thanked all the persons who came out, including Consul at the Jamaican Consulate General, Nigel Smith; President of the Jamaican Diaspora Canada Foundation, Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams, and President of the Alliance of Jamaican Alumni Associations, Alene Miller-Chen.