JIS News

Jamaica’s High Commissioner to Canada, Evadne Coye, has called on Jamaicans living in Canada to focus on the positive things coming out of the island.
“There is so much that is good about our little country. Celebrate what we know is good about us – don’t dwell on the negatives. Be aware of what is wrong but pray to make things better,” she urged nationals attending the ‘Boonoonoonos’ fundraising brunch, organised by the Jamaican Canadian Association (JCA), recently in Toronto.
Informing the audience that she had recently returned from Jamaica, High Commissioner Coye said she had travelled all across the island and “was amazed at how much work and money had been put into repairing the roads.”
She noted that Jamaicans always excel, with Newton Marshall having qualified to participate in the 1,000-mile Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race, which started on February 14 in the Yukon Territories, Canada and ends around February 24 in Alaska. Marshall placed 13 out of 27 entrants at a qualifying meet for the event.
Acting President of the JCA, Audrey Campbell, in her remarks, stated that the annual fundraising brunch usually signalled the launch of African History and Heritage celebrations, which this year, was being observed under the theme: ‘Celebrating Our Men – From Marcus Garvey to Barack Obama’.
She indicated that while the month of celebrations would recognise the achievements of past heroes such as Marcus Garvey, Paul Bogle, Dr. Martin Luther King, Bob Marley, and the first African-American President, Barack Obama, the brunch was to pay homage to the unsung heroes.
“The grandfather, who came to this country to start a new life despite the obstacles faced; the father, who sacrificed by putting the needs of his family ahead of his own; the son, who works tirelessly with a vision towards being the future leader of tomorrow; the friend, who never says no when called upon. This describes the men we are honouring today. Your efforts have not gone unnoticed,” she noted.
Some of the unsung heroes, who were honoured at the event, included community activist and Executive Director of Black Action Defence Committee, Dudley Laws; former president of the Markham African Canadian Association (MACA), Clive Hylton; Senior Pastor of Lisle Memorial Baptist Church, Rev. Audley Goulbourne; entertainer, Jay Douglas; playwright, Devon Haughton; and several of the JCA’s male stalwarts.
Premier of Ontario, Hon. Dalton McGuinty, in a message read by Jamaican-born Minister of Health Promotion, Hon. Margarett Best, said that, “today is an ideal opportunity for all Ontarians to celebrate the dynamic culture and heritage of the Jamaican community and pay tribute to the vital contributions Jamaicans have made to our great province.”
The JCA is the largest and oldest Jamaican community organisation in Canada, having been formed in 1962, to celebrate Jamaica’s Independence.