JIS News

Jamaicans in New York observed the country’s 48th year of independence, at a Thanksgiving Service, held at the Beulah Church of the Nazarene, in Brooklyn, on Sunday, August 8.
“The spirit of independence can never die,” Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding said in a message to the Jamaican community, read by Consul General in New York, Mrs. Geneive Brown Metzger.
In building on “the foundation that our forefathers laid,” Jamaica is committed to unity, economic development, investment and trade, the creation of jobs and is determined to “eliminate social and economic inequality that differentiated us, by lifting up those at the bottom,” Mr. Golding said.
“There were times we took the wrong turn and many opportunities were missed,” the Prime Minister said, adding that his administration is committed to building a Jamaica where people can peacefully live, work and raise their families.
Consul General Metzger said the Diaspora was crucial to the economic and social viability and the future of Jamaica, adding that serious inroads were being made in stemming crime and corruption. “This will bode well for attracting investments and for encouraging each Jamaican citizen with regard to the outlook for the future,” she said.
Dignitaries representing various countries also came to pay their respects to the country. They included representatives from Haiti, St. Vincent and St. Lucia. Local politicians included Congresswoman, Yvette Clarke, representing Brooklyn, and her Jamaican-born mother, former New York City Council member, Una S.T. Clarke. Jamaican-born Yvonne Graham, Deputy Borough President of Brooklyn, was also present at the celebration.
The Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Chaplain to Her Royal Highness, The Queen, was guest speaker at the service.
“We want to hold up the positive things and do more of these things,”
Mrs. Hudson-Wilkin said. “Let it never be said that we can’t. We can, not just as athletes and musicians, but in all walks of life,” she added.
Quoting from the late reggae icon, Bob Marley, Mrs. Hudson-Wilkin said the singer was correct when he said “we need to ’emancipate ourselves from mental slavery.’ We need to truly emancipate ourselves.”
She offered a word of advice for Jamaica’s future. “You and I must make a resolve to be the best, under God, that you and I can be,” she said.
The service was followed by a reception, where many Jamaicans recalled fond memories of their island home.

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