Jamaicans in South Florida Honoured


The Jamaican Consulate in Miami recently held its inaugural Community Service Awards, where homage was paid to 18 Jamaican nationals for their “pioneering spirit and perseverance” in the development of the South Florida community.
Consul General Ricardo Allicock and Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Honourable Professor Kenneth Hall, presented plaques to the honourees, at the function held at the Biltmore Hotel.
The recipients were: Norma Bancroft, president of the Florida Organization of Jamaicans; June Chin, founder of the Missionaries of the Poor South Florida chapter; Joan Seaga Gonzales, retired president of the Jamaica United Relief Association (JURA); Elgeta Thompson-Martin of the Clint O’Neil Needy Kids of Jamaica Foundation; Claudette Parkin of the Jamaica Nurses Association; Ron Burke, Carson Edwards, Peter Webley and Winsome Charlton, who were instrumental in pioneering Caribbean media in South Florida; Norma Darby and Sydney Roberts for contribution to the preservation and dissemination of Jamaican culture; Lloyd Daley of the Members Only Social Club of Miami and JURA; Phillip Wong of the South Florida chapter of the St. Georges College Alumni; Rev. Dennis Grant; Rev. Noel Hyatt; Laurice Hunter-Scott and Commissioner Dale Holness for service and support in their civic and professional capacities. Elizabeth Grier received the Consulate’s long service award.
In praising the honourees, Counsel General Allicock noted that, “these examples of excellence are evident in every field of human endeavour imaginable, for no area of interest or activity intimidates us (Jamaicans).”
He noted that the award ceremony coincided with the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade, which marked “our freedom and how well we have maintained the relevance of our unique cultural inheritance, born of great pain and tribulation.”
Copies of the novel ‘Small Island’ by Jamaican author Andrea Levy were distributed as gifts at the event. The publication is the United Kingdom Library’s choice of reading in commemoration of the abolition of the slave trade.
Mr. Allicock also acknowledged other leaders in the Jamaican community some of whom were in the audience including Ambassador Dudley Thompson; former Consul General John Atkins; Honorary Consul for the Bahamas, Patrick Hanlan; and retired Honorary Consul for the State of Texas, Beverly Ford.
Entertainment was provided by the Tallawah Mento Band; Dr. Winston Davidson, baritone; and Pierre Harris, pianist.

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