As Jamaica celebrated 47 years of Independence yesterday (Aug. 6), nationals in the United Kingdom (UK) are feeling a sense of pride in the country’s achievements and have expressed confidence in the country’s future and ability to overcome current challenges.
At a special Independence Day reception hosted by the Jamaican High Commission in London, renowned scientist, Professor Geoff Palmer, told JIS News that Jamaica has achieved much over the years.
“In 47 years, we have achieved a lot. Jamaica is a brand name because Jamaicans have made it so and it’s something we can be proud of. We are the best known small island in the world,” said the Edinburgh-based scientist.
Former Chairman of the West Indian Ex-Service Men Association, Laurie Phillpotts, who has lived in the UK since 1947, stated there have been many improvements in Jamaica since Independence.
Wife of Jamaica’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Mrs. Joline Whiteman, in discussion with Jamaican Olympian in equestrian sports Samantha Albert (second left) and Mrs. Theresa Roberts, at a reception celebrating Jamaica’s 47th anniversary of Independence, held on Thursday (August 6), at the Jamaican High Commission, in London, United Kingdom.
“I have seen such an improvement. This is a period of such struggle.but Jamaica is standing on its feet,” he pointed out.
For President of the Association of Jamaicans UK Trust, Mavis Stewart, whose “heart is in Jamaica,” Independence time is an emotional occasion. “I am proud of my roots. Jamaica has done me well. I may be here but my heart is there. I know we have problems but who hasn’t. It is our island home,” she stated.
Chairman of the Derby West Indian Association, George Mighty, told JIS News that he is indebted to the country, where he was born.
He expressed confidence in Jamaica’s future, noting that although 47 years is a short time in a country’s history “I am sure that we are going to make it.”
Some of the guests at a reception celebrating Jamaica’s 47th anniversary of Independence, held on Thursday (August 6), at the Jamaican High Commission, in London, United Kingdom (UK).
Head of the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, Doreen Lawrence, in the meantime, stated that while there has been a lot of progress there is still more to be done.
“For me, being a Jamaican is very important. Jamaica has made tremendous progress but there is still a lot to be to be done, especially in the area of education and housing,” she told JIS News.
Michal Nicholson and David Reid, who are cultural advocates with the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), said they were overwhelmed by the patriotism showed by Jamaicans in the UK.
“The patriotism that one feels here, the sense of being Jamaican, it’s overwhelming. You are enveloped in a sense of being proud of being Jamaican. You see the (national) colours; it feels like home, when, as a Jamaican you can be a part of this experience” Mr. Nicholson said.
Independence celebrations started in the UK last week-end with the annual service of praise and thanksgiving in London and will continue until the end of August.