Jamaicans in Washington Celebrate Country’s Independence


The historic Hall of the Americas at the Organisation of American States (OAS) headquarters, in downtown Washington USA, was the venue for an afternoon of music and dancing, hosted by the Embassy of Jamaica, on Sunday, August 9, to mark Jamaica’s 47th year of Independence.
The event, a key feature of the Embassy’s annual calendar, brought together hundreds of Jamaicans and friends of Jamaica residing in the American capital city. They were joined by representatives of the Washington diplomatic and Government communities.

This couple is caught doing the ‘Ska’ at Jamaica’s Independence celebrations, at the Hall of the Americas, at the Organisation of American States (OAS), downtown Washington D.C USA., on August 9.

Also in attendance were representatives of the OAS, and other multilateral organisations, such as the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank.
Delivering his Independence message, Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Anthony Johnson, said this year’s commemoration comes at a time of serious challenges to all peoples of the world. He said that amidst such stark uncertainties, however, Jamaicans, ever resilient, have never waned in their pride to proclaim, individually and collectively, “I believe in Jamaica.”

Entertainer, Christopher Martin, performs to the delight of the audience, at Jamaica’s 47th anniversary of Independence celebrations, hosted by the Embassy of Jamaica, at the Hall of the Americas, at the Organisation of American States (OAS), downtown Washington D.C USA., on August 9.

“Across the United States, Jamaicans can be grateful that we are not the worst off and indeed many Jamaicans and Jamaican organisations have been active in efforts to stem the tide of problems which follow massive lay-offs, business closures and disruptions of businesses. We are 47 years old, and our path has never been smooth. Most Jamaicans have come from a background of difficulty in a small, developing island and we know that when times are hard, we must ‘wheel and come again’,” he said.
Ambassador Johnson singled out for particular mention and appreciation, the hundreds of medical professionals and helpers who, each year, at their own cost, travel to Jamaica with specialised equipment and millions of dollars of medication, to help people who are in need. “We continue to celebrate such selfless love of country,” he said.

The Fabulous Five band entertains the large crowd at Jamaica’s 47th Independence celebrations, held at the Hall of the Americas, at the Organisation of American States (OAS), downtown Washington D.C. USA, on August 9.

“There can be no doubt that people like these believe in Jamaica. But for the rest of us, the word ‘Jamaica’ resides in our hearts. A recent worldwide survey has proclaimed that Jamaicans are among the happiest people in the world and, if you should even entertain the slightest doubt, consider that we have an average life expectancy of 72.6 years – among the highest in the world. In economic terms, we are not the wealthiest, but we are not the poorest. We have no doubt in our minds that when we determine to settle down in pursuit of a purpose and a goal, nobody can match us at anything. This, I submit, is cause for us to celebrate, and continue to declare ‘I believe in Jamaica’,” he said.
Ambassador Johnson thanked the sponsors, Digicel, Grace Remittance, Bert Smith and Co, PA Benjamin, EMD Sales, Jamaica National Building Society, Air Jamaica, Development Bank of Jamaica, Jamaica Tourist Board, and Washington D.C.’s Housing Commissioner, David Watson, for their contribution to the staging of the event.

JIS Social