JIS News

Hundreds of Jamaicans in South Florida turned out for the annual ecumenical service in celebration of the nation’s 45th anniversary of Independence held recently at the First Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale.
Chief celebrant was the Rev. Robert Thompson, Suffragan Bishop of Kingston, who told the congregation that after 45 years of Independence, the level of maturity and the continued struggle demonstrated by Jamaicans in the Diaspora and at home, were indicative of a love for country and ultimately a desire to achieve the best for the people.
He urged all Jamaicans to remain strong and united in the continued efforts for advancement and remain committed spiritually, as a nation, in order to accomplish the task ahead.
In promoting “unity and love in defining ourselves as one”, Bishop Thompson used excerpts from the Old Testament chapter of Nehemiah to illustrate and reiterate the connectedness of nationals in the Diaspora with those on the island.
As communities in the Diaspora continue to work for the good of their island home, Bishop Thompson assured his audience that Jamaicans at home were always appreciative of the ongoing prayers and goodwill in contribution to the development of the economy.
Consul General to Miami, Ricardo Allicock, in his contribution, noted that Jamaica this year, not only celebrated 45 years of Independence and 169 years of Emancipation, but also the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
He said that the country has progressed over the decades, achieving political and national independence, while nationals have excelled in areas of education, academia, public service, sports, diplomatic affairs and other endeavours. He singled out the recent accomplishment of 23-year old Jamaican pilot, Captain Barrington Irving, Jr., who recently became the youngest and first person of African descent to successfully fly solo around the world, in a single engine Cessna aircraft.
In congratulating Captain Irving, Mr. Allicock said that his recent achievement is testament to the “tremendous things we can accomplish as a nation of gifted people.”
He encouraged nationals to continue loving and representing Jamaica positively, as well as in prayer, “so that our earnest prayers can bring all the peace, unity, justice and prosperity we desire for our nation.”
The congregation of almost 1, 000 nationals and friends enjoyed a selection of performances from the Jamaica Independence Mass Choir, the Jamaica Folk Revue, the Sierra Norwood Calvary children’s choir as well as a dance tribute by Lois Requa-Dunn, formerly of the National Dance Theatre Company (NDTC), accompanied by her daughter, Sasha Dunn.
Proceeds of collection from the service will go towards the Swift Purscell Boys’ Home in St. Mary.
Following the service, persons fellowshipped at a reception hosted by the staff of the Consulate in Miami.

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