JIS News

Hundreds of visitors to the Royal Park St. James in London including scores of Jamaicans and their families celebrated Jamaica’s Emancipation Day on August 1, at a stirring concert put on by the combined Jamaica Military and Regiment Band.
Led by director, Major Ron Wade the band played a wide variety of pieces from traditional mento tunes such as ‘Sly Mongoose’ and ‘Mango Time’, to ska, and reggae, jazz, as well as some Motown hits.
The concert, which was initiated by the Jamaican High Commission also featured the poetry of cultural icon Louise ‘Miss Lou’ Bennett Coverley by poet and actress Carol Russell.
A similar concert also at St. James Park will be held to mark Independence Day on August 6. The band has been in the United Kingdom since mid-July for the UK annual Calypso Hop military exchange and to also perform ceremonial duties, including the changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, and the Tower of London.
The JDF contingent has been a hit with Londoners and tourists alike and has also been a source of great pride for the Jamaican community.
Meanwhile activities to commemorate the 45th year of Jamaica’s Independence will continue this week-end with the annual Independence Service of Praise and Thanksgiving on August 4 at Southwark Cathedral at London Bridge.
This year the sermon will be given by Bishop Joe Aldridge, Secretary of the Minority Ethnic Christian Affairs of Churches Together in England.
High Commissioner Burchell Whiteman will read the Prime Minister’s Independence message and the collection this year will be in aid of the High Commission/Walsall/Jamaica Exchange Project for Deaf Youths.
In addition to the special church services, several community organizations and groups will also be holding special independence balls, dinners and cultural events.
The Association of Jamaican Nationals UK Trust’s Independence Summer Ball will be held on August 4, while a new group, ‘Positively Jamaican’, will host a special cultural event in Stratford East London on August 4 as well. The special Evensong at Westminster Abby this year will be held on Independence Day.

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