WASHINGTON — The 141-member Maryland House of Delegates passed a resolution, recently, congratulating Jamaica's Government and people on the commemoration of 177 years of Emancipation and 49 years of independence.
The Resolution was presented to the President of the Jamaica Nationals Association (JNA), Claudette Henry, by Jamaica-born Maryland House of Delegates state representative, Shirley Natham-Pulliam, at the JNA's Independence Gala on Saturday (August 13) at the L’Enfant Plaza, downtown Washington D.C.
Piloted by delegate Natham-Pulliam and passed at the 428th legislative session, the resolution noted that Maryland is home to thousands of people of Jamaican descent, and recognized their contribution to education, culture and academia, among others areas, in the lives of residents of the state of Maryland.
“Be it hereby known to all, that the House of Delegates of Maryland offers its sincere congratulations to the Government and people of Jamaica on this great milestone. The entire membership of the House extends best wishes on this memorable occasion,” the resolution said.
In his message read at the function, Jamaica’s Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, lauded JNA for their commitment and dedication to their homeland.
“The JNA represents an organization truly rooted in its Jamaican antecedents. The many miles and years that separate us have not diminished the love and loyalty members of your organization feel for our country,” the message said.
Mr. Golding also recognized the calls from the Diaspora for a deeper and more sustained involvement in the affairs of the country.
“There is no doubt that their hearts are still with Jamaica, and they want to extend their minds and hands, as well. I welcome this, as our beloved country needs all hands on deck to take it to that place of sustained growth and development,” he stated.
Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Jamaica, Cherryl Gordon, who represented Ambassador Audrey Marks, commended the JNA for its exemplary work in unifying the Jamaican community in the Washington D.C. area, and for staging another successful independence gala.
Funds raised from this year’s event will go to the Gordon Shirley Scholarship Fund, named after a former Ambassador to the United States, Professor Gordon Shirley the current Pro Vice Chancellor and Principal of The University
of the West Indies (UWI), Mona Campus.
According to the Vice President of JNA, Maureen Wallace, the fund, which started in 2007, has so far financed scholarships to 16 students. In the past, four scholarships were awarded yearly, however, starting this year, the number will be doubled with two of eight scholarships going to students in Jamaica.
This year, the President’s award went to two members of the JNA, Moye Stephenson-Fairweather and Dr. Sedgwick Lynch, for outstanding contributions to the organization.