JIS News

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  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, has urged Jamaicans living at home and throughout the Diaspora, to continue to work diligently towards building a better country.
  • The Prime Minister’s comments came in a message delivered by Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Stephen Vasciannie, at the annual Independence Service of Thanksgiving held on August 3.
  • The Prime said that over the years, Jamaicans in the Diaspora have maintained close contact and demonstrated remarkable generosity of spirit with the land of their birth.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, has urged Jamaicans living at home and throughout the Diaspora, to continue to work diligently towards building a better country.

The Prime Minister’s comments came in a message delivered by Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Stephen Vasciannie, at the annual Independence Service of Thanksgiving held on August 3, at the Dumbarton Chapel, Howard University campus, Washington DC.

She noted that while there are challenges “we should stand in proud recognition of our many and varied accomplishments.  The celebration of the country’s Independence calls on Jamaicans to reflect on the past 52 years and to visionary contemplation of the years ahead.”

The Prime said that over the years, Jamaicans in the Diaspora have maintained close contact and demonstrated remarkable generosity of spirit with the land of their birth, while carrying the flag high in their adopted countries.

She cited substantial contributions in cash and kind to the development of the Jamaican society and improving the quality of life of citizens.

The Prime Minister assured members of the Diaspora that the Government will continue its partnership and strong bond of friendship, as it seeks to engage all nationals living overseas, as well as friends of the island, in the thrust to make Jamaica the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business.  This is in line with the national development plan, Vision 2030, she stated.

For his part, Ambassador Vasciannie said that as Jamaica marks  52 years of Independence “let us recall the capacity of this Jamaica, my Jamaica, to lift our spirits, calm our nerves and strength our resolve in times of joy and sorrow, when patriotism and love of country help us to build on the collective efforts of nation building”.

He said the country continues to enjoy the benefit of a strong national spirit “that nourishes unmatched popular music talents, nurtures athletes and intellectual prowess and cultivates a sense of determination in the face of economic and social difficulties”.

The sermon was delivered by Professor of Theology and Ethics at Emory University, Dr. Noel Erskine, with lessons ready by Managing Partner of Accounting firm, Bert Smith and Company, George Willie; Jonelle Bowen and Donette Cooper.  Musical selections were rendered by violinists Imani and Zahra Edwards and soloist Monique Steele Griffiths.

An offering was collected to benefit two charities in Jamaica – the Port Antonio Infirmary in Portland and the Developmental Disabilities Programme at the Priory School in St. Andrew.  A reception followed the service.

Members of the Diplomatic Corps and representatives of various Jamaican and United States organizations attended the Independence service.