WASHINGTON, DC — Ambassador to the United States (US), Her Excellency Audrey Marks, is urging Jamaicans to renew the commitment to fulfilling the promises created by Independence.
“The commemoration of Independence is a time to renew our resolve to give true meaning to the ideals of unity, self-determination, self-government, self-reliance, self-rule, and self-sufficiency.
“In this 49th year of being fully in charge of our common destiny as a nation, it is my hope that we will, together, renew our commitment to fulfilling the goals that were set before us by those visionary men and women, who prepared the way and on whose shoulders we stand today,” she stated.
Ambassador Marks was delivering the keynote address at the Independence gala hosted by the Jamaica Association of Maryland (JAM) on August 6 at Martin’s West Conference Center in Baltimore.
She stated that the period of Independence was a time to celebrate the country’s noble heritage and vast achievements in spite of the challenges.
“We must all be proud of the fact that Jamaica and Jamaicans continue to take our rightful place in virtually every field of human endeavour in academic and scientific achievement, in political and economic development, in the cultural arena, and in sports, to name a few,” she noted.
She said that the development of key infrastructure, among other initiatives, have placed Jamaica among the preferred destinations for international investors and tourists.
She informed that during the Prime Minister’s visit to the US in June, he received constant reaffirmation of the high regard in which Jamaica is held by the world and commended the role that the Diaspora has played in this regard.
Ambassador Marks stated that it is her desire to work with all well-thinking members of the Jamaican community in the US to ensure that for the celebration of the golden anniversary next year, “we can truly feel a sense of achievement”.
Baltimore’s Mayor, Stephanie Rawlings Blake, extended hearty congratulations to Jamaica for attaining 49 years of Independence and spoke about the vibrant Jamaican community, which exists in Baltimore.
“Cultural diversity is the bedrock upon which we built a great Baltimore and the Jamaican community has made a significant positive impact in enhancing the cultural life of this city,” she stated.
Just over 350 Jamaicans and friends of the island attended the gala and danced to the rhythms of the Image Band.
This year’s Marcus Garvey Universal Negro Improvement Association(UNIA) award for dedication in education and community service was presented to Dean and Professor of Biology at Morgan State University, Dr. Joseph A. Whittaker.
United States Congressman Elija Cummins and Mr. Nicolas Natham were conferred with honorary memberships for the outstanding role they play in supporting Jamaica, the Caribbean and JAM.
By DERRICK SCOTT, JIS Reporter