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Story Highlights

  • Independence is also a time for reflection on the many freedoms which have been secured by our forebears
  • The Minister called on Jamaicans to demonstrate that Independence comes with responsibility
  • Her message was printed in the Atlanta Jamaica Association (AJA) Independence Ball and Scholarship Awards Journal

Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, said the Independence theme this year – ‘Celebrating Jamaica: Triumphant, Proud, Free’ – was a call for all Jamaicans at home and overseas, “to consider the hurdles we have cleared as a nation, and the pride we must continue to display in ourselves and in our achievements.”

She pointed out that Independence is also a time for reflection on the many freedoms which have been secured by our forebears and which many persons now take for granted.

In her message contained in the Atlanta Jamaica Association (AJA) Independence Ball and Scholarship Awards Journal, presented to members of the Jamaican community in Atlanta at the ball on August 10, the Minister said it has been proven time and time again that “we are at our best when we celebrate the achievements of our nation together in a spirit of unity.”

“As we celebrate the successes of specific Jamaican icons, institutions and National Heroes, we must strive at all times to involve our children and youth in these activities and to cultivate in them an undying love and commitment to Jamaica,” Miss Hanna said.

The Minister called on Jamaicans, both at home and abroad, to demonstrate to the children and youth by good examples, that Independence comes with responsibility, and “we must ensure that a major part of our Independence legacy represents strong, empowered, educated, responsible, inspired, loving and patriotic young people willing and ready to take on the mantle of leadership at every level.”

The Atlanta Jamaica Association paid tribute to former Jamaica Honorary Consul to Atlanta, Mr. Vin Martin, who served in that position for over 16 years. Glowing tributes were paid by Professor of Theology of Emory University, Dr. Noel Erskine; Pastor of Hillside Presbyterian Church, Dr. Winston Lawson; Dr. David Panton, and AJA President, Mr. Errol Ritchie.

The AJA, along with Tropical Sports Club, presented two scholarships to Kristin Henry and Desiree Watkis, students attending the University of Georgia. The recipient of the 2013 AJA President’s Award for Outstanding Community Service went to Mrs. Jacqueline Hawthorne Robinson, co-founder of Golden Krust Bakery and Grill.

Just over 500 Jamaicans and friends of Jamaica attended the independence ball, at which music was provided by the Fabulous Five Band.