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The Jamaican community in the United Kingdom (UK), last week-end said thank you and bade farewell to outgoing High Commissioner, Burchell Whiteman and his wife, Joline.
At a special luncheon held in London, Mr. Whiteman, who demits office at the end of December, was hailed as a man of integrity, who is committed and dedicated to the development of the UK Jamaican community.
In tributes from the business community, the Jamaica Diaspora Movement, representatives from community organisations, the clergy and youth groups, Mr. Whiteman was described as a role model, a true man, who served Jamaica with great distinction, and who was generous with his time and support for community organisations and individuals.
Member of Parliament, Dawn Butler, and Lord Morris of Handsworth, who chaired the event, also had high praises for Mr. Whiteman.
The event featured tributes in song and dance with performances by saxophonist Andre Brown; singers A. J. Franklyn and Winston Francis; and a special dance choreographed by Jackie Guy.
High Commissioner Whiteman, for his part, thanked the community for their continued loyalty and commitment to Jamaica and for keeping a clear vision of Jamaica alive.
“It has been a tremendous inspiration for me to come to the United Kingdom to spend time, to work with you and work with the Jamaican government and to see and experience firsthand, what the Jamaican community has contributed and has done for this country. It has been an inspiration”, Mr. Whiteman said.
He encouraged the UK Jamaican community to remain proud of their heritage and the fact they have struggled, overcome many difficulties, and have made positive contributions to British society.
He further implored them to continue to give their children and grand children positive messages about Jamaica and to carry on with efforts to build a strong union among all Jamaicans in the UK.
The London event was the second of two special farewell functions held to honour the High Commissioner. A similar function was held in Manchester on December 9, hosted by the Jamaica Northern Regional Council, which is made up by Jamaican organisations in the North of England.

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