Many persons from communities in Western Jamaica turned out at the Diamond Jubilee celebration for The Queen, held on June 4, at the Montego Bay Civic Centre, in Sam Sharpe Square, St. James.
There were tributes in popular and gospel songs, with the Custos of St. James, Hon. Ewen Corrodus, describing the occasion as fitting for an icon who has been a part of Jamaica’s life for 60 years. The beacon to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee was also lit by the Custos.
The Custos said that 60 years as head of the Monarchy deserves celebration. “In the history of the United Kingdom, the only other Monarch to do so was Queen Victoria, who reigned as Queen of the United Kingdom and Ireland for a total of 63 years. She celebrated her Diamond Jubilee in 1897. The opportunity to witness and celebrate an occasion as unique as this cannot be overstated. We congratulate Her Majesty, the Queen, on this occasion of her Diamond Jubilee, and we commend her for her leadership of the Commonwealth,” he told the gathering.
In his message, Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Glendon Harris, said even though Jamaica is currently looking at replacing the Monarchy, “our current Constitutional arrangements state that Her Majesty the Queen is the Head of State in Jamaica, represented by the Governor- General."
“And, as we simultaneously celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee with our counterparts in the lighting of four beacons here in the county of Cornwall, let us not forget our progress in the last 60 years, even as we also celebrate our own milestone of 50 years as an Independent nation,” the Mayor said.
Arguing that the moment should be used for forgiveness and reconciliation between individuals and communities, Mr. Harris called for continued growth for the nation. “In this spirit of reconciliation and growth, the people of the County of Cornwall and in particular, the City of Montego Bay, congratulate the Queen on this her Diamond Jubilee, confident that the relationship that exists between the two countries will go from strength to strength in the years to come,” he said.
Other officials at the function included, Custos of St. Elizabeth, Hon Wilfred Nembhard; Custos of Hanover, Hon. Dr. David Stair; Custos of Trelawny, Hon. Paul Muschett, and Mayor of Falmouth, Councillor Garth Wilkinson.
By Garfield L. Angus, JIS Reporter