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JIS News

Outgoing High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (UK), His Excellency Burchell Whiteman, has said that working with the UK Jamaican community has been one of the most enjoyable and interesting aspects of his three-year tour of duty.
“We have a very large and vibrant Jamaican community here, people of Jamaican birth or heritage. They are people of worth, extremely energetic, principled people, who have really made a difference in their own circumstances and to the communities in which they live. So, it’s really been a privilege to see them, work with them, and relate to them,” Mr. Whiteman said in an interview with JIS News.
The High Commissioner, who demits office at the end of December, had high praises for the staff of the High Commission, whose commitment and multi-tasking, he said, allowed the mission to do the best it could for Jamaica and the Jamaican community.
Mr. Whiteman’s message to young people of Jamaican ancestry is to be more aware of and appreciative of their heritage and the contribution of their parents and grandparents in building British society.
“It would be wonderful if they could fully appreciate the contribution of their parents and grandparents, who were the early settlers from Jamaica and who endured all sorts of indignities, struggles, and hardships to create the society which they now enjoy to a substantial extent,” said Mr. Whiteman.
He added that it is also important for young Jamaicans to recognise and take advantage of the opportunities provided for development.
“It is important that they appreciate that they are living in a country with a long history, not all of it is particularly pleasant for people of our experience to contemplate, but also, a country that has some proud traditions and which has some excellent facilities for human development.
“It is really about appreciating the journey, which has brought them to where they are, then perhaps, they would be much more positive and much more successful in approaching the future,” he stated.

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