Jamaicans Attend Joint Launch of Jamaica 55 UK Celebrations and Diaspora Conference
Scores of Jamaicans and friends of Jamaica attended the recent joint launch of the Jamaica 55 UK celebrations and the Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference, hosted by Jamaica’s High Commissioner, His Excellency Seth George Ramocan, in London.
The High Commissioner outlined the highlights of the year-long celebrations to mark the island’s 55th year of Independence, and provided details of the Diaspora Conference, scheduled from July 23-27 in Kingston.
The Jamaica 55 celebrations are being held under the theme ‘Celebrating Jamaicans at Home and Abroad’.
Activities will take place across the country throughout the year, each with the primary purpose of encouraging second-, third- and fourth-generation Jamaicans in the UK to build on the legacy of those pioneers who contributed to the development of the United Kingdom.
Chief representative of Victoria Mutual Building Society, Mr. Leighton Smith, spoke on behalf of the Legacy Partners, Victoria Mutual Building Society, Jamaica National and GraceKennedy.
“The UK Jamaican community has made an immense contribution towards the well-being of the country. This country, when you look back at its history, owes much of its development, much of its progress, much of its wealth to the Jamaican UK community and, therefore, we think that it is vitally important that these contributions and these achievements should be recognised during the 55th year,” he said.
“All of what they have laid down in order to give us an identity, a place and the respect that our community has earned must be highlighted,” he added, noting that, at the same time, persons must recognise the children of that generation who are doing fantastic work to maintain the legacy of their parents.
The plans for the diaspora were outlined in a video message by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, and also a special message from Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange.
The joint launch featured music by the Koromantic mento group; popular singer, J.C. Lodge; and poetry from Leneá Herew. The joint launch was streamed live on Facebook and YouTube, and had instant tweets.
The event was also attended by members of Jamaica 55 Steering and sub-Committees; representatives of the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), Jamaican organisations in the UK, and staff of the High Commission.