My fellow Jamaicans in the Diaspora and beyond,
I am pleased to join you in celebrating the milestone Anniversaries commemorating our 60th Anniversary of Independence and 184th Emancipation of Jamaica-land-we-love.
This year as we celebrate our Diamond Jubilee of Independence under the theme “Re-Igniting a nation of Greatness”, I want to implore you to take this as a clarion call to bring change wherever you may be.
Jamaicans have over the years, from pre-emancipation, through independence, been among the agitators for change at home and in our various adopted homes. We have been at the forefront of social, political, and cultural change across the globe, through our activism, education, work ethic, music, food, athletic and intellectual prowess. Wherever you plant a Jamaican he or she will flourish.
It was Marcus Garvey who said, “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” As we relight the fire that fuels us to punch larger than our size, let us reflect on where we are coming from and recognize that we have deep roots to anchor us against the prevailing winds of change.
I know that at this time many of our Jamaican Diaspora members, here and in other parts of the world, are facing challenges due to the impacts of the global pandemic of the past two years and the current economic conditions. We are a resilient people who have faced many challenges and have learnt the art of “Tek yuh han mek fashion”, using what we have, to create what we want. Also let us go back to caring for our neighbors ensuring that our fellow Jamaicans all succeed.
I invite you to recommit to the various Jamaican Diaspora organizations, through your time and resources, to continue the significant work that has been done over the years. Let us water and add nutrients such that these deep-rooted trees can now spread their branches to expand into other areas of national development.
As we look forward to the future, there is much for us to celebrate. Sixty years of a country’s independence is a significant milestone. Despite a number of socio-economic challenges, we can also be proud that as a people we have done well in other areas, among them being we have managed to maintain a stable democracy over the six decades of independence.
Here we are proud that others have recognized these milestones. In this regard, I am pleased to announce that for the first time in New York’s history, our country’s Independence on August 6th, 2022, will be officially recognized by the State as Jamaican Flag Day. A recognition of this nature is a clear expression of New York’s appreciation and celebration of our Jamaican Diaspora, our culture, history and contribution to the growth and development of the State.
I take this opportunity to encourage you to celebrate our nation as we work towards the next milestone. The Consulate General of Jamaica New York, your home away from home, is here to support you. Participate in our events and keep in touch for information and opportunities here and at home.
I urge you to remain steadfast in reigniting our nation, together, for greatness, unity, and strength.
Happy Jamaica 60th!
29th July 2022