Any retrospective of 2009 compels us to “give thanks” for life, love, friendship and be grateful for the prospects of renewal, improvements and new beginnings that will come with the New Year. We have experienced joyful heights in 2009, among them an historic appointment to the United States Presidential Office, and phenomenal Olympic performances led by homegrown champions from Jamaica who have made us exceedingly proud. But, the lows have also given us pause in the unprecedented international economic crisis and accompanying social upheavals that have buffeted our country and the United States economy, and the loss of icons in political, social and cultural spheres who have shaped our country, and impacted the world.
These and other notable challenges have certainly abounded in 2009 for governments, cities, communities and in our own lives. But, equally, we have become more aware as the twelve-month cycle has progressed, of the very real prospect for the realization of hopes and dreams when the will to work in unison and the capacity for personal sacrifice is purposively exercised. We have continued as a people and as a nation comprised of those of us in the Diaspora and those in the homeland, to create opportunities to assist each other and to promote welfare and national development. Critically, as we formalize the necessary structures to strengthen the bridge between Jamaicans at home and abroad, we convened the first Diaspora Conference here in the USA and have had the first sitting of the Joint Select Committee on Diaspora Affairs in the Parliament of Jamaica. At the same time our nation and people continued to benefit tremendously from the philanthropic generosity of Jamaicans abroad who have never faltered in their commitment to the health and education missions, the social work, the gifts of time and treasure, the remittances that prove a lifeline for many. Jamaica remains grateful for remembrances of home and the resources provided even in difficult times to assist family, friends and country.
At home, the Government of Jamaica prepares to address a new year of service to the Jamaican public fully cognizant of the critical state of economic, social and political affairs. Much is being done through reform and revitalization to ensure the nation’s survival and the well-being of our people. Yet much remains to be done. The Consulate General of Jamaica in Miami stands more than ever committed to working with the Jamaican community, private sector and official partners and well-wishers to ensure the achievement of Jamaica’s unyielding vision for development and growth. We look forward as we serve the community, to the positive response and continued support that make our efforts meaningful. Fittingly, we also place on record our gratitude for the generous assistance provided for our work programme, projects and activities during 2009.
As we take this time, therefore, to rejoice in the hope of life and love and plan for new possibilities, it is also a time to rededicate and commit anew to doing as much as we can for self-development, community and national development. The outlook is that in preserving what we all hold dear, we do our part to secure the future for generations to come. Let us retool, recast, refortify ourselves, our people, our communities as the times demand, and work with a will for the greater good, and for Jamaica, land we love, in 2010.
My heartiest wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.