The Grand Jamaica Homecoming (GJH) movement launched in Toronto last weekend, (July 29 to August 1) at four events to a combined audience of over 500,000.
The excitement started at the St. George’s College Summer Ball on Friday, July 29 when ‘Come Home Jamaica,’ an original song composed and sung by Grub Cooper, of the FAB 5, was performed. On Saturday, July 30, the launch was presented by GJH and sponsor DiversiPro Inc., from the ‘imposing’ Grand Jamaica Homecoming Van which pulled into the Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival and Irie Music Festival creating a flurry of excitement and curiosity. Onlookers posed with the Homecoming hummingbird and were given an interactive experience inside the van with videos of Jamaica and purchasing Tshirts and other Grand Jamaica Homecoming souvenirs. Jamaicans and friends of Jamaica were energized by the Homecoming movement. Brochures were handed out by Grand Jamaica Homecoming ambassadors, who interacted with the hundreds of people who boarded the Homecoming van. There was a flurry of activity and much lively conversations about Jamaica and memories of the island.
Visitors to the Homecoming Van were also treated to the I Pledge video from Grace Kennedy Remittance Services (Western Union).
According to Consul General of Jamaica to Toronto, Seth George Ramocan, Jamaica’s 50th year of independence is a signal event in our nation’s history that Jamaicans and persons of Jamaican descent are looking forward to celebrating.
At Jambana the almost 20,000 people celebrated and went wild when Mr. Ramocan introduced the ‘Come Home Jamaica’ song in his presentation about the independence celebrations. He invited everyone to ‘come home to Jamaica.’ He then ‘whipped up’ a frenzy with the original song and left the audience with this message: “There is no better way for Jamaican’s and friend of Jamaicans overseas to celebrate Jamaica’s 50th year of independence than to visit the island-home to reconnect with friends and family and to reexperience the world-renowned culture and cuisine of their homeland.” He further thanked the Jamaica Homecoming Canada team, “Here in Canada a great team has been leading the way and giving momentum to this event which promises to positively impact Jamaica’s economy. Jamaica Homecoming is more than a celebration. Through its fund-raising efforts, it aims to impact the advancement of early childhood education in Jamaica as one of its legacies.”