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South Florida Closes Curtain On Jamaica 50th Celebrations

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Several Jamaican nationals were awarded official certificates of appreciation issued by the Minister with responsibility of Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, for their efforts in collaborating with the Consulate General of Jamaica in projects that marked 2012 as the 50th anniversary of Jamaica’s Independence.

Jamaica’s Consul General Sandra Grant Griffiths made the presentation to members of the Steering committee, volunteers, sponsors and partnering organizations at a Post-celebration Appreciation Reception recently (last Friday, March 1), at the Miami location of the Consulate General of Jamaica.  The Jamaica 50th Steering Committee was co-chaired by certified public accountant, Ms. Pamella Watson, of Watson & Company PA, and community activist and cultural specialist, Mr. Sydney Roberts, executive director of Jamaica Awareness, Inc., with communications consultant, Cheryl Wynter as secretary to the committee.

Mrs. Grant Griffiths expressed gratitude to the members of the Steering committee “for your role whether in time, talent, and sponsorship in ensuring that Jamaica 50th was celebrated in fitting and fine style.”  She continued that “this effort was not a one-off contribution but reflects your reach and commitment to the advancement of the Diaspora community and your representation of our great nation and homeland.”  

The Consul General also unveiled a scroll which permanently records the distinguished honorees inducted on the 2012 Honor Roll.  Some 70 persons were honored at the Jamaica 50 Diaspora Honours and Benefit Gala : “The Journey,” held last August, at the JW Marriott Marquis Miami Hotel in downtown Miami.  In addition, several pioneering legends in the community were recognized posthumously.  

Another 15 awards were presented to individuals and corporations as ‘Changemakers’ for their continuing efforts to keep Brand Jamaica on the map.

The official recognition comprised several dimensions including sports, literary, cultural and entertainment arts, philanthropy, trade and investment, communications, faith and religious leadership, social and professional services, and political and multilateral affairs.

The Consul General announced that currently, preparations are underway to proceed with the formalization through registration of the Jamaica Diaspora Community Legacy Fund.  The Fund is soon to be officially launched with the residual funds of $5,000 (US), proceeds from the Gala, the two-fold objective of which is intended to advance welfare of community members and secondly, to provide physical space in which to anchor community efforts, she added.

Going forward, Mrs. Grant Griffiths added that honoring the legacy of community and national development, the Jamaica Diaspora Honours will continue to be incorporated into an official honouring event, the first of which was held in 2006 with proceeds supporting local and Jamaican charities.

A calendar of activities at several locations across the Southern United States marked continuous celebrations throughout last year. These included church services, concerts, festivals, and educational activities at several educational institutions and libraries.

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