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Epic Celebration in South Florida for Jamaica’s 60th Independence

by Howard Campbell

[SOUTH FLORIDA] – No matter where in the world they were, on August 6 Jamaicans donned their national colors of black, gold and green to celebrate the country’s 60th anniversary of independence.

It was no different in South Florida where the ‘Jamaica Diamond Independence Jubilee Gala’ took place at the Marriott Fort Lauderdale Coral Springs Hotel and Convention Center.

A packed house turned and danced the night away to music from the Inner Circle band who performed their signature songs as well as classics by Jimmy Cliff, who was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by Jamaica’s Consul General to Miami.

Inner Circle performing live at the Jamaica's 60th Diamond Independence GalaThe reggae legend was not able to attend and accept the accolade, but expressed gratitude through a video-taped message.

Oliver Mair, Consul General to Miami, was pleased with response to the gala, a joint production between his office and Jamaica United Relief Association Inc.

Oliver Mair Jamaica 60 Celebration South Florida
Consul General Jamaica – Olive Mair

“People are so excited to celebrate Jamaica. All the many events I attended had huge turnouts.  Our Gala was sold-out days before the event,” he said. “South Florida was on fire! Thousands came out to celebrate the land of our birth. From the church service, gala, motorcade and the long host of community events, Jamaicans came out in the black, gold and green to celebrate Jamaica 60th.”

Cliff’s career coincided with Jamaica’s independence from Britain on April 6, 1962. His initial hit songs, Miss Jamaica and Hurricane Hatty, were released by Beverley’s Records that year.

Ten years later, he starred in The Harder They Come, an independently-funded movie that introduced reggae and Jamaican pop culture to the world. Cliff’s role of Ivan, an aspiring musician trying to make it in the corrupt music business, made him a superstar.

The Diamond Jubilee was celebrated in Jamaica with Grand Galas in the capital Kingston and Montego Bay.


South Florida Caribbean News

The SFLCN.com Team provides news and information for the Caribbean-American community in South Florida and beyond.

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