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Jamaica’s 57th Anniversary of Independence Celebrations Across the United States

Jamaica’s 57th Anniversary of Independence Celebrations Across the United Statesby Derrick Scott

Washington, D.C. – The 57th anniversary of Jamaica’s independence is very much in the spotlight with Jamaicans and friends of Jamaica celebrating in extra special ways all across the United States the island’s milestone of gaining independence from Britain on August 6, 1962.

For the Jamaicans residing in Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia, several Jamaica Independence events will be held, endorsed by Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks.

Maryland Independence Events

This coming Saturday, August 3rd, the Jamaican Association of Maryland (JAM) will stage its Independence Ball, at Martins West Conference Center in Baltimore, under the patronage of Ambassador Marks, who will deliver the keynote address.

JAM will also honour CEO and founder of Team Jamaica Bickle, Irwine Clare, who will receive the Marcus Garvey award, while the Community Service award will be shared by Karl Malcolm and Andrew Lawrence.

On August 29, JAM will host its annual Independence church service at the Baltimore Missionary Church.

Washington, D.C. Events

Meanwhile, on Sunday, August 4, the Embassy of Jamaica will host the annual Independence Service of Thanksgiving, commencing at 11:00 a.m. at the Howard University School of Divinity in Washington, D.C.

The Ambassador will deliver the Prime Minister’s message while Boulevard Baptist Church pastor and immediate past president of the Jamaica Baptist Union, Rev. Dr Devon Dick, will deliver the message and Dean of the Howard University School of Divinity, Dr. Bertram Melbourne, will moderate.

Jamaicans at the service will be joined by, among others, members of the U.S. Congress, the diplomatic corps, and representatives of various Jamaican organizations.

As well, the Embassy & Permanent Mission of Jamaica to the Organization of American States (OAS) will be participating in an Art Exhibition from August 5 to 9, part of the OAS’ 2019 Inter-American Week for Indigenous Persons.

Artwork from Jamaican artists Paul Blackwood, Courtney Morgan, and Lionel Roberts will be on display. A Public Forum will be held on Thursday, August 8 at 2:00pm  in the Hall of the Americas at the OAS.

Elsewhere in Washington, D.C., an art exhibition featuring Keith Morrison continues until August 11 at The American University Museum, in the Katzen Arts Center.

Philadelphia Celebrations

In Philadelphia, the Independence milestone will be celebrated with several activities to include a flag raising ceremony at City Hall on Independence Day, August 6.

On August 10, Team Jamaica Bickle will host a black-tie Independence Gala at the Hilton Philadelphia Hotel.  The guest speaker will be the recently-appointed first black female bishop of the Church of England, the Jamaican-born Rose Hudson-Wilkin.

On August 11, at 4:00 p.m., there will be an Independence Thanksgiving service at True United Church with Rev. Bryan Grant delivering the sermon.

New York Celebrations

Over in New York City, the Consulate General will host its Independence Service of Thanksgiving on Sunday 4th at 4:00 pm, at Bethany Baptist Church, Marcus Garvey Boulevard in Brooklyn.

Rev. Adolphus Lacey, Senior Pastor of Bethany Baptist Church while officiating minister will be Bishop Dr. Cecil G. Riley, Senior Pastor of Freedom Hall of Church of God, in Brooklyn. It is anticipated that the newly appointed Consulate General Mrs. Alison Roach-Wilson, will be in attendance.

In the Garden State, the Jamaican Organization of New Jersey holds its independence gala on Saturday, August 3, at Pines Manor in Edison township, with the annual Service of Thanksgiving scheduled for Trinity Pentecostal Church August 11th .

On Aug 10, Jamaica Independence Gala Society stages its black-tie gala in the Grand Ballroom of Hilton Westchester in Rye, New York, celebrating brand Jamaica. Patron for this  event is Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett.

New York-based, Jamaica Independence Celebration Foundation, will stage its independence grand ball on August 17, at the New York Marriott Brooklyn Bridge, with Jamaica’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Courtenay Rattray, as patron.  The honorees at that event include former NYC mayor David Dinkins and US Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, whose parents are Jamaican.

Among the first events to kick off the salute to the island’s independence, the Rochester Jamaican Organization in upstate New York this past weekend saluted the island home with a  Friday evening (July 26) Independence scholarship and awards gala, where RJO President Dr. Joel Frater welcomed Washington-based Jamaican translator and journalist Ian Edwards to give the keynote address, and a number of city, state and county officials who joined in paying tribute to the Jamaican contribution to that region. RJO also organised a reception Saturday evening, and a service at the Genesee Baptist Church on Sunday that honoured the Jamaican independence, with Jamaican Rev. Warren Muir, of Binghamton, NY, as special guest preacher.

In hailing the activities organized to mark her country’s 57th Anniversary of Independence, Ambassador Marks said, “the commemoration of our country’s independence festivities this year, under the theme ‘One Nation, One People,’ is a reminder and celebration of our diverse ancestry as a people of African, Indian, Chinese, Lebanese, and European descent formulating a melting pot of culture, ideas and behaviours which make us uniquely Jamaican – a distinction of which we stand proud.”

Ambassador Marks urged all Jamaicans to support the various events being held throughout the United States, in salute to 57 years of Jamaica and its people as an independent nation charting its own course.

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