Jamaica Honorary Consul Retires after 26 years of service in Richmond
By: Derrick A. Scott
WASHINGTON, DC – Her twentysix unbroken years of service to her homeland have earned Jamaica’s Honorary Consul to the Commonwealth of Virginia, Mrs. Beryl Walters-Riley, showers of praise and admiration from the Embassy of Jamaica and members of the Jamaican community in Richmond, the Virginia state capital.
Mrs. Walters-Riley, surrounded by family and community members, was honoured at a special reception in Richmond on Saturday, April 9, 2016, to recognize her sterling serving representing the Jamaican interests in Virginia. She retired in October 2015.
In his special tribute, Jamaica’s outgoing Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Ralph Thomas, acknowledged that it was with a sense of mixed sentiments that the Government of Jamaica and the Embassy in Washington accepted Mrs. Walters-Riley’s decision to retire from her honorary consul position in Virginia.
“Since March 1999, you have served in the post with distinction. During your tenure as Honorary Consul you endeared yourself to all Jamaicans with whom you interacted, providing exceptional service to the Jamaican community in Virginia,” the Ambassador said.
The head of mission commended Mrs. Walters-Riley for personally undertaking several initiatives during her tenure, aimed at identifying possibilities of collaboration and cultural exchange among academic institutions in Virginia, Jamaica and the wider Caribbean. “Your relentless efforts to promote and strengthen public awareness about the Caribbean, our culture, food, entertainment and products is also worthy of the highest commendation.”
The Jamaican envoy highlighted Mrs. Waters-Riley’s work coordinating cultural as well as medical missions from the Virginia to Jamaica. He said, “We at the Embassy thank you wholeheartedly for your invaluable contribution to the work of the embassy and the development of Jamaica.”
The Ambassador expressed gratitude to Mrs. Walters-Riley on behalf of the government and people of Jamaica for her contribution and years of service in the diplomatic corps and wished for her a wonderful retirement.
In paying tribute to the retired Honorary Consul, founding member of the Association of Jamaica in Richmond, Virginia, Mr. Harry Davis said Mrs. Walters-Riley gave of herself for the cause of promoting Jamaica, carrying out her daily consular activities and being the voice for Jamaica in the Commonwealth. He said that she always exemplified grace and wisdom and was a wonderful ambassador for Jamaica. The entire Commonwealth of Virginia will certainly miss her as one who was a true daughter of Jamaica.
As our Jamaican representative in Richmond, Mrs. Walters-Riley met regularly with Jamaicans, local government officials and other state officials, always promoting the cause of her country. She was also the liaison between the Government of Jamaica, the Embassy in Washington and the Commonwealth of Virginia. She was responsible for identifying and promoting trade, cultural and medical exchanges.
In her reply, Mrs. Walters-Riley said, “It was an honor and privilege to have been selected to represent my country and to have served in this capacity as Honorary Consul. To have served my country in this distinguished capacity will be one of the most memorable and satisfying experience in my life. To be given the opportunity to provide this service to the Jamaican community here in Virginia in an honorary capacity is one of the highest honors that could have been bestowed on me.”
Mrs. Walters-Riley was commissioned to serve as Jamaica’s Honorary Consul in Richmond, Virginia on March 10, 1990 by Jamaica’s then Ambassador, Dr. Richard Bernal.
For the reception honoring the retired honorary consul, Ambassador Thomas was accompanied by an Embassy delegation that included the Deputy Chief of Mission, Mrs. Marsha Coore-; First Secretary Daemon Enrick; and Mrs. Charmaine Chong Moulton.