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Jamaican Independence Day Declared in the State of Maryland

WASHINGTON, DC – The Governor of the State of Maryland Wes Moore, has proclaimed Jamaica’s Independence Day, August 6, 2023, as Jamaican Independence Day in the State of Maryland and has commended its observance to all Citizens.


Proclamation of Jamaica Independence Day State of Maryland
Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States Her Excellency Audrey Marks accepts a proclamation from Ms Joyce Moore, mother of the Governor of the State of Maryland, Wes Moore. Photo: Derrick Scott

The Proclamation signed by Governor Moore was presented to Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States Audrey Marks. It was presented by the Governor’s mother, Mrs. Joyce Moore, a Jamaican. The presentation took place at the thanksgiving service to mark Jamaica’s 61st anniversary of independence from Britain, and 185 years of full emancipation from slavery, at the Sligo Seventh Day Adventist Church in Takoma Park, Maryland.

The proclamation congratulated the people of Jamaica on the country’s 61st anniversary of their country’s independence. It pointed out that the state has drawn strength from the diversity of our people. Today, we honour those who trace their roots to Jamaica for the many ways in which they have contributed to the richness and triumph of the State of Maryland.”

Governor Moore noted that “in celebrating Jamaica’s Independence Day, we renew our commitment to developing and enhancing people-to-people business, professional, educational and cultural exchange opportunities between Maryland and Jamaica.”

Keynote Address

Reverend Astor Carlyle - Jamaica Independence Day in State of Maryland
Reverend Astor Carlyle. At right are The Rev Dr. Bertram Melbourne Dean of Howard University School of Divinity and Rev Dr. Kortright Davis. (Photo Derrick Scott)

Senior Pastor of the Webster Memorial United Church The Rev. Astor Carlyle, in delivering the sermon, called on Jamaicans in the Diaspora raise their voices against injustice, discrimination, “anancyism” and  corruption; And like Sam Sharpe, Nanny, Paul Bogle, Marcus Garvey and Bob Marley, stand up for your rights.”

He charged the congregation to be like Zelophedad’s daughters: to show up, stand up, and speak up in the defence of justice; to show moral courage, “A willingness to bear loss if needed, in order to see that justice prevails; A willingness to sacrifice comfort and convenience on the altar of principle, to ensure that truth and right win out and a willingness to give up my privileges today so that my children and grand-children may have a better life tomorrow.”

The Rev. Mr. Carlyle lamented that “merely complaining or courting a cavalier attitude are not options for people who have ambitions of a nation being Proud and Strong. Merely diagnosing, or worse, distancing ourselves, are not options for people who are concerned about the kind of society we bequeath to our children and grand-children, nieces and nephews.”

The Webster Memorial Senior Pastor told his congregation  that “rather than sit on the verandah of diagnostic discourse, or in the grandstands of prescriptive complaint” they must find “tangible and transformative ways through community organizations and programmes to impact the minds and lives of unattached youths, many who find solace in the shaky shelter provided by gangs.”

They should also find tangible and transformative ways to show up for the scores of persons, who have left Jamaica as infants, and learned antisocial behavior in other nations, but are deported as adults with no connections or opportunities to continue life meaningfully.

He said while we applaud you in the Diaspora  for supporting the Alumni activities of your Primary and High Schools; for encouraging your friends and family members to choose Jamaica as one of your vacation spots annually…and dispelling the notion that Jamaica is totally imploding; for the many medical missions which offer meaningful support to our anemic health system.

“And while we applaud you for the remittances that go a long way in boosting our economy, What will we do in our own sphere of influence to stem the influx of guns into our small and vulnerable island home, which kill thousands of youths, children and productive citizens?”

The Reverend Mr. Carlyle, in a rousing and well received sermon, told the congregation that “each of us, and all of us together; old, young, male, female have a stake in the Pride and Strength of Jamaica land we love.

“As such, let us SHOW UP, STAND UP, AND SPEAK UP, so that Jamaica may under God increase in beauty, fellowship and prosperity, and play her part in advancing the welfare of the whole human race,” he challenged.

The service was moderated by The Rev Dr. Bertram Melbourne Dean of Howard University School of Divinity. Musical selections were rendered by the choir,  Performing Artistes Under The Lord, with renowned soprano Alison Buchanan.

The offering collected will be donated to CUMI, the Community for the Upliftment of the Mentally Ill people in Montego Bay.

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South Florida Caribbean News

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

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