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Jamaicans in Atlanta celebrate country’s 51st Year Of Independence

ATLANTA — Jamaicans and friends of Jamaica in Atlanta, Georgia, will mark Jamaica’s 51st Year of Independence with two major activities from August 4 to August 10.

The programme of activities, which are being planned by the Atlanta Jamaican Association (AJA), commences with a Thanksgiving Service at the Hillside Presbyterian Church in Decatur at 5:00PM on Sunday, August 4. The service will feature music, songs and poetry, which capture Jamaica’s rich cultural heritage.

The sermon will be delivered by Professor of Theology at Emory University, The Rev. Dr. Noel Erskine, while the Rev. Dr. Barry Davis, will bring a special musical tribute.

The celebration comes to close on Saturday, August 10 with the Annual Independence Ball and Scholarship Awards at the Marriott Atlanta Airport Gateway.

This spectacular black-tie event which is the premier annual Caribbean event in Atlanta attracts patrons from Georgia and surrounding states.

A special feature of this year’s event will be the honouring of the Hon. Vin Martin, former Jamaican Honorary Consul in Atlanta, who retired from that position at the end of June this year after serving for 16 years. Among those who will paying tribute to Mr. Martin, include, US Congressman, Hank Johnson, President of the Atlanta Jamaican Association,AJA Errol Ritchie, Dr. Noel Erskine and Dr. David Panton.

President, AJA, Mr. Errol Ritchie

Two educational scholarships will be awarded, one from the Atlanta Jamaica Association and the other from the Tropical Sports Club, to two students of Jamaican parentage.

The AJA Community Service Award will be presented to Ms Jacqueline Hawthorne-Robinson of Golden Krust Bakery.

Patrons will dance to Jamaica’s pre-eminent show and dance band, The Fabulous Five.

According to AJA’s President, Mr. Ritchie, the annual events commemorating the anniversary of Jamaica’s independence are very important to Jamaicans in Atlanta. They serve to bring us together in a cultural bond that oftentimes overpowers the individualistic urges that seem to restrict our coming together as a people. “These events bring back memories of our time in Jamaica and force us to reflect on our achievements as a nation and as individuals. They also serve to remind us of our rich culture and generate the festive mood that we have all come to associate with our independence celebrations “he said.

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