Some 110 newly-minted Jamaican citizens yesterday (Nov. 24) received a ceremonial welcome at a Virtual Citizenship Welcome Reception hosted by Consulate General of Jamaica.
Consul General R. Oliver Mair as host of the event, introduced the new citizens to an evening of rich entertainment depicting song, dance and poetry by local Jamaican performing artistes, each bringing the house down in their own unique style. These included Tallawah Mento Band; dub poet Malachi Smith; folklorist Maxine ‘Queen’ Osbourne; poet and author Dr. Susan Davis (Dr. Sue); and renowned tenor Steve Higgins.
This was the third in a series of ceremonial welcome events initiated by Consul General Mair to newly-minted Jamaican citizens. Deputy Consul General, Sharon Burrell said that there has been an 83% increase in Jamaican citizenship applications.
Consul General said that he was humbled by the overwhelming response and commendations pouring in from worldwide. He passionately stated that the “pride to become Jamaica augurs well for our beloved island home”. He credits the success to the dynamic performances from the outstanding performances of our local performers in the South Florida community.
Newly-minted Jamaican, Ms. Adrienne Chin-Ogilvie expressed pride as a blessing and honor receiving her establishment from her paternal descendants. According to Ms. Sandya Mitchell “I wish my daddy could have been here to see this, it’s what he wanted for so long.”
As the names of the established citizens virtually scrolled on, Ms Kaydene Williams was excited to hear her son Jayden Raphael recognized. Jamaican father, Jay Benayouon, was proud of his son’s established citizenship, and congratulated Consul General Mair for the outstanding job of “ushering in our newly-minted bredren and sistren instilling pride within all Jamaicans at home and abroad.”
Colin Blackwood also expressed pride as his daughter’s photograph, Emma Iman scrolled along.
In welcoming the citizens, Judge Norman Hemming spoke to the accomplishment of many Jamaicans of international fame in music, sports, political sphere, academia, emphasizing that they were all uniquely great because of their impact on the world. He told his audience that they have shown a sense of thanksgiving and pride and God-like spirit in joining the throng of outstanding Jamaicans.
With a feeling of nostalgia and sense of pride for the new Jamaicans, performers electrified the audience virtually with traditional folk songs and dance and rhythmic poetry.
The event was sponsored by Luke Ballentine/Moment to Remember, Vintage Events, www.Jamaican.com, and DJ Craig Shine.