MIAMI, Florida – Greetings to my fellow nationals and friends! What a year this has been marked with both challenges and accomplishments. As we give God thanks for the success, we pray for His continued blessings and the courage to pursue our personal development and that of our homeland.
My staff and I, at the Consulate express our profound gratitude to each and every one, who has supported our relocation of office in Downtown Miami, the first move since officially opening the Mission in 1974. This move has given us the opportunity to have a more welcoming environment to our many nationals and friends who visit the Consulate daily. We are also grateful to the many companies who have collaborated with us to showcase Jamaica at its best, in our Lobby through the promotion of goods and services. We welcome you to your new home away from home.
We are so proud of our performance on the world stage as Jamaica continues to dominate success in sports, education, culture and entertainment. As the old adage goes ‘we likkle but we tallawah”. We celebrate the recent crowning of Miss Toni-Ann Singh as Miss World 2019, the fourth time Jamaica has held this honour. Earlier this year, we hosted the Reggae Girlz in a week long ‘Send-off celebration’ as they headed to Paris for the World Cup series. Across the globe, we also marked the Centenary (100th ) birthday anniversary of our renowned cultural ambassador, the late Hon. Louise Bennett-Coverley, OM, OJ, MBE, (Miss Lou, as she was affectionately called). We recently witnessed the inauguration of our first Jamaican-American Mayor of Broward County, Mr. Dale Holness, as he joined the now 15 elected officials of Jamaican heritage holding public office in South Florida and in Georgia.
With the Government’s thrust on investment and economic development, we have taken the show on the road through a series of investment forums in South Florida; Atlanta, Georgia’ and Houston, Texas. Our monthly lecture series at the Consulate has also inspired ongoing conversations about our local communities and about Jamaica. I am excited about the positive trends in the Jamaican economy despite the challenges, and encourage you our nationals, to not only be “good news ambassadors” but to use this as an opportunity to further invest in our country. We thank the many sponsors and companies, who have collaborated with us in this effort, among them, our Legacy partners including Victoria Mutual Building Society, JN Bank, Grace Kennedy Company, JAMPRO and the Jamaica Tourist Board.
My heartfelt gratitude to our entire constituency for the success of the recent Jamaica Hi-5K Walk/Run which was held simultaneously on October 5th in five regions across the Southern USA community – Atlanta, GA; Orlando, FLA; and the tri-county area of South Florida (Miami, Broward and Palm Beach). Proceeds from registration of more than 300 persons will benefit the Ministry of Health’s Adopt A Clinic programme, geared towards improving primary health care in Jamaica.
Following recent Diaspora elections, we welcome the newly elected Advisory Board Representative for the Southern USA, Dr. Allan Cunningham, and express our appreciation to Attorney Wayne Golding, CD, who has served us with dignity and integrity for the past four years. We will remain united and engaged building better for personal and community development, here in the Diaspora and in Jamaica. Coming out of the recent National Biennial Diaspora Conference in Kingston, Jamaica, we look forward to new and exciting possibilities for our Diaspora communities. We are encouraged by the youth engagement of our second and third generations, as they have taken on a cohesive role in Diaspora activities. We have begun to welcome new candidates of Jamaican citizenship as we recently held the first Jamaican Citizenship Ceremony in Plantation. This is the first of a quarterly installation, the next to be held in February 2020.
This year, as we celebrate giving thanks for the greatest gift of all and sharing with others, the Consulate remembers with gratitude the various philanthropic groups who continue to support Jamaica. The hand of support was extended to the Bahamas following the recent devastation dealt by Hurricane Dorian. As you know, there is nothing we can’t achieve, when we come together as Jamaicans. Looking ahead to 2020, we will let kindness be our guide. Let us remain committed to our partnership with individuals, corporations and community groups as we build on Diaspora development and nation building in our beloved homeland.
On behalf of the staff of the Consulate General of Jamaica at Miami, and my family, Tanya and Serena, I wish you all a blessed Christmas season of peace, love and joy. As our heavenly Father declares (Book of Jeremiah 29:11), let us call upon Him in prayer as we continue our purpose to serve.