By: Derrick A Scott
The city of Stone Mountain in Atlanta, Georgia declared the month of August as “Jamaica 50th Independence Celebration Month”, in that city.
In a proclamation presented on behalf of the Mayor of the city of Stone Mountain, Patrice Wheelen, by Atlanta’s Honorary Consul Vin Martin, to Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Stephen Vasciannie, at a town hall meeting held at the Hillside Presbyterian Church hall on Friday, August 17, 2012,
The citation lauded Jamaica for having influenced the world and making its mark in the field of athletics, academics, culinary arts, religion and music even though it’s a small country with a population of just about 3 million people.
The proclamation further noted that the city of Stone Mountain recognizes and acknowledges the resilience of the Jamaican people, their ambition and the creative spirit which allow them to excel in their chosen fields. Jamaica’s culture fills its people with pride in their homeland that translates into a high competitive spirit. The proclamation esteemed Jamaica for its rich history and culture and paid tribute to the many accomplishments of the numerous Jamaican people residing in that city and throughout the USA.
In his remarks, the Ambassador said that he accepted the proclamation on behalf of the government and people of Jamaica as well as those residing in the city of Stone Mountain with great pleasure. He expressed thanks and appreciation to the Mayor and members of the city council for passing this resolution recognizing Jamaica’s 50 years of independence.
During his address to Jamaicans present at the town hall meeting, Ambassador Vasciannie called on all Jamaicans to pool their resources and to offer the use of their skills to further the development of their homeland. “Many of you have come to the shores of the United States and attained many skills in various fields, which if channeled properly will be of great benefit to Jamaica. He added that Jamaican nationals residing in the Diaspora have a key role to play in the county’s social and economic development. He then commended the Diaspora for its continued support and steadfast commitment to nation building, particularly through the many successful missions and projects undertaken.
Ambassador Vasciannie, who was addressing his first town hall meeting since assuming office, outlined some of his objectives to be undertaken while in office. He said that he will continue to strengthen the relationship with the United States, seek to increase investment opportunities and trade, work with the Diaspora to identify ways to meaningfully contribute to their homeland and to continue supporting the efforts of the Organization of American States (OAS).
The Ambassador also provided updates on developments in tourism, health, infrastructure, education, investments and crime.
The town hall meeting was organized by the Atlanta Jamaica Association and was chaired by Jamaica’s Honorary Consul to Atlanta, Vin Martin. The AJA President, Errol Ritchie brought greetings.
Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Stephen Vasciannie addresses members of the Jamaican community in Atlanta during a town hall meeting hosted by the Jamaica Atlanta Association at the Hillside Presbyterian church on Friday, August 17, 2012.