New York Carib News

Jamaica Independence Messages – 60th Independence Anniversary

His Excellency The Most Honorable Sir Patrick Allen, ON, GCMG, CD, KSt.J, Governor-General of Jamaica

Jamaica 60 Theme: “Re-Igniting a Nation for Greatness”

My fellow Jamaicans,

This year marks a very special milestone for Jamaica and provides an ideal opportunity for us to reflect on our journey as a nation.  On 6th August 1962, a new day for Jamaica was ushered in with much fanfare, anticipation and hope, buoyed by the fact that the dream of an independent country had become a reality. In the last sixty years, characterized by challenges and triumphs, we can be proud of the progress we have made, our stellar achievements as a people, and the positive impact that we have had across the world. 

Under the theme “Re-Igniting a Nation for Greatness”, a large number of celebratory activities have already taken place, both at home and in the Diaspora, and there will be others during the remainder of the year.  It is heartwarming to witness the national pride that has been evident at these events, demonstrating that no matter where you are, Jamaica is well-represented by your presence. 

This is a challenging time and as we celebrate our Diamond Jubilee. The health and economic difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, social calamities, crime and violence are only some of the problems that must temper our celebrations.  Many of us may have suffered significant loss and dislocation that have tested our true mettle. However, I use this opportunity to commend the Jamaican people for their responsiveness to the measures that were instituted to protect public health and safety and maintain economic activity.

This response to the unprecedented challenges demonstrates the maturity of our people and the faith we have in our nation, and is a potent reminder that it is only through working together that we can succeed in overcoming obstacles.  That positive attitude will strengthen the foundation as we move forward and overcome the hurdles encountered in nation-building.

Our Diaspora is critical to national development.  With this in mind, the Government has worked steadily to enhance the contribution of our nationals towards the transformation of the Jamaican economy.  We are grateful to you for your patriotism and appreciate the philanthropic support which you provide including charitable assistance to families, communities and organizations whose needs were greatest.  Such is the connection with Jamaica that remittances, as well as critical inputs in the health and education sectors, increased significantly at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.   

This celebration of the 60th Anniversary of our Independence gives us the opportunity to   recognize and appreciate the firm resolve and tenacity of our Jamaican people.  This enduring resilience has carried us through the worst and best moments in our history. These are attributes that we possess in abundance and which will be of great benefit as we move on to navigate the years ahead.  I am confident that if we continue to draw on the collective resources of Jamaicans at home and abroad, together, we can achieve all the things for which we hope. 

Happy Independence.  God bless you and “Jamaica, land we love!”

The Most Honorable Andrew Holness, ON, MP, PC Prime Minister of Jamaica on the Occasion of Emancipation & & Independence Day

My fellow Jamaicans,

This year 2022 marks Jamaica’s 60th Anniversary of political Independence, and 184 years since the Emancipation Declaration of 1838 affirmed full freedom for enslaved people of African descent in Jamaica.  In recognition of these momentous anniversaries, Jamaicans from all walks of life have been enthusiastic in their support for the planned series of activities for the Jamaica 60 Independence celebrations, which will also commemorate our heritage and culture. 

Our journey over the past six decades as an independent country, is replete with examples of excellence in various sectors, including in music, tourism and athletics for which we are world-renowned.  Our Diaspora members have always been an integral part of that experience and play a critical role in promoting “Brand Jamaica” on the world stage. We are grateful to our family overseas who consistently promote, protect and preserve our social and cultural traditions and values.

The Government of Jamaica recognizes the Diaspora as crucial partners and drivers of Jamaica’s economic development. Jamaicans overseas represent a wealth of human, social and financial capital and are key actors and influencers bringing tremendous value to Jamaica.  We are actively pursuing opportunities to channel this value into mutually beneficial policy initiatives.

Our Diamond Jubilee is at a time when the global community is facing a number of challenges, including the continuing impact of COVID-19, the impacts of climate change, and the Ukraine/Russia conflict. These combined events have generated the greatest wave of global inflation in over forty years and have the potential to erode the gains achieved over time and delay the achievement of the targets we have set for ourselves, as represented by Vision 2030.  

However, Jamaicans are known for our resilience and for overcoming challenges.  We are learning from the mistakes of our past, and we are taking the right actions to ensure Jamaica’s continued stability and the well-being of our people. 

In this regard, the Government is implementing sound fiscal policy measures to enable the country to safely navigate the challenges with which we are confronted. At the same time, we have put in place several mechanisms for targeted social intervention to cushion the effect on our vulnerable citizens.  We are keeping our economy stable so Jamaicans can obtain and keep their jobs and our country can continue its development agenda which, in the long run will be better, for our people.  

I invite all Jamaicans, at home and abroad, to participate in the transformation of Jamaica in the coming years, as we build on the experiences and achievements of the past sixty years.  Your full engagement will ensure the success of these programmes as we strive to build a better future for ourselves and for future generations.

At 60, we reflect on how far we have come and look forward at the opportunities we can create for the greater advancement of our people and country. We must be determined to transform Jamaica into a paradise of peace, opportunity, and prosperity. Let us therefore be re-inspired and recommitted to our beautiful island home as with your continued engagement and support, we reignite our nation for greatness.

Happy 60th Anniversary Jamaica!

The Most Honorable Leslie Campbell, Minister Of State, Ministry Of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade

My fellow Jamaicans,

This year we celebrate Jamaica’s Diamond Jubilee, our 60th anniversary of Independence, under the theme ‘Reigniting a Nation for Greatness’. This aspirational call to action charges our citizens, at home and abroad, to collectively engage more deliberately, and motivate each other more purposefully, towards the realization of our national development goals.

As you enjoy the richness of our culture through the numerous festivities and celebrations that will be held within Jamaican communities across the globe, let us recall the contributions of our forebears and the struggles they overcame, leading to the establishment of a proud, free and sovereign Jamaica. They exhibited the enduring traits of resilience and resolve, the basis on which Jamaica stands and continues to proclaim our independence.  A grateful nation salutes their countless sacrifices and we honor and respect their commitment to build a Jamaica where all have opportunities to unleash their true potential.

Similarly, we also celebrate you, our Diaspora, who have left an indelible mark on the world stage, through music, art, sports, academia, business and so much more. Like our forefathers, you embody a spirit of resilience, creativity and tenacity. Through your hard work, you have succeeded in elevating the culture, profile and image of Jamaica to the world. You are unequivocal champions of ‘Brand Jamaica’. As investors, philanthropists, bridge-builders, Brand Ambassadors, lobbyists, marketers, and consumers, there is tremendous value in your experience and your networks which redound to the benefit of both Jamaica and your adopted homes. 

You have stood with us through global recessions, natural disasters and global pandemics. In spite of these occurrences, we have been resolute in our mission of national development, due in large part to your support. Regardless of geographical distance, you have tirelessly offered assistance through remittances, knowledge exchanges and the countless contributions you have made in the health, education and business sectors, among others. Through your active contributions to various areas of life in Jamaica, you have played an important role in nation-building. A grateful nation salutes you and looks forward to a future characterized by a genuine partnership and mutual understanding.

I am pleased with the success of the ninth iteration of the Jamaica 60 Diaspora 

Conference, which was staged in June this year in hybrid fashion.  The focus on digital transformation and innovation, sought to capitalize on the engagement opportunities offered by new and emerging technologies and the cultural affinity of the Diaspora to Jamaica, as we strive to deepen our engagement impetus with you and all of our partners.  We encourage you to join this digital transformation effort which will greatly enhance the efficiency of our engagement strategies.

The recent approval of the National Diaspora Policy will help to codify and deepen our evolving partnership and commitment for our shared national vision of a better Jamaica, so that Jamaicans wherever they reside are empowered to achieve their full potential. 

As we reflect, therefore, on the last sixty years of Independence, let us with pride and satisfaction, look forward to the years ahead with a renewed spirit and the will to transform our Jamaica into the place to live, work, raise families and do business.

I wish you, my Diaspora family, a Happy 60th Anniversary of Independence!

Most Hon. P.J. Patterson ON, OCC, OE, QC, Former Prime Minister of Jamaica

The commemoration of Jamaica’s Independence is a time of positive reflection on our nation’s journey to sovereignty and economic and political self-determination. It is a  juncture to recall the remarkable achievements of the Jamaican people in various spheres of endeavor. Independence is also a moment to remember and celebrate the stellar nation-building contributions of Jamaicans at home and in the diaspora, who, through their sterling efforts over the years, have helped to lay critical  foundations and continue to construct important pillars for our country’s continued success.

The Diamond Jubilee of Independence is of special significance. Jamaica at 60 is a society that has emerged through the crucible of significant challenges and momentous changes. Its people have forged a path to global recognition and respect and blazed a trail of glorious achievements in many regards. 

There is much of which Jamaica can be proud. The fundamental transformation of the country’s economic structures setting it on a path to sustainable debt reduction and a trajectory for more investment in critical social services, has been among the important achievements that have benefitted from bi-partisan support. There have also been far-reaching advances in physical infrastructure development and the creation of employment and other economic opportunities for our people. 

Jamaica’s long list of illustrious musicians, creative artists, sportsmen and sportswomen continue to be sources of immense national pride and international acclaim. Our outstanding scientists, political leaders, diplomats and other professionals too, have helped to bring global recognition to our comparatively small island nation, proving time and again that “we little but we tallawah.”

Jamaicans in the diaspora have been vital to the development of our nation and have remained active in supporting causes and institutions in Jamaica and as well as in their overseas communities. Many continue to excel in various fields in their countries of residence, rising to decision-making positions of power and influence including in public service, government and commerce. I join in saluting these exemplary achievers.

As we celebrate Jamaica 60, Jamaicans at home and in the diaspora remain engaged individually and collectively in advancing the interests of our nation and improving the lives of our people.

Even as we celebrate, we remain conscious of the hurdles yet to be overcome: Ensuring universal access to high-quality education, healthcare, decent work, potable water, shelter, roads and generally better living conditions for all our citizens. There is some way to go too in achieving lasting peace and harmony in the Jamaican society. The mission yet to be fulfilled serves as a clarion call for Jamaicans at home and abroad to redouble our efforts in building a better nation.

At this time of national celebration, our festive spirit continues to be imbued with a unextinguishable flame of  commitment to the tasks of preserving our homeland and people and safeguarding our proud legacy of achievements.

Jamaica’s ambassador to the United States Audrey Marks (Photo Credit Derrick Scott)

Ambassador Audrey Marks

Fellow Jamaicans and Friends of Jamaica, I am deeply honoured and immensely proud to extend greetings to you on this momentous occasion, the commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of Jamaica’s Independence.

Sixty years in a nation’s history may not immediately conjure up significant moments of historic events or remarkable achievements worthy of global attention. However, any scrutiny of our relatively short existence as a nation will surely bring to attention the Jamaican slogan “we likkle but we tallawah”, which we enthusiastically embrace and perpetually seek to inject into our personal and national endeavours.

The 6th of August 1962 will forever be etched in the annals of Jamaican and arguably, global history. Its significance is strengthened by the many struggles of our forefathers to take control and direct our own destiny, manifested in the freedom which we enjoy today.

Over the past 60 years, as a Small Island Developing State, we have demonstrated a capacity to contribute to the human family and we continue to defy expectations in many spheres, including in academia, arts and culture, diplomacy, sports, tourism, science and technology and entertainment, to name just a few. In so doing, the name “Jamaica” resonates in pioneering efforts in some of these areas, gaining plaudits in others, while at the same time becoming synonymous with great quality and high performance, much to the benefit of the nation.

The past 60 years have also taught us, that the road to success has its very own unique challenges, many of which demand our full attention and which we must confront together as a nation, if we are to fulfil the dreams and aspirations of those whose efforts form the backbone of our Jamaican society.

As we continue to strive, this historic milestone also affords us the opportunity to pause and reflect on our progress as a nation so far, with a view to recalibrating the way forward, bearing in mind current global realities and the ominous threats of climate change, narco- and human trafficking and the linkages with the small arms trade, all of which threaten to erode the gains we have made over these years. There is no denying that the COVID 19-pandemic has left an indelible mark on the global family of nations, sparing none. Despite our own setbacks, Jamaica remains resilient, with our macro-economic indicators showing a slow but steady recovery to pre-COVID levels.

We must be prepared to utilise these positive indicators to create a national platform aimed at “Re-igniting a Nation for Greatness,” which symbolises the theme for this year’s independence.

I must take this opportunity of our Diamond Jubilee to salute all Jamaicans in the Diaspora.

You remain a valuable component of our national development strategy. The country continues to benefit tremendously from your enduring commitment to the island’s development, characterised by your generosity, investment in various sectors of the economy and importantly, your strong interest in the day-to-day affairs of the country.

We hear your voices, share your concerns and value your opinions. As such, the Government is committed to ensuring that your vision for a better Jamaica becomes part of the official development plans and strategies for the future. Let us continue the journey, working together for a brighter tomorrow, for current and future generations. I am confident that with the continued support of Jamaicans in the Diaspora, we can re-ignite Jamaica for greatness. Greatness is not a destination, but an ongoing journey that unfolds each day.

I wish for all Jamaicans at home and in the Diaspora, a happy 60th Independence Anniversary as together, we establish new pathways and strengthen old ones in our continued efforts to achieve Vision 2030 Jamaica to make our country “the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business”.

May God continue to bless Jamaica, land we love!

Mrs. Alsion Wilson, O.D., Consul General

It is my pleasure to bring greetings on this special occasion, as we celebrate Jamaica’s  60th Anniversary of Independence. 

Today’s ceremony, being organized by Carib News, will recognize the 2022 Jamaican-American Power 100 and is truly fitting for this year’s independence theme “Reigniting  a Nation for Greatness”. I wish to convey my strong support for this initiative, and  commend the President of CaribNews, Mrs. Faye Rodney, and her team, for their  continued efforts at motivating and inspiring our Jamaicans in the Diaspora. 

This year, we seek to awaken the spirit of nationalism within the soul of every Jamaican residing at home and overseas. Jamaicans have made extraordinary achievements in  every field of endeavour, working as agents of change in their communities and inspiring  others globally.  

On this, our Diamond Jubilee, we reminisce on the early beginnings of our country,  paying tribute to our forebears and to all who have contributed to the independence of  our homeland. We have come a far way, as a nation and as a people, since our  independence, making a tremendous global impact despite our small size. For this, we  ought to be proud and must continue to work towards maintaining a global reputation of  excellence. 

I am pleased to announce that this year, Governor Kathy Hochul and the Assembly of the  State of New York have proclaimed August 6th as Jamaica Flag Day; a testament to the  significant contributions that Jamaicans have made to the United States of America. This  day serves to recognize the Jamaican culture, people and community here in the United  States; a proud moment for us as Jamaicans, and especially for our Diasporans, who  have made this country their second home. 

I invite you all to partake in the upcoming Jamaica 60 Independence Celebrations being  organized by The Consulate General of Jamaica New York. On Sunday, August 7th at  4:00 p.m., we will host our Jamaica 60 Independence Church Service in The Bronx, New York and on August 20th at 6:00 p.m., we will host our Official Jamaica 60 Diamond  Jubilee Gala at the Marriot Marquis Hotel in Times Square. 

I close by saying that as Jamaicans, we are a strong, resilient and hardworking people. There is still much to be done in creating the Jamaica that we all want but I am  confident that through our will and combined efforts, we will attain the national development goals we have set for our beloved country.  

During our independence celebrations this year, let us keep our flag flying high and our  hearts filled with pride as we work towards creating an even better Jamaica. 

One Love!

Senator The Honorable Kamina Johnson Smith,Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade  

My Fellow Jamaicans across the globe, Happy Independence! 

I am pleased to join you in celebrating the 60th Anniversary of Independence of our beloved country, Jamaica.  This is a momentous time in our nation’s history, as we acknowledge and reflect on the tremendous progress made over the past sixty years.  We are also able to take account of the challenges we have navigated together on this journey, honouring the legacy of our forebears and the vision of those who were instrumental in securing our independence. 

We use this period of celebration to recognize the contributions of Jamaicans at home and abroad to nation-building, and in upholding the ideals and executing the responsibilities that are associated with independent statehood. 

An important expression of our independence is the responsibility we assumed for our foreign policy, which has enabled us to promote on the global stage, matters of critical importance to national development.  We are proud that Jamaica continues to pursue a principled foreign policy, one in which as a Small Island Developing State, we maintain good relations with a wide range of countries and partners, to support our development goals.  

I am pleased to acknowledge the vital role which you the Jamaican Diaspora play in representing Jamaica across the globe.  Indeed, the deepening of engagement with our community overseas is a key plank of our foreign policy.  I therefore pay tribute to the vast number of Jamaicans who reside in almost every corner of the world, and, by so doing, have extended the reach and presence of Jamaica. 

The continued engagement of the Diaspora with Jamaica is a strong testament of the bond that we all feel with our homeland.  Through good times and bad, the Diaspora has stood with those at home, and I sincerely thank the many individuals and organizations in the Diaspora who contributed to our response to the COVID 19 pandemic, especially in the health and education sectors. Full recovery from COVID-19 will not be immediate, but significant strides have been made and our efforts to build back better have been buttressed by the continued support. 

The Biennial Diaspora Conferences have proven to be of great value, and the most recent staging of the Jamaica 60 Diaspora Conference in June this year underscored the importance we attach to harnessing the talents, resources and abilities of the Diaspora to support transformation of the economy and the society.  We are also committed, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, to promote and defend the interests of Jamaicans abroad, and to give support, as sits within our mandate, to your legitimate endeavours to contribute to your countries of residence and that of your origin.

I am assured that in this the year of our Diamond Jubilee, Jamaicans everywhere will celebrate this milestone like none other, and will embrace our culture with pride as we revel in our renowned gastronomic and artistic expressions.  As we observe this time of great joy, let us give thanks for the accomplishments thus far, equally aware that there is much work to be done for us to realize the Jamaica to which we aspire.  

Let us continue then, to work together, to Re-Ignite our Nation to Greatness!

God Bless you all and God Bless Jamaica, land we love.

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