This year we celebrate the 53rd anniversary of the birth of our nation. It was a memorable night in August 1962 when the Union Jack was lowered and we proudly hoisted the Black, Green and Gold as the symbol of our nationhood.
Many of us can recall with fondness the pride and joy we felt as the new Jamaican flag was hoisted for the first time. For those too young to have been present, the significance of the occasion is made no less enthralling through the stories of heightened excitement and euphoria about this new period in our history. We knew there would be challenges along the way but we embraced them with the same enthusiasm and determination that had defined and characterised us as a people for centuries.
We can be proud of what we have accomplished not only at the domestic level, but through our contribution to the regional and international socio-political, economic and cultural landscape. Jamaica is renowned for its vibrant and diverse culture that remains the embodiment of its Motto, ‘Out of Many One People.’
Jamaicans continue to excel on whatever platform and in whatever fields of endeavour they find themselves – we remain a force to be reckoned with across the world. By so doing, we continue that fine tradition of making the best of whatever circumstances we find ourselves in and being leaders as well as an inspiration to others.
We have come a long way over the years. Much has been accomplished and much remains to be done. The belief that we are a people who can accomplish great things, must never be allowed to die – our future and our fortunes lie in our hands.
We all have a role to play in this regard. I wish, therefore, to use this opportunity to publicly acknowledge and to thank the Jamaican Diaspora in the UK for their unswerving commitment to Jamaica. Despite being far away from your homeland, you continue to keep the Jamaican flag flying high and continue to support the growth and development of our beloved country. A special thank you also to our ‘Honorary’ Jamaicans who have embraced Jamaica with open arms and have never looked back.