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Miami Gardens Observer
Jamaica A Happy 50th
August 6, 1962 - 2012
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            On Saturday, August 18, 2012 the Jamaican communities in greater Miami, Atlanta, New York City and elsewhere will hold official galas to commemorate Jamaica’s 50th year as a nation.

            Expected to be the grandest of them all is the South Florida gala under the auspices of the Honorable Sandra Grant-Griffiths, Consul General of Jamaica, Southeastern USA. The Consulate General Office is based in Miami.           

            The Official Jamaica 50 Gala: “The Journey,” will be held 7 p.m., Saturday, August 18 at the JW Marriott Marquis Miami, 255 Biscayne Blvd. Way, Miami. Tickets are $150 per person and are available by calling the Jamaica 50 hotline at 305-957-0433. After-party tickets are $75.

            One thousand dressed-to-the-teeth guests are expected to gather to commemorate the milestone, honor their own and dance the night away to the sounds of two of Jamaica’s most historic and famous bands. The gala will benefit the Jamaica Diaspora Community Legacy Fund, which has as its aim the development of a Jamaican Cultural Center in South Florida.

            The event’s major sponsors are the Housing Foundation of America, the Jamaica Tourist Board, Deltana Enterprises and Caribbean Ocean Logistics.

            Special Guest of Honor for the Jubilee celebration is the Governor General of Jamaica, the Most Honorable Sir Patrick Allen. The ceremony masters are landmark Jamaican personalities: the Rev. Dr. Easton Lee and Marie Garth Sharpe.

            “The Journey” gala features the Diaspora Honors & Awards Ceremony, which will recognize a dozen Jamaican nationals from the Southeastern USA and the Consulate’s extended territory of the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands who have changed the lives of their communities. They will be recognized as Change-Maker Honorees. And 50+ distinguished members of the Jamaican diaspora will be recognized as Vanguards and Luminaries in a special Honoree Roll Call ceremony before the dinner. Diaspora refers to natives of one land living away from their homeland but still strongly connected to their culture, roots and country of birth.

            “This is a celebration of the members of our extended community and their role in community building and national development,” states Consul General Grant-Griffiths.

            Organization/Corporate honorees are the state chapter of the Jamaica Nurses Association, Food For the Poor and the Jamaica-based Gleaner Company, publisher of the nation’s prestigious Gleaner Newspaper.

            Jamaica is also distinguished internationally for its music. Featured entertainment for the evenings will be The Mighty Vikings Band, one of the Island’s most popular bands during the early 1960s, just as Jamaica was coming into its own as an independent nation.

            They historic band will present a special anthology of the history of the Jamaican music from ska to reggae. The Mighty Vikings will be joined by the world famous Alpha Boys Band of Jamaica.

            Jamaica was declared its own nation on August 6, 1962 after 292 years under the rule of Great Britain, which wrested the island from the Spanish settlers who had claimed it for Spain in 1510.

            The commemorative gala celebrations for Jamaican nationals in the United States, Canada, England and other countries with large Jamaican immigrants were timed so as not to coincide with the celebrations in Jamaica – where tens of thousands of immigrant Jamaicans are expected to return home to participate in the national commemorations anchored by the August 6 actual day of independence.

Tickets are $150 per person and are available by calling the Jamaica 50 hotline at 305-957-0433. After-party tickets are $75.





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