Jamaica, T&T Nationals Get Ready To Mark Homeland’s Independence

By Kaara Baptiste

Hardbeatnews, NEW YORK, N.Y., Fri. July 29, 2005: The countdown to independence celebrations for Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago has begun in the U.S., drawing excitement and big-name guests.

Jamaica’s Prime Minister P.J. Patterson will be the guest of honor at the 43rd Anniversary Ball, taking place on Saturday, August 13 at the New York Hilton & Towers Hotel in New York City where entertainment will be provided by Byron Lee and the Dragonaires.

PM Patterson’s presence is significant given New York City’s distinction as home to the largest concentration of Jamaicans overseas and highlights the ball’s theme this year: “The Black, Green & Gold (JAM) pays tribute to The Red, White & Blue (USA).”

To make reservations and for other information on Jamaica’s Independence ball, call the Jamaican Consulate at 212-935-9000.

Jamaicans in New Jersey are planning celebrations as well, with the Jamaican Organization of New Jersey (JON-J) organizing events to take place from July 27 to August 7 and will include Robert Bowser, Mayor of the City of East Orange, at a flag-raising ceremony and civic reception at the East Orange City Hall, a concert recital and a special Independence Prayer and a Thanksgiving Service, where the Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Professor Gordon Shirley and Consul General, Dr. Basil K. Bryan are also expected to attend.

In Atlanta, the celebration is set for Sunday, July 31 with an Independence Church Service led by the Archbishop of Montego Bay at the Church of the Holy Cross, 2005 S Columbia Place in Decatur, GA. On Wednesday, August 3 there will be a Cultural Evening with performances by Erica Newell (Melody Makers), Sugar Canes, Ty Scott and others, also at the church. A health fair will also be held there on Saturday, August 6.

On Saturday August 13, the Jamaica Independence Ball is set for the Atlanta Hilton, 25 5 Courtland Street in Downtown Atlanta. Tickets are $75 and the musical performer is Monty Montgomery, among others, while the keynote speaker is Dr. Carolyn Gomes, founder of Jamaicans For Justice.

For information on these and other Jamaican events in Georgia, contact United for Jamaica @ 404 533 1248 or by email at: info@unitedforjamaica.org.

Trinidad and Tobago Independence Celebrations, Inc. (TATIC) is similarly preparing to host the 43rd independence anniversary gala, taking place on Saturday, August 20 at the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge. Under the distinguished patronage of the Consul General of The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, and with Ambassador Philip Sealy Permanent Representative for Trinidad and Tobago to the United Nations as the honorary chairman, the celebration will include an awards ceremony for six honorees and part of the proceeds from the event will benefit The Margaret Kistow Children’s Home, a charity in Trinidad. It will be staged under the theme, “Celebration in Unity: Our Journey Continues.”

Honorees include Michael De La Bastide, President, Caribbean Court of Justice; Elizabeth Nunez, professor Medgar Evers College- CUNY; Aldwin Albino, musician and arranger; Daryl Brown, international runner; Roy Peake and Nigel Traverso.

For tickets and information about the TATIC celebration, George “Tony” Chan 718-859-8705; Desmond Chase 732-406-5231; Dirk Russell 917-685-6986; Donna Charles 718-495-6092; Frank Wharton 718-941-9091; Hazra Ali 917-501-4000 or Horace Morancie 718-495-4977. – Hardbeatnews.com