Governor General, His Excellency, the Most Hon. Professor Sir Kenneth Hall has said that he was encouraged and full of enthusiasm after meeting with Jamaicans in the United Kingdom (UK) during his recent visit.
Speaking at a special reception in his honour, put on by the Derby West Indian Association, Sir Kenneth said Jamaicans in the UK have been loyal and dedicated to their homeland.
“For many of us in Jamaica, it is you who have lived in this country that have made it possible for us to have an education. You therefore have not only created a place (for yourselves) in this country, but more than anything else, you have continued to make Jamaica a livable place,” he said.
Sir Kenneth commended Jamaicans in the UK for doing much to contribute to the development of both the British and Jamaican societies.
The reception was one of several events on the itinerary of the Governor-General’s visit to Derby, during which he met with the Mayor, Councillor Barbara Jackson, who also spoke of the positive contribution of Jamaicans to Derby.
Sir Kenneth, who was accompanied by Lady Hall, also visited GGS Engineering Company, which was founded by Jamaicans, Willitz Gabbidon and Wilton Guy in 1988.
He praised the men for their foresight in setting up the engineering firm and encouraged them to explore business links with Jamaica.
The Governor-General spent part of his tour speaking to representatives from the African and Caribbean Churches Forum, where John Augustine, introduced him to leaders of Derby’s black churches and told him about the role the churches played in providing social, educational and spiritual services for young Afro-Caribbean people.
Sir Kenneth also visited the Hadhari Nari Women’s Project that provides support and a confidential service through an advice centre, refuge accommodation, outreach work and training for women and children experiencing domestic violence, whilst addressing the needs of Black, Asian and other ethnic minority women.
He said that he kept a close eye on the work of organizations in the UK, so he could learn from them.
“The work you are all doing here reflects some of the work done in Jamaica. Everything you have told me is of relevance and my visit to see you is successful because we can learn from what you are trying to achieve. Part of my reason for visiting Derby is to try to establish links with Afro-Caribbean organizations, such as yours and you should be proud of everything you are doing,” he said.