Lady Allen and I are pleased to welcome and host you at King’s House for this Reception in celebration of the 57th Anniversary of our Independence.
During this season, as we reflect on our past, we give thanks for our freedom and nationhood for which many made sacrifices that we can be here today.
The United Nations has declared 2019 as The Year of Indigenous Languages, and we are now in the fourth year of the International Decade for People of African Descent which was declared by the United Nations in 2014.
In recognition of this Decade, the Institute of Jamaica has mounted a very interesting and informative Exhibition for this Reception. You will see videos, many priceless artifacts and items that depict our African Heritage.
A life-size effigy and other items in the Exhibition pay tribute to our National Hero, the Right Honorable Marcus Garvey who made an indelible impression on the African countries.
Remember it was Garvey told us, “Be proud of your race today as our fathers were in days of yore. We have a beautiful history, and we shall create another in the future that will astonish the world…”
Many of us have seen that prophecy fulfilled in our life time in Jamaica:
- On the track
- In the recording studios and on stage
- In Academia
- In the Summer and Winter Olympics
- The global political platforms
And the many other areas where we have astonished the world.
I am very grateful for Minister Grange and the hard working staff in her Ministry, the Director of State Protocol and her staff in the Chancery, the Staff at King’s House, and other individuals involved in the execution of this event.
I trust that the spirit of patriotism and nationhood will be rekindled in your hearts tonight. To our visitors, you will get a sample and taste of the foods, music, and other cultural offerings that make us uniquely Jamaican.
As we continue along this journey of self-government, let us do so with hope, and go forward with faith, always remembering that we are “One Nation, One People.”
Ladies and Gentlemen, I invite you to be upstanding and with glass in hand, join me in a toast to our beloved nation – Jamaica – on reaching 57 years of Independence on August 6.
Again, welcome to all, enjoy yourselves, and have a wonderful evening.