Jamaican Parliament marks British Royal Jubilee

Jamaica’s Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller made it very clear to the nation and the world that her country’s relationship with the British crown will remain secure.

“I wish to publicly state that notwithstanding the expressed desire to complete the independence of Jamaica and to reinforce our identity as an independent people, Jamaica holds and will always hold the British monarchy in high esteem,” Simpson Miller said.

“There is no doubt that Her Majesty has been a gracious and engaging lady and a model of dedication to duty,” Prime Minister Simpson Miller said.

While paying tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, the first female leader of the nation lauded the British way of life saying she “has found within that institution many areas for emulation as we pursue a path for sustainable development for all our citizens,” Simpson Miller said.

The nation’s parliament commemorated the diamond jubilee (60th anniversary) of the reign of the English monarchy last week by convening two sessions in Jamaica’s House of Representatives.

Tributes were paid to the queen and her country by the prime minister and Opposition Leader Andrew Holness as well as selected members of parliament.

Four beacons were lit across the island in celebration of the milestone acheivement.

The locations were St William Grant Park in Kingston; Montego Bay Civic Centre; Seville Heritage Park, St Ann; and the Port Antonio town centre, Portland.

The beacons, designed by the Jamaica Defense Force (JDF) and built by students from the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) were lit simultaneously and remained lit for 24 hours.

In a statement on the beacon lighting Simpson Miller said that Jamaica would always hold the British monarchy in high esteem.

“I also wish to reiterate that we will continue to value our membership in the Commonwealth which provides an important platform for deepening and strengthening cooperation between Jamaica and the United Kingdom, and among the other commonwealth members, both developed and developing,” she added.

Similar ceremonies were held elsewhere on June 6, with the celebrant Queen Elizabeth II lighting the National Beacon in London.

Reportedly, as many as 2012 beacons will be lit this year to mark the 60-year reign anniversary.

On the island, an exhibition will showcase royal visits to Jamaica.

Reportedly it will include significant reminders of Jamaica-Britain relations and the recipients of awards presented by the sixty-year ruling monarch.

Allegedly, the queen’s representative — Governor General Sir Patrick Allen — will present commemorative jubilee medals to members of the armed forces, emergency services and prison service personnel on the island.

In addition to the many tributes paid to the queen, the unveiling of a plaque commemorating the occasion also marked the historic British event.

Sports Tourism Talk Kick-Off Carib Week In NY

Jamaican author Carole Beckford was the special guest at the kickoff event for travel agents attending Caribbean Week in New York festivities at The Yale Club recently.

Beckford, publicist for Usain Bolt gave an enlightening presentation to the audience and engaged listeners with the topic “Tapping Into the Lucrative Niche of Sports Tourism.”

Among the officials to participate in the event were: Hugh Riley, Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO); Richard Sealy, Minister of Tourism, Barbados; Carole Beckford, President, Business of Sport, Jamaica; Richard Skerritt, CTO Chairman & Minister of Tourism and International Transport, St. Kitts & Nevis and John Lynch, Director of Tourism, Jamaica Tourist Board.

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