Many Jamaicans across the globe engaged themselves in some aspects of the Jamaican cultural experiences last weekend. The patriots mounted flags in homes, wore costumes and jewelry in the colors of the Jamaican flag, they also participated in award ceremonies, attend church services and other cultural extravaganza.
There were also those who simply just tried to have a relaxing moment and reminisced while listening to some old reggae music or the old folklores Jamaicans love to talk about, but they all had one thing in common celebrating Jamaica’s independence.
The nation observed its 55th year of political independence from Britain, Aug. 6, 1962. Millions were celebrating and among them were residents living in the City of Miramar, in Broward County, South Florida. Miramar has a dense population of Jamaicans who now call this city home.
On the evening of Thursday, Aug. 3 at the Miramar Cultural Center, the Mayor of Miramar, Wayne M. Messam was one among the hundreds of local residents, most of whom were Jamaicans and they merged to honor Jamaica on its 55th year of independence. Messam, the city’s first Black mayor whose parents are Jamaicans has been representing Miramar since 2015.
According to Messam, Jamaica’s Independence Day was an opportune time for him to combine with the Emancipation Day celebration. The mayor noted also that several Jamaicans and others living in Miramar have been at the forefront for positive development through economic initiatives and the celebration would also be to acknowledge their work.
The event began with an awards ceremony at the Cultural Center to honor local Jamaicans and other community officials who were making a positive impact on the lives of people in the City of Miramar. “As we celebrate Jamaica’s 55th, I have to recognize the Jamaican Diaspora and people in general who have never held back in serving others,” said Messam. The evening’s event highlighted numerous cultural performances, the award ceremony honoring some residents of Miramar and the participation of food vendors with tasty Jamaica delights that were on display.
The continuation of the 55th Jamaican independence peaked on Saturday, Aug. 5 at Perry Park / Wellman Field in Miramar as the crowd gathered and covered the field to be a part of the festive occasion. Dr. Sue hosted the live entertainment which had performances from the Sons of Mystro, Visions Band and singer, Tinga Stewart. The free concert added flavor much coming from the tasty island foods and the novelty of vendors.
The two-day event, Messam remarked, was also to help forge relationships for economic development for the City of Miramar and the City of Kingston, Jamaica. The mayor noted that he has already held discussions with the Mayor of Kingston, Delroy Williams and both mayors will work on areas that are mutually beneficial to their two cities.
Messam said emergency operations, disaster preparedness; import and export opportunities and economic development for Jamaicans living in Miramar who would like to invest in Jamaica were some topics that have already been addressed.