The month of October is very significant for the High Commission as it marks the commemoration of Black History month here in the United Kingdom, as well as Heritage month in Jamaica. During the period, the opportunity is used to highlight and celebrate the rich history and cultural heritage of the Afro-Caribbean communities in the UK, as well as the valuable contributions of our forefathers including Jamaica’s six national heroes and one heroine, Nanny of the Maroons.
Black History Month 2018 fittingly coincides with the celebration of various important milestones this, year including the 70th anniversary of the docking of the SS Empire Windrush, the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the National Health Service and the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Nurses Association of Jamaica, UK, all of which are important links between Caribbean nationals and their contribution to the development of British society.
Black History month has also taken on added significance this year, given the regrettable Windrush debacle which has served to highlight the injustices suffered by some of our nationals, many of them unsung heroes, who have played significant roles in the development of today’s multi-cultural Britain. The Government of Jamaica is pleased that some progress has been made in ‘righting the wrongs” faced by the Windrush generation and will continue to collaborate with its CARICOM family and UK officials, at the highest level, to ensure a satisfactory resolution to this regrettable situation.
Jamaica’s first national hero the Rt. Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey stated that “a people without a knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots”. As such, it is very important that we celebrate the achievements of the many brave men and women who struggled for freedom, independence, equality, human rights and justice and from whose example we have been able to learn and progress.
An important mission of the High Commission here in London therefore is to promote understanding of Jamaica’s rich cultural heritage, as well as the significant contributions of the UK Jamaican community and its positive impact on British society. In this regard, the High Commission has initiated a project to honour the achievements of five hundred (500) Jamaicans who have contributed to the development of the United Kingdom. This will form the basis of a Legacy Publication to be officially launched later this year.
This is important as we seek to educate and inspire current and future generations. You are invited to be a part of this important process. Please visit the website of the Jamaican High Commission – www.jhcuk.org for procedures and forms.
Finally, as we commemorate Black History month 2018, I commend all the Jamaicans and friends of Jamaica who have supported the work of the High Commission over the years. Your goodwill has been invaluable as we continue to promote our beautiful island home. I am sure that like me, you are proud to be involved with a progressive country, blessed with natural beauty, warm and vibrant people, including a rich legacy of trailblazers and well-respected Jamaicans who have made an impact across the world in various fields.
I encourage you to continue to support the High Commission as we strive to improve our services, to maintain contact with our well-appreciated Diaspora and as we continue in our efforts to build a better Jamaica, Land We Love.