Jamaica 55 Emancipendence Celebration!

By Helen Penland

What’s in a name? In this case, everything! Explanation is to come…

Mayor Wayne Messam hosted an exciting celebration to honor the milestone 55th anniversary of Jamaica’s independence! The event was held at the Miramar Cultural Center on July 27th and the Mayor is proud to say it was attendance was wonderful. The facility was full to capacity! This marked the third year the festival was held as one of the Mayor’s initiatives.

Now – the event name? Jamaica achieved Emancipation on August 3rd and gained its Independence on August 6th from England in the year of 1962. Combine the two names and we get Emancipendence! It is also the title of a poem written by Dr. Susan Davis, who assisted in organizing this event. Her poem was performed by Maxine “Queen” Osborne.

Judge Norman Hemming served as Master of Ceremonies and paired with the many entertainment participants, the night became a true tribute to all things Jamaican! The gala celebrated the multitude of contributions to the city of Miramar and elsewhere by the Jamaican community members, from cultural to educational. Musicians included Randy Corinthian from RC Music Group and Sons of Mystro, who according to their Facebook page, are “young violinists set to take the WORLD by storm.” Vocalist Steve Higgins performed, accompanied by his 2-year-old son.

During the evening, awards were given for three categories – Humanitarian, Education, and Business. They were:

: Robin Mahfood, CEO of Food for the Poor

: Dr. Malou Harrison, President of Miami-Dade College, North Campus

: The Clayborne family: Franchisees of Golden Krust restaurants

A highlight of the evening was the attendance by Jamaica Consul General Franz Hall. He accepted and acknowledged a proclamation that recognizes August 3rd as “Jamaica Emancipendence Day in Miramar.”

Supporters of the event included several sponsors: Executive Sponsor Trinity Health Care Services, LLC, the Jamaica Tourist Board, Western Union, Victoria Mutual Building Society, Jamaica National Bank, and Grace Foods.