Liverpool Jamaica Links
A commitment to forge closer economic and social links with Jamaica, including the possibility of a twinning arrangement with Kingston, was among the outcomes of a visit to the city of Liverpool by High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Seth George Ramocan.
At a civic reception last Wednesday at Liverpool's Central Library, an invitation was also issued for Jamaica to participate in the city's International Business Fair in 2018.
The city officials also pledged to relaunch the Jamaica Merseyside Association, which is one of the earliest Jamaican organisations post-Independence.
High Commissioner Ramocan, in noting Liverpool's longstanding links to Jamaica, spoke about the contribution of the Jamaicans who settled in Liverpool, such as community activist, the late Herbie Higgins, and the founding members of the Jamaica Merseyside Association.
The High Commissioner noted that Higgins, among other Jamaicans, will be recognised for his positive impact on the British society during the Jamaica 55 celebrations in the UK.
He also spoke about the importance of the diaspora in Liverpool working together in encouraging the second, third and fourth generations to ensure that the legacies of the first generation are maintained.
He urged them to consider attending the Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference scheduled for Kingston July 23-26.
The civic reception was held in the presence of the Lord Mayor, Councillor Malcolm Kennedy, who acknowledged the contribution of Jamaicans and other groups to Liverpool.
Among others in attendance were Assistant Mayor and Mayoral Lead for Business and Trade and chair of the Liverpool Commonwealth Association, Councillor Gary Millar; Mayoral Lead for Equalities, Councillor Anna Rothery, who is of Jamaican heritage; Vice-Chair of the Commonwealth Association, Chief Angus Chukuemeka; and Pamela Grey of the Jamaica Merseyside Association.
In addition to attending the civic reception, High Commissioner Ramocan toured the International Slavery Museum and was the special guest at the official opening of the International Art of Reggae Exhibition.
The exhibition is part of the award-winning Positive Vibration reggae festival, which is a Jamaica 55 endorsed event.
Speaking at the official opening, High Commissioner commended the organisers for promoting the positive message of reggae music through the display.
He said reggae music is an important part of the Jamaican experience and is significant in making the island a cultural superpower.
He also noted that reggae music's message of promoting human rights and justice has, over the years, had a profound impact on many lives and the liberation struggles across the globe.
The posters on exhibition will be sold and the proceeds will go to the development of the Alpha Institute (formerly Alpha Boys' School) in Jamaica.
This was High commissioner Ramocan's first official visit to Liverpool. It was facilitated by Jamaican-born Solicitor, Garth Dallas, who is also an executive member of the Liverpool Commonwealth Association.