Diplomatic and government officials and members of the Trinidad diaspora came together to celebrate the twin nation’s diamond jubilee (60th year of independence) and 46th year as a republic last night (September 28).
Although postponed from Republic Day (September 24) due to rains associated with what would become Hurricane Ivan, attendees spent an evening enjoying Trinidadian cuisine and music, among one another in national celebration in Jamaica for the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Proud to see a crowd, Deryck Lance Murray, high commissioner of Trinidad and Tobago in Jamaica, said in his speech: “I take this opportunity to thank the government of Jamaica for the manner they sustained the Trinidadian people, the diplomatic community, and the general population during the unprecedented time over the last two and a half years.”
“As we emerge from the pandemic, we cannot simply revert to business as usual,” said Murray, after thanking all first responders and health officials who played a role in combatting the pandemic and spoke on the importance of building on the legacies of the two nations.
He concluded by speaking on Trinidad’s goal to achieve ‘developed country’ status by 2030 and called for all members at home and of the diaspora to engage with the commission to determine how their experience and expertise can be utilised to advance the nation.
“Our ambitions firmly rooted in the watch words given to us by our first prime minister, Eric Williams discipline, production and tolerance and the motto of the nation, Together We Aspire, Together We Achieve.
Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade in Jamaica, in her speech, echoed Murray’s sentiments about the history of trade and mutual benefit between Trinidad and Jamaica and the commonalities both countries have in success.
“We were deeply honoured to have been invited as a special guest for Trinidad 60,” said Johnson Smith, who was part of the Jamaican delegation that visited Trinidad for their 60th year of independence alongside Prime Minister Andrew Holness.
“Trinidad has many things to be proud of, especially in terms of nation building,” said Johnson Smith, who named Eric Williams, Stokely Carmichael, and Edwin Carrington as a sample of Trinidadian people who have made a profound influence on the region.
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