High Commission,



On behalf of the Members of Staff at the Jamaican High Commission, and my own family, I extend warmest greetings and best wishes to fellow Jamaicans in Canada, as you join in the many celebrations in commemoration of Emancipation and the 54thAnniversary of Jamaican Independence.

One hundred and seventy eight (178) years ago, our forefathers, with great pride and jubilation, welcomed new beginnings and new-found freedom, when the Emancipation Act was enacted on 1st August 1838.  I rejoice I am a slave no more, and you are slave no more, Jamaica is slave no more. Amen!"…. are words that echoed in 1838 across the length and breadth of Jamaica.  They  are still relevant today. These words are also timely reminders as they symbolise the arduous journey from slavery to Emancipation as well as the journey to sovereignty and nationhood when our Independence was attained on 6th August 1962.

These have been significant moments in our history which have provided the hope, and created the pillars, upon which modern-day Jamaica has been established.

Independence 54 also provides for reflection on the achievements made and the difficulties encountered as a nation. As Jamaicans, however, it is imperative that we continue to reach deep inside ourselves, building on our keen love of country and all that is positive and uplifting about Jamaica, so that we can move our country forward.  All Jamaicans, whether at home or in the Diaspora, have a role to play in this connection as this assists in the furtherance of national developmental goals.

We should also take pride in our strong democratic tradition as well as our creativity and fortitude as a people.   We should also re-commit to the continued development of Jamaica as, in so doing, we pay tribute to the sacrifice, dedication and fervour of the fathers and mothers of our nation who worked tirelessly for self –governance.  They also imbued in us the spirit of Independence and resilience which has propelled so many Jamaicans to make sterling contributions across the world.  Indeed, we will have further occasion this year to celebrate Jamaica as we wish our athletes the very best as they represent the black, green and gold in the Rio Olympics.

This year we celebrate under the theme “Let’s Get Together and Feel Alright”. These words,  from the song of the century penned by Robert Nesta Marley OM, One Love, are  a call for all of us to remember that, in spite of differences, we are one global community.  In the face of so many recent tragic events across the world, it is also a reminder that we can celebrate diversity and differences in a spirit of dialogue and understanding.    It is also a reminder that continued unity and togetherness will build Jamaica.  


In closing, I thank all Jamaicans in Canada for your sustained support of Jamaica and the work of the High Commission.  Continue to proudly represent the black, green and gold of Jamaica in Canada.


Happy Emancipation and Independence 54 to all!

2016 Emancipation and Independence Day Message from the Jamaican High Commissioner Her Excellency Janice Miller