September 9, 2021
DOZENS of Jamaicans and friends gathered last Saturday in Paterson, New Jersey, Unites States to witness the renaming of one of the major streets in that city to recognise the outstanding contribution that Jamaicans have made to the city.
Vreeland Avenue, between 17th and 19th Avenues, was renamed Jamaica Way, and was unveiled by the city’s mayor, André Sayegh. “The naming of a portion of Vreeland Avenue, Jamaica Way, is a proud moment for our multicultural municipality,” the mayor said.
He pointed out that the area has a significant population of Jamaicans and is home to numerous Jamaican businesses.
“I am honoured to support the street naming and would like the world to know that ‘one love’ is what we strive for in ‘one Paterson’, which is a better place because of Jamaicans who call our city home,” Mayor Sayegh said.
“Today we are finally going to pay tribute to a country that has contributed so much to the city of Paterson. There is no better way than Jamaica Way,” the mayor added.
In her message to mark the occasion, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports Olivia Grange said the Government had taken “note of all that you continue to do to ensure that Jamaica stands at the centre of commerce, culture and social engagement in the city of Paterson, New Jersey”.
“The renaming of this street is a testament to the span of influence spawned by members of the Jamaican Diaspora in the United States. We on the rock continue to be proud of Jamaicans all over the world who, through activism and civic and political engagement, have influenced and inspired development wherever they are to be found,” the minister said.
“When we add to that the accomplishments of our people at home and abroad, we have every reason to celebrate our Jamaican-ness,” she noted.
The minister used the opportunity to invite Jamaicans in New Jersey to embrace and participate in the country’s Diamond Jubilee —60th Independence — next year. “We will announce the full programme very soon”.
Meanwhile, Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States Audrey Marks congratulated the Jamaican Organisation of New Jersey, Greater Passaic Chapter and the Paterson City Council for the timely honour.
“On behalf of the Government and the people of Jamaica I thank the Paterson City Council for this recognition and applaud the Paterson Chapter of the Jamaican Organisation of New Jersey for lobbying the City Council in conferring this signal honour of renaming one of the city’s local streets, ‘Jamaica Way’,” she said.
“The achievement of such an important gesture by the people of the city of Paterson is a prime indicator of the high esteem in which Jamaicans are held in your community. There is no doubt that we are a people of strength, capability and influence. This is a testament of your perseverance and good standing in the Paterson community. You should be justly proud,” Ambassador Marks added.
Meanwhile, Jamaica’s Consul General to New York Alsion Roach-Wilson commended the Jamaica association for lobbying the city council, thus enabling the renaming of the street.
“This is a fitting tribute to all Jamaicans residing in this city and today is a proud moment,” she said.
In the meantime, president of the Paterson Chapter of the Jamaican Organisation of New Jersey Owen Eccles commended Jamaican residents and the Paterson City Council for the recognition, noting that the naming of the street in honour of Jamaica should be viewed with a sense of pride by Jamaicans in New Jersey and the world over.
Original article can be found here.