The Jamaican contribution to the UK is immeasurable – Charles

The Prince of Wales said the contribution Jamaicans made to the United Kingdom was “immeasurable” as he marked the country’s Diamond Jubilee.

Harles said the Jamaican diaspora “remains an active, beloved and respected part of our society” and noted that the strong relationship between the UK and Jamaica “has been forged over the centuries and continues to be strengthened by countless bonds between our people”.

The words of the heir to the throne were read by His Grace Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Bishop of Dover, at a prayer of praise and thanksgiving in Birmingham dedicated to Jamaica’s Independence Day.

In his message, Charles said: “The contribution of the Jamaicans to the life of this country is immeasurable.

“The UK is deeply indebted to the many Jamaicans who proudly served in the British Armed Forces in the First and Second World Wars, and to those who sailed the HMT Empire Windrush from Jamaica to the United Kingdom in 1948. to help us rebuild our country from the ravages of war.

“The 800 Jamaicans who arrived in Windrush became the symbol of a whole generation.

“Their courage, ingenuity and determination, as well as the courage of their children and grandchildren, continue to shape and enrich our communities and our society.

“To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the Windrush pioneers and those who arrived on subsequent ships, I commissioned portraits of some of them from across the Caribbean to start a new life here.

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The Prince of Wales meets members of the Jamaican team while attending the Commonwealth Games (Phil Noble/PA)

“I hope to use this project to honor and celebrate this special generation, and to ensure that all they have done for this country is always understood and appreciated.

“Today, the Jamaican diaspora remains a vibrant, beloved and respected part of our society.

“His influence is felt in every area of ​​our social life, in every aspect of our culture and in every sector of our economy. As a result, we are a stronger and more dynamic society.”

Charles said he recently met with Jamaican athletes, and it reminded him of his visits to Jamaica over the years, including in 1966, when he attended the Commonwealth Games with his father and sister.

“I remember this visit with great love, and I know that my father liked it,” he said.

Barbados took the historic step of replacing the Queen as head of state last November and elected its first president in a ceremony Charles witnessed.

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The Duke of Cambridge with Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness (Pennsylvania)

During the March visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to the Caribbean, Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness invited the royal couple to follow suit.

Next year marks the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the HMT Empire Windrush at Tilbury Docks in 1948, bringing people from the Caribbean at the invitation of the British government to help rebuild Britain after World War II.

From the late 1940s to 1971, thousands of men, women and children left the Caribbean for the UK.

But during the Windrush scandal, members of the Windrush generation and their children were wrongly detained and even deported, while others were denied access to official documents, health care, jobs, housing benefits and pensions despite being legal residents of the UK. .

A report on the scandal released in 2020 said it was “anticipated and prevented” and victims were frustrated by “systemic operational failures” at the Home Office.

The department has displayed “institutional ignorance and frivolity” in matters of race and history for the Windrush generation, the review said.