An Oriental celebration
Cathy Risden, Gleaner Writer
IT WAS an oriental celebration of epic proportions on Sunday, October 26. The Jamaica-China Friendship Association (JCFA) hosted its annual banquet celebration of the China's National Day, while commemorating the historic 160th anniversary of the arrival of the first Chinese nationals to Jamaica and the 65th anniversary of the People's Republic of China.
In the beautifully decorated Talk of the Town ballroom - the head table was occupied by the ambassador of the People's Republic of China to Jamaica, Dong Xiaojun; his wife, Xia Zhishun; guest speaker, former Prime Minister P.J. Patterson; and president of the JCFA, Fay Pickersgill.
Pickersgill, in her welcome address, said that she appreciates the relationship between China and Jamaica. "This relationship has greatly facilitated our association in its efforts to promote understanding between the peoples of both countries, thereby furthering the bonds of friendship and understanding - the prerequisites for doing business," she said. "We continue to work in partnership with the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, an organisation engaged in people-to-people diplomacy," she concluded.
During dinner, there was something for everyone on the special dinner
menu. From appetiser - oriental soup, to entrées - chicken with black
mushrooms, sweet and sour fish fillet, shrimp with cashew nuts, pork
with muk nee, chicken with black bean sauce, vegetarian Singapore
noodles, mixed vegetables with broccoli and mushrooms vegetable fried
Lychee and ice cream were just the icing on the cake and
the scrumptious meal was concluded with musical selections by Jon
Williams and Alex Martin Blanken.
Patterson, who declared himself to be the only surviving member of
Michael Manley's Cabinet, then took the stage. He congratulated the JCFA
for its tremendous work of helping to deepen the friendship between
Jamaica and China. "We expect the work of the Jamaica-China Friendship
Association to continue to promote understanding, peace and harmony for
both our peoples."
Entertaining the crowd, which
echoed bouts of laughter, Patterson noted that the relationship between
Jamaica and China goes way back, and they have always maintained a good
relationship - a unique one that other cultures in the world should
adopt. "The world can learn from us. In the relationship between China
and Jamaica, we have been a vibrant and living example of how sovereign
states, large and small, can accord each other mutual respect and
friendship as equal partners in our global village," he said. We are
indeed 'Out of many one people', Patterson
Photos by Winston Sill/Freelance Photographer