Sat | Feb 23, 2019

Festive farewell - Jamaica says goodbye to Dominican Ambassador - Jose Tomas Ares German

Published:Sunday | January 20, 2019 | 12:00 AM
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Kamina Johnson Smith (left) captures some one-on-one lens time with the outgoing Dominican Republic Ambassador to Jamaica, Jose Tomas Ares German.
Dominican Republic Farewell
Johnson Smith presents a token of appreciation to the Ambassador German.
Minister of Justice Delroy Chuck is sandwiched by Honorary Consul-General of Thailand in Jamaica, Thalia Lyn (left) and Ambassador Elinor Felix.
Maritza Warwar (left) joins Nigerian Ambassador to Jamaica Janet Olisa and her husband, Dada (right) in a festive photo.
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"Parting is such sweet sorrow." The sentiment often expressed by the dean of the Diplomatic Corps, JosÈ Tomas Ares German, returned 10-fold in his favour when he recently hosted a festive reception in the Legacy Suite at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel.

Fellow delegates, government officials, supporters, and well-wishers turned out in numbers to warmly greet Dominican Ambassador German at the entrance. Many held him in a tight or long embrace, expressing sadness of the news that hadn't been formally announced to the public. Soothing music from a live band, and wines along with cocktails, floating through the room made bold attempts to lift the spirits of those in attendance. They mingled among the familiar, got acquainted with new faces, all while awaiting the formal proceedings of the evening.

In his address to his specially invited guests, Ambassador German expressed sincere gratitude to all in attendance for their unwavering support over the years. He stated that as 2018 came to a close, he wanted to thank the Government of Jamaica for always making the diplomatic body feel right at home in the island. He also used this occasion to regretfully announce his untimely departure as the ambassador of the Dominican Republic to Jamaica. Gasps, sighs, and unhappy outbursts filled the attentive room as many could not hold back in expressing sadness and disgruntlement over the breaking news.

Loved by so many, the ambassador spent nine years in Jamaica as an ambassador, five of which he also served as dean of the diplomatic corps. These roles, he said, brought much joy to his heart. As ambassador, he, along with his team, was instrumental in strengthening the relations between Jamaica and the Dominican Republic. And so he thanked his team for collaborating on the shared mission.

He was also very grateful to his companions, ambassadors, commissioners and charge d'affaires for the trust and support they extended to him as the dean. He said thank you to both Dominican and Jamaican companies for support and collaborative efforts. And he also thanked the Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness and minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade, Kamina Johnson Smith, for integrating two great nations and unconditional support as well as managing the affairs of the ministry, respectively. He notes that he is still of the view that Spanish should be the official second language of Jamaica.

With his replacement is still unknown to the public, Argentinian Ambassador, to Jamaica, Ariel Fernandez, will take over as dean of the diplomatic corps. Fernandez shared that there is no goodbye, but instead hasta luego. "We will meet again because of the great friendship fostered," the new dean added.

German will surely reminisce on the warm weather, the tantalising taste of the authentic dishes and the rich and vibrant local culture, while he is on his reassignment to Colombia. But more than that, he will miss the warmth and sheer generosity expressed by the Jamaican people. Johnson-Smith have a brief address to the crowd and ended by offering a token of appreciation to the humbled outgoing ambassador.

From there, it was on to dinner and dancing, as German made his last rounds of farewell to everyone present.

krysta.anderson@gleanerjm.com