Jamaica, Trinidad lauded for adding to London's cosmopolitan status
Mayor of London Boris Johnson has credited Bob Marley's song Three Little Birds for helping him to cope with the pressures surrounding the staging of the London Olympics.
The mayor was speaking at a reception he hosted on Monday at City Hall to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of both Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.
In the weeks leading up to the Olympics, the city faced a number of challenges including a threatened bus strike, protest by taxi drivers, closure of a major road link, as well as issues with the security firm.
Mayor Johnson said the popular song by the late Jamaican reggae icon, especially the chorus: "don't worry about a thing, cause every little thing is gonna be all right", helped him when dealing with these issues.
He further praised the contributions that people from Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago have made to London and to the world. He said that it was this fusion of cultures that has made London a great city.
"I am not going to stand here and list all the contributions that have been made, from helping in transport, in intellectual life, in our schools everywhere across our city, but I will just remind you that as long as I am Mayor of London, we will continue to celebrate that contribution," he pledged.
Jamaica's high commissioner to the United Kingdom, Aloun Assamba, thanked Mayor Johnson for honouring Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.
"It's wonderful to see the two countries here mingling together this evening and sir, I want to thank you for the opportunity of allowing us to be able to do this. This is what our CARICOM spirit is all about and it is good to see Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica leading the way in this manner," said Assamba.
Trinidad and Tobago's High Commissioner Garvin Nicholas spoke of his country's close ties with Britain and he noted that the West Indian community has contributed to London's rich cultural tapestry.
"London's bid for the Olympics was no doubt strengthened by its reputation as a cosmopolitan city and, as such, we must acknowledge the contribution that has been made by the West Indian community," Nicholas said.
The City Hall reception was held to celebrate 50 years of independence for Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago. The event was attended by business leaders, community representatives and faith leaders from both communities.
Jamaica became the first English-speaking Caribbean country to gain independence from Britain on August 6, 1962, closely followed by Trinidad and Tobago almost three weeks later on August 31.
Members of the Royal Family visited both countries earlier this year as part of Her Majesty the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebration.