Fri | Mar 27, 2015

Diplomatic honour

Published:Friday | February 8, 2013
Norwegian Ambassador John Petter Opdahl (left) presents Grantley Stephenson with the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit for services he has rendered as honorary consul to Norway. He has been serving for 15 years. The honour is the highest that a non-national of Norway can receive. - photos by Colin Hamilton/Freelance Photographer
Valerie Campbell (left) and Karen Gilbert from Kingston Wharves were out to support the Consular Corps cocktails.
Michele Rollins (left) and friend Ambassador Brenda La Grange Johnson are captured upon arrival.
Popping in to join the festivities briefly were Hank Dittar, an architect who has many royal assignments, and Sallie McKinney of the Prince of Wales Foundation. They were in the island for meetings.
Premlata Singh (left), wife of the Indian High Commissioner, and Akiko Tomita, daughter of Koji and Mitsuko of the Japanese Embassy.
Businesswoman Rosa Joseph and ambassador for the Dominican Republic, José Ares.

LAST Tuesday, the Consular Corps of Jamaica hosted a cocktail reception in honour of members of the Diplomatic Corps. Consul General to Norway and Dean of the Corps Grantley Stephenson, and his wife Judith, headed the receiving line welcoming guests from the business and social communities to the function held at New Kingston's Jamaica Pegasus hotel.

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit to Stephenson by that country's Ambassador Petter Opdahl, who flew in from his base in Havana, Cuba, for the festivities. Stephenson told Today that he was very pleased to receive an order which is the highest that can be presented to a non-Norwegian national and the third highest in Norway.

The soothing notes of Keith Lyn filled the air as guests mingled, glasses tinkled, and light-hearted chatter filled the room. The scrumptious buffet stations were a feast for the eyes and all agreed the roast beef with crispy potatoes and wild mushroom sauce and roast suckling pig were a hit!

Seven new consuls general have been added to the roster, bringing the number to 44, and they were reminded of their primary role to promote trade and see to the welfare of the citizens of the countries they represent.

Worthy of note is the fact that the annual trade show is on again later this year, and Stephenson boasted that, having been conceptualised here in Jamaica, it is now being replicated by other countries throughout the world.