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Vin Martin hailed as patriotic giant

Published:Saturday | July 26, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Mayor of Montego Bay Glendon Harris has hailed the late Vin Martin, former Honorary Consul to Atlanta, as a "gentle giant," whose life "epitomised the truest sense of patriotism".

Martin, who was chairman of the Atlanta-Montego Bay Sister Cities Committee, an organisation that has for more than 20 years led a medical team to serve the citizens of Montego Bay and adjoining areas, died on July 23 in Atlanta, Georgia.

"The parish of St James mourns with the family of the late Vin Martin. He shared a special tie with Montego Bay, through the Sister Cities relationship that was established with Atlanta in 1972," Harris said.

He informed that Martin, as chairman of the Atlanta chapter of the Atlanta-Montego Bay Sister Cities Committee, was integral in the conceptualisation of the annual volunteer health mission to Montego Bay.

"The Atlanta Health Mission, which will have its 21st staging in October, has served more than 44,000 patients in St James as well as neighbouring parishes, and has dispensed approximately $80 million in medical supplies and services. Martin gave selflessly to the advancement of initiatives that sought to strengthen economical, educational, cultural, and health care ties between the cities of Atlanta and Montego Bay, through the Jamaican diaspora," the mayor said.

Martin served as honorary consul from 1997 to 2013 and was awarded by the Atlanta Consular Corps last year for his stellar work as a diplomat.

In 2013, Martin received the Order of Distinction from the Jamaican Government, for his invaluable contribution to the diaspora.

Martin was born in Jamaica and in 1965 migrated to the United States to attend college. He had a distinguished career in law, with emphasis on immigration, real estate, business transactions, and family law.