“We are all Jamaican now!” was the proud boast of this year’s Jamaican independence celebrations held today in Huddersfield.
On August 6, 1962 Jamaica became an independent nation after detaching itself from the UK.
But it was not until 1987 that Huddersfield marked its first official Jamaica Independence Day by holding a church service at Newsome Church of God of Prophecy with a certain Pastor Shaw.
The first time Jamaica National Council Huddersfield, who organised today’s packed programme of events, held their Jamaican Independence Festival was in the following year.
Today there was a church service at New Testament Church of God where honoured guests included the Mayor of Kirklees Clr Jim Dodds and the Chief Representative Officer of Jamaica National Building Society UK, Leon Hamilton.
Afterwards more than 3,000 people gathered at the Pavillion Park in Fartown and were greeted with a welcome from Chairman Denzil Simpson.
Among those acts taking the stage was Suga Brown the Dance Troupe.
One of the organisers, Joan Flowers, 53, a former Fartown High School pupil, said: “It’s been a wonderful day and everyone has very much enjoyed it.
“The church service was outstanding and I think everyone has gone away from today with the firm message that it is important to have strong self-worth and roots.
“We have to praise the first generation who made it possible for us to have the opportunities we enjoy today.”