Jamaica and Trinidad Independence Lunch in Sydney 2014

On August 6th, 2014 – Jamaicans had a lot to celebrate:
The 180th anniversary of the Abolition of Slavery
The 70th Anniversary of the New Constitution to end the Crown Colony
The 100th Anniversary of the Universal Negro Movement
And 52 years as an Independent Nation.

A few days later on August 31th, Trinidadians will follow suit, with a similar form of feting. They will be reveling in the fact that it’s been 52 years since the Union Jack (British flag) was lowered and the Trinidad and Tobago flag was raised for the first time.

Far away from the cacophony of music, dancing, costume parading and cook-ups in our respective homelands, the Jamaican and Trinidadian community in Sydney came together in the true sense of Caribbean commaderie to mark these occasions.

Hosted by Jamaican Hope Kidd for the 4th year running, 35 Jamaicans, Trinidadians and their families and friends came together to remember and celebrate our strength and progress as Caribbean people.

Jonkanoo Caribbean Joint in Surry Hills was the perfect spot for the occasion: the recently opened restaurant welcomed us with its warm Caribbean décor that unleashed a flood of memories of home.

The afternoon started with a complimentary and delightful Sorrel drink and was officially opened with Grace by Yvonne Chapman from Jamaica. The Honorary Jamaican Consul Marco Breakenridge, delivered a comedic commemorative piece on the history of Jamaica and Dr. Bill Milne-Home did the same for Trinidad.

As the patties, doubles, rice and peas, curry goat, jerk chicken and mackerel was served and then savoured, the afternoon languished Caribbean style.

Stories about our home countries and how we find ourselves living 16,500 km from our tropical birthplaces were curiously shared. Mutual friends discovered and Sydney survival tips exchanged.

One of the highlights of the afternoon was a lively and jovial trivia that tested our knowledge on what we thought we knew about “home”.

As the celebration drew to a mid-afternoon close, bellies were lusciously filled, new friends were made and a day of remembering was joyously lodged in our hearts.

Hopefully, we won’t have to wait another year for another glorious Caribbean gathering like this!

Happy Independence Day Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago

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