Bastille Day celebrated in Jamaica

July 17, 2017
Ian Allen/Staff Photographer Anna Stracha
Marcia Rowe Senator Kamina Johnson-Smith (left) and Ambassador of France, Jean-Michel Despax
Marcia Rowe The Blue Glades Band
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At a reception that showcased a blend of genres of Jamaican music, French cuisine and decor, along with a few speeches and other customary brief formalities, the foundation for the values of the Republic of France were remembered and celebrated, on Friday.

The day marked the 228th Anniversary of the storming of the Bastille Prison, 14th of July, 1789. This battle led to the forming of the Republic of France and its Motto: liberty, equality, fraternity.

The red carpet affair commenced with Ambassador of France, Jean-Michel Despax and wife Line Despax receiving guests of different nationalities. Jamaican Colonel John Macfarlane and Anna Strachan followed with the singing of the anthems of Jamaica and France. Strachan was particularly impressive as she not only hit the high notes of La Marseillaise, composed by Claude-Joseph Rouget de Lisle, but also did justice to the language in the pronunciation of the words.

 

Trading relationship

 

So it was too for Jamaica's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kamina Johnson Smith who impressed everyone with her command and fluency in the French language at the start of her brief address. In English, however, she highlighted a few of the success in the trading relationship between France and Jamaica.

She continued, "Next month as Jamaica commemorates its 55th Anniversary of Independence, so will Jamaica and France be celebrating 55 years of diplomatic relations. In recognising this important mile stone I wish to reiterate the Government's desire to continue this strong public, private, partnership between France and Jamaica and our corporation with the French Government in the areas of trade and investment tourism and infrastructure development, language training and capacity building."

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