City of Hamilton twins with Jamaican town
Hamilton Mayor Graeme Outerbridge yesterday formally signed an agreement twinning the City of Hamilton with the town of Black River in Jamaica.
He said the signing was an important moment as two communities have a historical bond, particularly in the form of James (Dick) Richards, a Black River man who rose from poverty to become a successful property owner here.
“Our hearts are now in two places, Hamilton and Black River,” he said. “There’s something special about island people. The one thing island people need to remember is even though there are seas between us, island people have something in common and it’s time for us island people to teach the rest of the world a thing or two.”
Black River mayor Everton Fisher said he believed both communities could gain much by strengthening ties through culture, heritage, tourism and other matters of mutual interest.
“Today is a very historic day,” he said. “Today Black River and Hamilton has been drawn together in what is the beginning of an eternal friendship.”
He also congratulated the Corporation for its transportation and parking initiatives, vibrant festivals and its new code of conduct, governing the behaviour of council members.
“This is truly a step in the right direction,” he said. “It speaks volumes to accountability and improved governance.”
Common councillor Troy Symonds said he visited Black River as part of an effort to launch the twinning, and said he was warmly greeted.
He said the potential synergies between the communities, from sports to business, were clear and those in Black River were eager to move forward with potential opportunities.
“This signing is a start, we are signing this document and we are moving on,” he said. “I’m grateful that you are all here to witness it, and I’m excited.”
The meeting was attended by representatives from the City of Hamilton and the St Elizabeth Parish Council as well as the Honorary Consul of Jamaica to Bermuda, Winston Laylor.
He said he hoped the signing would help to open the doors for more Jamaican culture on the Island.