ATLANTA – Atlanta’s Mayor Keisha Bottoms and Montego Bay’s Mayor Homer Davis are pledging to make the forty six year-old sister cities relationship between both municipalities even stronger.
Culture, education, and the development of professional and technical expertise are specific areas the Atlanta Mayor identified for enhanced collaboration, saying that under her administration, “the strengthening of the relationship between both cities will be a priority. This relationship will not only be in words but in action.”
The commitment was delivered on Monday, October 1, 2018 when Mayor Davis paid an official visit to Mayor Bottoms, at City Hall in Atlanta, Georgia.
Montego Bay’s Mayor Homer Davis presents Atlanta’s Mayor Keisha Bottoms with a Jamaican souvenir, after both mayors held talks on Monday, October 1, 2018 at Atlanta City Hall in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo Derrick Scott)
Ms. Bottoms pointed out that the sister cities relationship, which was forged on September 18, 1972, was very important to both cities. She acknowledged that despite the significant role that the Vin Martin Memorial Health Mission had played over the past 24 years – by providing over US$6 million and attending to over 50,000 patients – “the relationship can accomplish more.”
In welcoming the Jamaican mayor and his delegation, Mayor Bottoms pointed to several characteristics both cities shared, including “our reputation for warm hospitality to visitors, valuing of tourism as a major industry, and having a substantial black population.”
The Montego Bay mayor, for his part, welcomed the opportunity for an even stronger sister city relationship with Atlanta. “Under my administration, we have made the decision to re-energize this important relationship so that it is meaningful to both cities.”
Mayor Davis said that he was reassured by Mayor Bottom’s commitment and support for adoption of best practices that will mutually benefit both cities. Mayor Davis also invited Mayor Bottoms to be the guest of honor at his upcoming Mayor’s gala, scheduled for December 1st, at the Montego Bay Convention Center. “This is an opportunity to have you pay a visit to our city as we commence the strengthening of our relationship.”
Meanwhile, a delegation from the Atlanta Public Works and Solid Waste Administration, the Planning and Community Development and Parks and Recreation will visit Montego Bay to hold talks with the Mayor and officials from the St. James Municipal Council on diverse topics to benefit development for both cities.
Mayor Davis and his three-man delegation paid an official four-day visit to Atlanta September 29 to October 1. The delegation included chairman of the Atlanta Montego Bay Sister Cities Committee, Fred Smith; Councilor Dwight Crawford; and Sister City board member Jasmin Tomlinson-Brown. The delegation was accompanied by the chairman of the Atlanta Sister City Committee, Dr. Yvonne Smith.
By Derrick Scott
WASHINGTON, USA — The Vin Martin Memorial Health Mission, formerly known as the Atlanta Montego Bay Sister Cities Health Mission, has provided medical assistance to tune of US$6 million and has seen just over 50,000 patients over the last 25 years during annual health mission to Montego Bay.
According to the chairman of the Atlanta Montego Bay Sister Cities Committee, Dr Yvonne Smith, “Our health mission has over the past 24 years invested in the lives of over 50,000 individuals in St James, at a cost of over US$6 million in professional services, medical equipment and pharmaceutical supplies. None of our projects and programs would be possible without the dedication of our members and continued support of the citizens of Atlanta and Montego Bay.”
Smith offered her overview of the health mission at the 25th anniversary gala of the Atlanta Montego Bay Sister Cities on Saturday, September 29.
The yearly health mission to Montego Bay is a labour of love by the members of her organization, she went on to explain. “We regard the health mission as the most important arm of our city sister relationship as it is our way of giving back to the city of Montego Bay and helping assist the less fortunate in providing well needed healthcare services.”
Proceeds from this year’s gala will go towards purchasing medical supplies and other medical equipment that will be donated to health institutions in Montego Bay. In addition, she said, the organization plans to establish a unit at the Cornwall Regional Hospital in honour of the late chairman, Vin Martin, who was founder of the health mission.
Meanwhile, mayor of Montego Bay and chairman of the St James Municipal Corporation, Homer Davis, used his address to laud members of the Atlanta Montego Bay Sister Cities Health Mission for its 25 years of their selfless service to citizens of St. James. “Each year, your health mission team comes together and your members and supporters give selflessly to address the healthcare needs of Montego Bay. I want to thank and praise you for this remarkable, tangible expression of love for Montego Bay.”
Davis told the over 500 guests in attendance that “the health mission’s assistance to Montego Bay, in the critical area of healthcare, represents a major contribution towards the nation’s health sector and therefore, towards the country’s development.”
Davis said he was heartened that the services being rendered were to the medically under-served citizens of St James as any effort to help in supporting the government’s healthcare program is most welcome as the government cannot do it alone.
The mayor had high praise for the sister cities committee as well as members of the medical team – some of the finest physicians, nurses and volunteers, who journey to Montego Bay every year to deliver healthcare at no cost. He said the well-known, mutually beneficial relationship between the cities of Atlanta, Georgia, and Montego Bay, St James, which started in 1972, “has grown from strength to strength and has brought tremendous benefits to our citizens in numerous ways.”
Delivering greetings from the city of Atlanta, director of international affairs, Vanessa Ibarra, congratulated the Sister Cities health mission for its hard work of dedicated volunteer service to the citizens of Montego Bay. She offered that the Committee stands out as a shining beacon among Atlanta’s 18-city sister city relationships” involving Atlanta, and commended its work promoting the welfare of others through innovated programs, vision and philanthropic contributions.
For her part, Jamaica’s ambassador to the United States, Audrey Marks, in her message to mark the occasion, commended the Atlanta Montego Bay Sister Cities Committee for its tireless service to the citizens of Montego Bay. “I am pleased to note that the partnership forged between Montego Bay and Atlanta under the aegis of sister city International of 1972 continues to bear fruit and has proven quite beneficial for residence Jamaica’s second city. I admire your passion and dedication to serving the medical needs for more than 50,000 residents of Montego Bay and surrounding areas for the past 26 years.”
Marks also underscored the importance of the Atlanta Montego Bay Sister Cities Committee, which conducts screening to detect illnesses and provide education and counseling to patients.
“Your initiative in the western end of the island certainly compliments the efforts of the government of Jamaica,” the ambassador added.
Atlanta and Montego Bay joined forces as sister cities in 1972 under a formal declaration of the representative mayors and city council of both cities. The twinning of Atlanta and Montego is the second largest relationship Atlanta has with 18 sister cities
We regretfully announce the demise of Headley L. Scott, Jr., the husband of Jewel C. Scott, Esq., former Honorary Consul of Jamaica to Georgia, on Sunday, September 30, 2018. His soul rests in peace.
Arrangements for his home-going service will be announced shortly but are tentatively scheduled for Saturday, October 13, 2018, at 11:30 am for viewing and service to follow at 1:30 pm. at the World Changers Church International, 2500 Burdett Road, College Park, Georgia 30349.
Please keep the family in your thoughts and prayers.
Let’s make herstory in Georgia!! We are stepping up and we are asking you to step up to help.