Seventy years ago in 1948, when the SS Empire Windrush docked at the port of Tilbury, on June 22, 1948, it signalled the first wave of a post-war migration in which West Indians, from colonies of the United Kingdom (UK), responded to an invitation from the government, to come to Britain to assist in the rebuilding efforts of a country ravished by World War II.
On board were 492 West Indian nationals, many Jamaicans, who embraced the opportunity to find jobs, earn incomes to support their families back home; and, while doing, so helped to reshape England forever.
The people of the Caribbean had a sense of purpose, and they were willing to work hard, which made it possible for them to endure racial prejudices, discrimination and economic deprivation. Consequently, Jamaican and other Caribbean people survived and became significant citizens in the UK in almost every sphere of life–from politics, to government, business, education, the service and cultural sectors.
It is, therefore, momentous that in this the 70th year of the Windrush, The Jamaica National Group is celebrating the 30th anniversary of our UK Representative Office, which provided financial services to the Caribbean community in the UK.
As an established mutual organisation with strong, deep roots in Jamaica, we at the JN Group have provided an effective pathway for sound financial services and support to members of the Jamaican Diaspora, through the work of our UK Representative Office and remittance company, JN Money Services Limited(JNMS).
We are proud to be of service to you, including the descendants from the Windrush generation, and to your families. You have supported us and have grown with us; and, therefore, you have been the foundation of our success in the UK. We are intricately bound together, as stated by the Reverend Martin Luther King in a speech entitled, Remaining Awake through a Great Revolution:
“We are tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality. And whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. For some strange reason, I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. And you can never be what you ought to be, until I am what I ought to be. This is the way God’s universe is made; this is the way it is structured.”
Today, the name “Jamaica National” resonates throughout the United Kingdom. We have become a strong reference point for positive information about Jamaica, through our activities, such as hosting immigration clinics; establishing the Outlook for the Future dialogue series, at which Jamaican public and private sector officials provide information about developments in Jamaica; and Caribbean Question Time, where British members of parliament have dialogued with their Caribbean constituents; and through advocacy, address matters of specific importance to members of the Jamaican community in the UK.
As time evolves, we at The Jamaica National Group remain committed to providing you with high value, innovative products and first class services, and to be your choice of institutions for financial and other services.
I thank each of you for the unwavering confidence that you have placed in our efforts, year after year, as we advance the aspirations of the people of Jamaica, its institutions and the Jamaican economy.
Earl Jarrett, CD, JP, Hon. LL.D
Chief Executive Officer
The Jamaica National Group Limited