His Excellency the Most Honourable Sir Patrick L Allen, Governor-General of Jamaica, issued a passionate appeal for Jamaicans abroad to continue the efforts of helping the poor and marginalized of the country.
In an address to over three hundred patrons at the 20th annual fund-raising dinner for the Friends of Good Shepherd International Inc., Sir. Allen lauded the organization for its committed and dedicated service to Jamaica, and local charities in the United States.
However, even as he commended the Organization for its work over the years, the Governor General was quick to point out that those who could afford it should look at the various ways in which they could make a difference in the lives of their fellow-men.
An attentive audience in the packed ball-room of the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel in Sunrise was visibly moved as the Governor General referred to scriptures to support his call for helping others. “ As often as you did it to one of the least of my brothers and sisters, you did it to me,” noted the Governor General as he referenced Matthew ( Matt.25:40).
Friends of Good Shepherd International , supports the Good Shepherd Foundation of Montego Bay, Mustard Seeds Community of Jamaica, The Archbihop's Charity of Kingston, and other charities throughout the Caribbean.
Reflecting on the role of the organization in Jamaica, the Governor General thanked the Archbishop of Kingston, and Founder of the Good Shepherd Foundation of Montego Bay, the Most. Rev. Charles Dufour, for his vision and leadership.
The example displayed by the Archbishop and the Foundation, supported his belief that there was nothing so bad about Jamaica, that could not be fixed by what was good about the country, Sir Patrick Allen noted to thunderous applauds.
Major highlights of the gala event included the presentations of Friends of Good Shepherd International 2016 Humanitarian and Corporate Awards. Dr. Barrie Strafford , a pioneer of health clinics for the poor in the Caribbean, including the Brenda Strafford Clinic in Montego Bay, received the Humanitarian Award from the Governor General.
The Corporate Award went to Vitas Healthcare the leading provider of Hospice Care in the United States. In presenting the Award to Maureen Knips, Vice President of Operations, Lady Allen, the wife of the Governor General, commended the organization for its partnership with the local Good Shepherd Foundation of Montego Bay.
The Governor General was particularly pleased with the scholarship program initiated by the Florida group over seven years ago. Since its inception some fourteen students from the Miami area have received scholarships at the tertiary level. Scholarships were presented to Raeanna Murray and Brachari Howard respectively.
In her address, Mrs. Marie Buteau, President of the Organization expressed her gratitude to their Excellencies for attending. She reflected on the accomplishments of the group over the years, and pledged its support for the work of Archbishop Charles Dufour and his many programs to benefit the
poor of Jamaica and beyond.
Dignitaries attending the function, included Consul General to Miami, Mr. Franz Hall, His Excellency the Most Honourable Sir Patrick L Allen, Governor-General f Jamaica, and heads of several large corporations in the South Florida area.
Patrons from across the United States, Canada and Jamaica, supported a worthy cause as they bid for various items in the Silent auction, and enjoyed a night of good food and great music.