Alabama Pastor excited at becoming Jamaican, among 33 ‘new’ citizens

-Dr Shane Alexis Among also among 33 Sworn In

Alabama-native, Pastor Harry Myers, receives the certificate confirming his Jamaican citizenship from National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang (left) during the swearing-in ceremony this morning at the Liguanea Club in New Kingston. Looking on is Andrew Wynter, CEO of the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency.

(Jamaica Gleaner) Harry ‘Danny’ Myers could barely contain his excitement and emotions after he was conferred with Jamaican citizenship this morning. 

 “Wha gwaan me bredrin,” said the American pastor, showing off his patois during a swearing-in ceremony for 33 freshly-minted Jamaicans at the Liguanea Club in St Andrew. 

“Everything criss? Oonu good? Me waa bawl ‘cause me so excited,” he continued. 

Myers, who was born in the state of Alabama, in the United States, recounted visiting the resort town of Ocho Rios on a cruise ship as a 17-year-old and climbing Dunn’s River Fall. 

“When the ship was leaving, tears were in my eyes because I did not want to leave,” he said, overcome with emotions, but trying to fight back the tears. 

Myers said by 1998 he began taking mission teams to the eastern parish of St Mary and permanently relocated to Jamaica in 2011. 

“This has become the land I love,” he said. 

With assistance from relatives in the US and friends in Jamaica, including Western St Mary Member of Parliament Robert Montague and several charity groups, Myers said he was able to purchase an old copper factory in the parish. 

That “dilapidated” factory is now a centre for at-risk young people in the community of Oracabessa. 

“We are bringing hope and the love of Christ to the youth and their families in Oracabessa,” he revealed.

Dr Shane Alexis

Political neophyte Dr Shane Alexis is also one of 33 persons who were sworn in as Jamaican citizens today.

Dr Shane Alexis (right) receives the certificate confirming his Jamaican citizenship from National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang during the swearing-in ceremony at the Liguanea Club in New Kingston this morning. Looking on his Andrew Wynter, CEO of the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency.

Alexis, whose failed candidacy for the South Eastern St Mary seat in October 2017 was dogged by revelations of his Canadian citizenship, received the certificate confirming his Jamaican citizenship this morning from National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang during the swearing-in ceremony at the Liguanea Club in New Kingston.

Persons can become Jamaican citizens by marriage, naturalisation, registration or descent.

The Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) said 4,077 persons applied for citizenship during the 2017/2018 financial year. This was 27 per cent more than the previous year. It said most of the applications were in the descent category, accounting for 86 per cent.  

In the meantime, PICA has announced that it is to introduce an online citizenship application service for the descent category. 

The agency said it will be opened to local applicants in the first phase and then opened to the Jamaican Diaspora in a later phase.

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