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Jamaica's man in Birmingham

NEW ROLE: Wade Lyn, left, and High Commissioner Aloun Ndombet Assamba

JAMAICA NOW has her own man in Birmingham following the appointment of award-winning patty maker Wade Lyn as Honorary Consul for Birmingham and the West Midlands.

Jamaica’s High Commissioner to the UK Aloun Ndombet Assamba bestowed the honour on Jamaican-born Lyn during a short ceremony at The Drum arts centre in Aston.

Managing director Lyn, who was made a CBE in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours for his services to business in the community, said he was deeply honoured to take up the unpaid, non-political role.

He has been making Island Delight Jamaican patties at his Cleone Foods base in Hockley since 1986 and was appointed as Prince Charles’ 2010 ambassador for responsible business in the West Midlands in recognition of his leadership and commitment.

Assamba said: “In Wade we have found someone who is rooted in this community and who has a wide range of interests and contacts to help bring Jamaican interest to this part of the country.

“I am asking you all to give him the kind of welcome, love and support that you have given me since I was appointed just over a year ago. This does not mean I am not coming back to Birmingham, but we really need someone like Wade to support us here in the West Midlands.”

Assamba told of the first time she met Lyn after he collected the UK small business of the year award from Prince Charles in London last summer.

She said: “It gave me great pleasure to see a man from Jamaica striding across the stage to collect a business award for giving so much back to his community.”

Lyn, whose family hail from Chapelton in Clarendon, was applauded at The Drum when he said: “It’s truly a great honour to serve my country and fellow Jamaicans – I am here to serve the black community, but I will not be taking sides with anyone, only with Jamaica.

“I don’t want people to run each other down – we are all in this together. This is not a one man show – I am going to need all of us to be each other’s keeper.”

Lyn, who said his father was a politician in Jamaica for two terms under Prime Minster PJ Patterson, added: “I will also need the help of volunteers from time to time and as the role is unpaid what I do will come out of my own pocket.”

He recalled the time when Birmingham and Manchester had their own consular offices, which were forced to close several years ago under government cutbacks.

Lyn’s duties will include a range of tasks from dealing with passport applications to supporting someone under arrest.

He added: “I have a strong ethical business background and will use it to fulfil my role. In the words of a famous orator, ask not what Jamaica can do for you, but what you can do for Jamaica.”

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