It is with much regret and sorrow that we announce the passing of Mr.Vin Martin, former Jamaican Honorary Consul General of Atlanta. Mr Martin has over 20 years of service to his community. Jamaica’s former honorary consul general to Atlanta, Vin Martin, died Wednesday after a long illness. He passed away at the Emory University Hospital. Vin Newton Martin was born in Jackson Town, Trelawny, on July 31, 1943. He was installed in the consular post in 1997 by then Governor General Sir Howard Cooke, and served until he retired in April 2013.
Mr. Martin served as Honorary Consul to Jamaica for over 16 years prior to his retirement last year. In his capacity as Honorary Consul, he provided passport and ancillary services to the estimated 45,000 Jamaicans living in Georgia and the neighboring states of Alabama, North and South Carolina and Tennessee.
“Serving Jamaica in Atlanta has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I can only hope that, as we move forward in service to our country, we will together continue to forge a partnership which will see Atlanta as one of the most recognized groups in the Jamaican diaspora worldwide.” ~Vin Martin
He was an honor’s graduate of Howard University in Washington D.C., and held an MBA degree in Finance and Investment from Pennsylvania State University. He also was a Juris Doctorate degree from American University in Washington DC. Mr. Martin has been a member of the District of Columbia, Georgia and Maryland Bar associations and has numerous other professional affiliations as well.
Mr. Martin has received several honors over the years from the Atlanta community as well as from Jamaica and the Consulate community. In 2006, Mr. Martin was appointed by Georgia Governor Sonny Purdue to serve as Board Member of Hemisphere, Inc., an organization responsible for seeking to locate the secretariat of the Free Trade Areas of the Americas in Atlanta. Mr. Martin has also received the Phoenix Award, this is the highest civilian award given by the City of Atlanta, from several Mayors, including Andy Young, Bill Campbell and Shirley Franklin. Always modest, Mr. Martin believes that his work for the Jamaican community was a labor of love and would not change it for anything. For his invaluable contribution to Jamaicans in the Diaspora, Martin was presented with the Order of Distinction in 2013. He has also received the Prime Minister’s Medal of Appreciation and the Governor General’s Achievement Award for Contribution to the Diaspora Most recently, Mr. Martin was honored at the 2014 Caribbean American Movers & Shakers.
Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States Stephen Vasciannie yesterday hailed the late consul general as a source of guidance and inspiration for many Jamaicans in the diaspora, and especially those living in Atlanta.
He said that although Martin demitted office as honorary consul in April 2013, after 16 years, he continued to give service.
“Mr Martin played a key role in the life of the Jamaican community. Not only was he the driving force in the Atlanta-Montego Bay Sister Cities Health Mission, he was also instrumental in arranging special events such as Jamaican Independence activities. Honorary Consul Martin was a morally upright, kind and thoughtful attorney-at-law whose love for Jamaica remained with him throughout his life,” said Vasciannie.
Jamaica’s Consul General in Miami Franz Hall described Martin as a true stalwart, who served with distinction, selflessness and unmatched dedication.
“I had the pleasure of working with Mr Martin during all my assignments in the United States of America. With each interaction, my respect for this giant of a man grew, for he was not only committed to representing Jamaica, but was also motivated to deepening the partnership between Atlanta and Jamaica, in a meaningful way,” Hall stated.
He said it was through Martin’s efforts that Atlanta and Montego Bay were twinned as sister cities, fostering closer commercial relationships as well as philanthropic activities between the two cities.
“Perhaps his greatest contribution was in the area of service to the Jamaican Diaspora, as he exhibited an unparalleled drive in advocating for the interests of his fellow Jamaicans and an unshakeable passion for the development of Jamaica.
Mr. Vin Martin leaves behind wife Hazel, and sons Cory and Kayon.
Source Jamaica Observer/Red Carpet Shelley