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The Medical Association of Jamaica held its inaugural meeting on Thursday, the 25th of November 1965, immediately following the adjournment of a meeting of the Jamaica Branch of the British Medical Association. (This BMA branch, the first and eldest of BMA Branches, was reported in the British Medical Journal of March 27th 1897, to be the premier Branch in the Colonies). That journal also stated that the editor of the BMJ who visited the branch reported that “the Jamaica Branch was like a nation without a history; the members had no private grievance; no complaints to make, and they were indeed a happy family.”
The first annual general meeting was held at 4 pm on the 25th November 1966. Forty- four years later on the 25th November 2010, to mark the 45th anniversary of the Founding of the Medical Association of Jamaica, a function was staged at the Terra Nova Hotel exactly at 4 pm. At this Founder’s Day celebration, the first of its kind, two outstanding founding members, Dr. Rudolph Shoucair and Ambassador the Hon. Dr. Matthew Beaubrun were presented with their Insignia of Office as the first two Fellows of the MAJ. Two other Founder’s Day celebration were held in 2010 and 2015. The one in 2010 was held at Dr. Aggrey Irons’ home and the one in 2015 was held at the Jamaica Pegasus to mark the Golden Jubilee of the Association.
As we reflect on the achievements of the past, we can build on the foundation for the future, as the MAJ continues to carry out its mandate, which is embodied in the mission statement “The Medical Association of Jamaica is an organization of medical doctors committed to the enhancement of the professional and personal developments of its members, thereby enabling them to contribute optimally to the health and well-being of the society.” Let us not forget our history as we commemorate Founder’s Day today.
Dr. Clive Lai
Medical Association of Jamaica