“Today I am Dominican,” proclaimed Mayor Myra L. Taylor as she welcomed Consulate General of the Dominican Republic Amaury Rios, dignitaries and representatives from the 1,200 Dominican residents of the City of Opa-locka to Historic City Hall, 777 Sharazad Boulevard, to a ceremony in honor of the 169th Anniversary of the Dominican Republic Independence Day, sponsored by Commissioner Luis B. Santiago, the Mayor and Commission on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 10:00 AM.
The anniversary observes the day Dominicans celebrate their independence from Haiti. In the 1830s, Juan Pablo Duarte (1813-1876) – known as “the father of Dominican independence” – organized a secret society, called La Trinitaria, to lead the fight against Haitians in order to gain the Country’s independence. After a long struggle, independence was finally declared on February 27, 1844.
In commemoration of the rich history, culture, and accomplishments of the Dominican people, Commissioner Santiago and the City of Opa-locka held a Flag Presentation Ceremony, which was also attended by the Executive Director of Latinos United, Amada Vargas, who served as a translator for Consulate General Rios and other Non-English speaking guest. “Thanks for choosing the first Dominican Commissioner in Florida,” Vargas extended gratitude in behalf of Rios. “We are motivated to continue making the Citizens of Opa-locka proud,” she interpreted. Vargas also stated, while using this opportunity to also recognized Women’s Month, “We are looking forward to achieving GREAT things together!”
In his acknowledgement of other members of the dais, Commissioner Santiago recognized Vice Mayor Joseph Kelley, Commissioners Timothy Holmes and Commissioner Dorothy Johnson on their ægood ideas for the progress of the City, so it will again be ‘The Great’ City of Opalocka!” Vice Mayor Kelley stated, “We area community of Brotherhood and Sisterhood.” Commissioner Holmes commented on the orderly conditions he witnessed on his two visits to Santo Domingo, and suggested, “We can learn a couple things from the laws in your country.” After which, Mayor Taylor and Consulate General Rios presented the American and Dominican flags to one another, before raising both to the top of the flag pole, in front of Historic City Hall. Former Vice Mayor Terence Pinder served as Master of Ceremony for the event.
Following the short program, lunch was provided at Don Domingo Restaurant, 530 Sharazad Boulevard, Opa-locka, FL 33054.