Jamaica Tidbits & History Part 1

Jamaica’s first railway system
The first Jamaican railway system was opened in November 1845. It connected Kingston to Spanish Town. Soon after railway lines were extended to Montego Bay and Port Antonio. The Jamaica Railway Corporation ceased operations in 1992.

First Jamaican Born Governor General
On December 1962, Sir Clifford Campbell, formerly the president of the Jamaican Senate, became the first Jamaican born Governor General.

Jamaica’s introduction to Ackee
Ackee was introduced in Jamaica from West Africa in 1778. It was brought to Jamaica by the captain of a slave ship. Ackee and Saltfish is the national dish of Jamaica

Jamaica’s introduction to Breadfruit
Breadfruit was brought to Jamaica by Captain William Bligh in 1793 from the Pacific island of Tahiti. The first breadfruit trees were planted in the botanical gardens in Bath, St. Thomas. For approximately 50 years it was used as pig feed as the slaves refused to eat because they had never seen it when they lived in Africa. When slavery was abolished eating of breadfruit became prevalent.

Jamaica First Broadcast Station – ZQI
Jamaica got it’s first broadcast radio station when estate owner/local ‘ham’ operator named John Grinan donated a transmitter to the Government of Jamaica in September 1939. This donation took place at the start of World War 2. The call letters for the station were VP5PZ but it was known to everyone as ZQI. In 1950, ZQI became Radio Jamaica.

Jamaica’s first National Pantomime Play
In 1941 the Little Theatre Movement (LTM) production of Jack And The Beanstalk had the distinction of being Jamaica first National Pantomime. Directed by Elinor Lithgow,  the production was the first of the Little Theatre Movement (LTM). The childhood tale was adapted for the stage with elements of music, song, dance, comedy, drama and colorful costumes and sets.

About the author

Xavier Murphy