Vintage Jamaica – Countdown to Jamaica’s 50th Independence

And indeed all focus was on Jamaica in 1966! Still in its independence infancy since only four years earlier allowed to release the secure grip of the “Mother” country England and finally allowed to stand on its figurative two feet and chart its own direction.

As with any newborn there were many visitors anxious for a a peek and with the inception of “Air Jamaica” Jamaica now had its own direct access to the global arena. That August, in defiance of the naysayers who questioned the strength of its newly formed infrastructure, Jamaica successfully hosted the British Empire Commonwealth Games in Independence Park Kingston. The games, which was opened by none other than the Duke of Edinburgh, brought the world at its doorsteps for a visit.

Her Royal Highness Elizabeth II, Queen of England also had previously stopped by earlier that March while on her Caribbean tour. Mother Theresa was also a visitor that year but the Sojourn made by His Imperial Majesty, The Emperor Haile Selassie I, in April of 1966 was considered the highest of honors. When Count Ozzie payed tribute to His Majesty in a concert drumming session, the world to note.

The Publication of the 1966 Jamaica Tourist Board Catalog with one of the Island’s favored native sons, scholar, social critic, choreographer Rex Nettleford pictured from a scene from his 1966 exhibition, “The Dance”, it was not only an invitation to sample the rich cultural aspects of Jamaica, but it was also a bold statement of fact. Today it think we as Jamaicans, particularly those who have migrated abroad, as simply, a reminder.

Check out our photos of Jamaica Past