Independence In Jamaica in 1962 - I Was There

by Carol Anthony née Legister
(Garveymeade, Portmore,St. Catherine, JAMAICA)

Jamaica50 Entry #8 -Independence In Jamaica in 1962 - I Was There

In August 1962 I was a student at Camperdown High School. There was a lot of information being provided in the Gleaner and radio.

At school, I was a member of a combined school choir led by the well known LOYD HALL. We practiced at the SCOTS KERK CHURCH on Duke Street.

The PAN AM GAMES was held in Jamaica, I think that it was the end of July and we sang the Games Anthem in SPANISH.

There was also a medley of folk songs. There were journalist from various countries to cover the games and the Independence celebration.

The girls wore white peasant blouses with bandana skirts. The boys wore black pants and bandana shirts. The last practice was held at the National Stadum and was attended by personnel from BBC.

I was interviewed on "What Independence ment to me" I am unable to recall what I said then. I would love to find out to see if my comments would be he same.

Can you imagine my surprise to get a letter from my mother, who resided in England, that she heard the interview on BBC?!

At 15 yrs. old, I was looking forward to Independence, we would be in charge of our own affaires we would have " come of age."

The night, when the official handing over ceremony was to take place , I was VERY upset with my dad, who as a soldier would be taking part in the events at the National Stadium. When he was leaving the house I refused to say good bye, and locked myself in my room. However, we were living in Woodford Park, so we were able to see the fireworks.

On Independence Day, I went to school in my uniform . The school choir (I was a member) led the assembly in singing the National Anthem for the first time.

The Flag went up on the flag pole to loud cheers,and the waving of our individual flags..

The national pledge was said and hy heart was FULL of pride,we were an INDEPENDENT NATION. Now thinking back on it my heart is going at full speed.

I WAS, and AM VERY,VERY, VERY PROUD TO BE JAMAICAN. " we liikle BUT we talawah"

Monday night, it was street dancing, unplanned, joyous, spontaneous dancing in celebration of our NEW Status.

I remember going down to King Street, it was like Christmas Eve, crowded, fire crackers, food, drinks, adults, children enjoying the new status.

There was a USA ship at the port at the bottom of King Street. The sailors were on the street dancing and enjoying themselves, they had caught the "vibes".

There was a spirit of LOVE, PRIDE and EXPECTATION.
We need to bring back the Pride and love especially in the younger generation. Bring back the teaching of civics in schools from Basic Schools to Secondary.

Happy Jamaica50th!

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