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My fond memories of Independence in 1962

by Beverly P. Lyons
(Mandeville, Manchester)

Jamaica Independence Article/ Story Contest - Entry #18 - My fond memories of Independence in 1962

During the period leading up to independence, our teachers prepared us by telling us what it means, its context and its importance.

They taught us the national anthem, the motto—Out of Many One People, the national indigenous bird—the Doctor Bird a.k.a. the Swallow Tail Humming Bird, the national flower— the Lignum Vitae and other important facts.

We committed those facts to memory. One significant nitty-gritty was the fact that the red, white and blue Union Jack would be replaced by Jamaica’s own black, green and gold
flag.

The proposed new flag was fraught with controversy pertaining to the possible negative interpretation of
the color black. Issues pertaining to the flag heightened when it was discovered that a newly independent
African nation Tanzania had proposed a flag with similar colors and almost similar design.

Changes ensued!

There were several iterations of the black, green and gold Jamaican flag in an effort to differentiate the flag of our island nation from that of Tanzania.

Then, a new idea emerged to create a sky blue and white flag.

Some of my classmates and I were happy since our school uniform was sky blue and white. The proposed blue and white flag was declined.

Finally, Jamaican officials came to a consensus, and the new evolving Jamaican flag was born. The final version of
the flag remained black, green and gold, but included the Scottish X design.

Although this phenomenon appeared trivial then, the lessons in perseverance and liberation have served me well over time.

By the time Independence was granted for August 6th (replacing Emancipation Day holiday), I was a Girl
Guide (a.k.a. Girl Scout) and a high school student.

Indeed, I participated in almost every procession, parade
and ceremony at the National Stadium, Kingston Racecourse a.k.a. George VI Memorial Park, the Kingston
Parish Church, the Holy Trinity Cathedral, etc.

I was always exhausted daily but continued to celebrate.

The implementation of Jamaica’s first television station coincided with independence.

However, some families including mine were not yet caught up. Further, we tended to prefer in-person gatherings especially for such a momentous occasion.

My family and friends socialized at multiple events including street dances, where we busted-our-moves including the Ska, the Twist and the Bossa Nova. I was proud that a favorite meal of mine — Ackee and Salted Cod Fish was named the national dish.

My U.S.-born relatives and younger friends eat it with great delight despite the fact they are oblivious of its significance — poor people's food.

What a celebration in 1962! those days are long gone but not forgotten. I loved it then and love it now! I migrated to the U.S. in the late 1960’s and continue to enjoy Jamaica’s Independence celebrations.

Happy 60th Birthday Jamaica!

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Join in the celebration! Click Here to submit your #Jamaica60 article for a chance to win! || And Here's what others like you have already submitted.

Comments for My fond memories of Independence in 1962

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Jul 31, 2022
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History and experience
by: Pat Rowe

Telling your story and experience is a part of history. Beautiful reminder that will enlighten others. Thanks Bev for taking the time to write.

Jul 30, 2022
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Memories of Independence
by: Anonymous

A very informative essay. Evoking memories of the best times of our lives.

Jul 27, 2022
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Great Essay
by: Megan McLaughlin

This is a beautifully written informative essay, It brought back memories of that period in Jamaica. I was getting ready to leave for College in the US but was fortunate enough experience the excitement that was described in this essay. I remember the Union Jack coming down and our Flag being raised. If my memory is correct, there was a brief period of darkness and when the lights came on, there was our Flag!
It was an exciting time and this essay will help young people understand the meaning of our Flag and will, hopefully, get them to share some of the excitement we felt at the time.

Jul 27, 2022
Rating
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Recollections of Jamaican Independence
by: Beverly Horowitz

Thank you for your personal account of your memories of Jamaican Independence and the history of the Jamaican flag. Most informative.

Jul 27, 2022
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Happy Birthday Jamaica
by: Anonymous

This is quite an interesting essay. It brings back memories of our first Independence.

Jul 27, 2022
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Rating
by: Cecile Lee

Lovely story. It will enlighten the young people and the young at heart.

Jul 26, 2022
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Great essay
by: Anonymous

Amazing! Loved hearing about your memories

Jul 26, 2022
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Excellent essay
by: Faith

Bev's essay, "My fond memories of Independence in 1962" is a beautifully written essay and will certainly give the younger generation historical information about Jamaica's independence from the British in 1962.

Jul 26, 2022
Rating
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Very informative
by: Maudica Phillips-Dillon

Great history about the Jamaican flag. I enjoyed reading the essay

Jul 26, 2022
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Jamaica Independence
by: Merle Grace

I enjoyed reading your essay. Well written.

Jul 26, 2022
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Informative with a personal touch
by: Mark Ing

I really enjoyed reading this and learned a lot about Jamaican history.

Jul 25, 2022
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Excellent essay
by: Pat Brownell

I think the essay posted by Beverly Lyons is excellent and I vote hers for the best. Pat Brownell

Jul 25, 2022
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Great memories and excellent history lesson!!
by: Denise Gordon

A really interesting read from someone who lived it! Meshed with historical facts, it's an excellent history lesson for the younger generation!

Jul 25, 2022
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Jamaican Independence Remembrance
by: Anonymous

This essay, number 18, catches the teenage anticipation of the coming Jamaican independence of sixty years ago. These youthful thoughts carry everybody back to those days of anticipation. Thus, this essay is of great importance to all Jamaicans of every age today.

Jul 25, 2022
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Memories
by: L. Powell

What a wonderful memory. Happy Independence Day!

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