Symbols of pride

Sunday, August 05, 2012    

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ON the occasion of our country's first Independence Day, the State distributed keepsakes among the citizenry as a means of ensuring that they not only marked the milestone, but that its significance would live on through the ages.

According to information from the National Library of Jamaica -- the country's repository for cultural and historical events -- children attending primary, all-age, junior high and high schools received drinking cans and flags.

Adults were not left out and many of them, such as government officials, received memorabilia such as side plates, coffee mugs and tea cups with saucers.

The following is a pictorial showcasing some of the items which are currently on display at the library in downtown Kingston.

The introduction to the display reads:

In this exhibition the National Library captures the jubilation and pride of Independence 1962 in the hope that for this Jamaica50 Independence anniversary Jamaicans will remember that Independent Jamaica is ours, we must love it; We worked for it and must be proud of it.

Side plate

A side plate printed with the coat of arms and the date of the inaugural observance of August 1.

Independence pen

Specially printed pens to commemorate the milestone

Clifford pen

The pen Sir Clifford Clarence Campbell, ON, GCMG, GCVO, used on December 1, 1962 to sign his oath of office as Jamaica's first home-grown Governor General.

Drinking can

Drinking cans with the coat of arms printed on them were distributed to children in schools.

Coffee mug


Independence programme

The official programme of events for Jamaica's first independence celebrations from August 1- 12, 1962.

Tea cup

Some adults received commemorative tea sets like this one back in 1962.

Rum Bottle

J Wray and Nephew put out a special edition of its Appleton rum to mark the Independence milestone.

First flag

The Library says this is the first flag in the Jamaican colours that was ever printed. The dedication written on it in blue ink reads: To Mr Burnett Webster. First Jamaican flag printed in the 1st Jamaican printing plant at Ariguabi Textile Mills in Spanish Town on June 21, 1962. From Mario (surname indecipherable). In charge of the installation and training of personnel

Guest book

These pages show signatures of those who attended one of the string of events related to the Independence celebration, 50 years ago. (Photos: Marlon Reid)



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