It happened this week in 1983
sunday, February 13
- Jamaicans gave a warm and enthusiastic welcome to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and her husband, HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, when they arrived at the Norman Manley International Airport, beginning their four-day royal visit to Jamaica, the fourth in 30 years. The Queen and her husband's visit coincide with the anniversary celebration of Jamaicans 21st year as an independent nation. A massive crowd, one of the largest ever to turn out for a visiting head of state, gave a tumultuous welcome to the Queen and her husband in a continuous display of affection from the airport to King's House.
monday, February 14
- Queen Elizabeth praised Jamaica for maintaining 21 years of parliamentary democracy as she addressed the Jamaican Parliament at a joint meeting of the Senate and the House of Representatives, and congratulated the nation on making progress towards economic recovery. Speaking in the context of the international recession, Her Majesty said: "It is all the more remarkable that Jamaica is managing to make headway, and I have admired your courageous efforts to recover economic health. Already, you have achieved notable successes in restoring growth, reducing inflation, rebuilding services, and generating new investments."
n Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, His Royal Highness Prince Philip, laid a wreath at the War Memorial in National Heroes Park, Kingston, under warm sunshine and to appreciative cheers from hundreds of well-wishers. The wreath-laying ceremony, the centrepiece of the Queen's half-hour visit to the park, provided a welcome opportunity for the hundreds who lined the route and converged on the park to get a good look at the Queen and to express their welcome by spontaneous handclaps and cheers. Her Majesty and His Royal Highness also received ex-servicemen before and after laying the wreath.
- A colourful display of Jamaica's creative and cultural talent was presented at the National Stadium in Kingston in a special 'Jamaica 21 Salute' to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. The National Stadium was transformed into a Jamaican garden of colour as children from schools in the Corporate Area and some rural parishes, and men and women with multicoloured umbrellas, packed every seat in the bleachers section, giving a joyous welcome to the royal couple under a mellow afternoon sun. Snatches of Jamaica's history up to the present were re-enacted before the royal visitors and the large crowd totalling more than 25,000.
- Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Jamaica's head of state, on Monday night expressed her faith in the future of Jamaica, stating that "over the last two decades, Jamaica has met the challenges of Independence with conspicuous success and held its head high among the international community. This would not have been possible without good leadership, and you have been blessed with a succession of leaders who had the welfare of the people at heart," Her Majesty told guests attending the state dinner at King's House. She was replying to Governor General Sir Florizel Glasspole, who had proposed the toast to, and welcomed, Her Majesty and her husband, His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
tuesday, February 15
- The royal couple unveiled a plaque and planted a tree on the campus of the College of Arts, Science and Technology (CAST) in Kingston. They also received members of the college's council, staff, and student body in a brief ceremony in which Her Majesty's grace, charm, and loveliness were singled out for praise by the principal of CAST, Dr Alfred Sangster. The Queen and the Prince also received a warm welcome from hundreds of spectators and children from surrounding schools.
- Queen Elizabeth II opened the interim headquarters of the International Seabed Authority at Port Royal and Church streets in downtown Kingston, unveiling to the public its four fabulous conference rooms, galleries, elaborate interpreters' booths, lounges, lush gardens, and pools. The conference complex was declared open by the Queen, Jamaica's head of state, before a distinguished gathering, including her husband, Prince Philip; Prime Minister Edward Seaga and Mrs Seaga; Deputy Prime Minister Hugh Shearer; Dr Kenneth Rattray and Mrs Rattray, rapporteur general of the Third UN Conference on the Law of the Sea; the Rev C. Evans Bailey, president of the Jamaica Council of Churches, and Mrs Evans Bailey, the chairman and the general manager of the Urban Development Corporation; hundreds of other Jamaicans, including those who had laboured round the clock to complete the building; and members of the diplomatic community.
- Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and HRH Prince Philip paid a flying visit to Montego Bay and were welcomed by thousands. Montego Bay's mayor, Councillor Shalman Scott, told the royal couple in his welcome address that their visit to the tourist capital was an experience that would leave an indelible mark on all present. Since Montego Bay was granted city status on May 1, 1981, "our people have developed a new sense of pride in their city," he said. "The thousands of people present here today speak eloquently of our appreciation of Her Majesty's visit." Scott spoke of happiness in his address to Her Majesty in historic Sam Sharpe Square, and it was evident from the moment the royal couple alighted from the Royal Air Force jet at the Sangster International Airport. Expectant airport and airline workers gave a loud cheer and waved.
- Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, in one of their last engagements before their four-day visit to Jamaica ended, toured historic Devon House. For two hours, the Royal couple viewed, with apparent satisfaction, the varied offerings of Devon House, one of the cultural showpieces of Jamaica. As the tour progressed through a world of craft, art and ceramics, it was enhanced by contributions from one of the country's leading young pianists, Orrette Rhoden, and the musical ensemble of the Mystic Revelation of Rastafari. Special touches to the occasion were brought by Andrew and Anabella, two children of Prime Minister Edward Seaga and Mrs Seaga, who made presentations to the Queen.
- Governor General Sir Florizel Glasspole headed the list of six persons who were given personal honours by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II about an hour before her departure for Grand Cayman at the end of her four-day visit. The Royal Victorian Order, awarded at the Queen's personal discretion, was awarded by her for services in connection with arrangements for her visit. Sir Florizel, already a Knight Grand Cross of St Michael and St George, was awarded the GCVO - the Knight Hand Cross (of the Royal), Victorian Order, by the Queen. Sir Florizel is the Queen's representative in Jamaica. Next on Her Majesty's honour list were Neville Haig Smith, the governor general's secretary and secretary to the Privy Council, who was made CVO, Commander (of the Royal), Victorian Order. Donald Davidson, director of protocol, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was awarded the MVO - Member (fourth class, of the Royal) Victorian Order. Ken Chaplin, journalist and director of public relations at the Jamaican Information Service, was awarded the Order the MVO - Member (fourth class of the Royal) Victorian Order. Herman Ricketts, deputy commissioner of police, was awarded the MVO - Member (fourth class of the Royal) Victorian Order; and Major John Prescod of the Jamaica Defence Force, Jamaican Equerry-in Waiting to the Queen, was awarded the MVO (fifth class, of the Royal) Victorian Order.
- Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, left Jamaica after a memorable four-day visit to the island marked by welcoming cheers wherever they went. The Norman Manley International Airport was beautifully decorated for the occasion as the morning breeze softly fluttered the flags of the members of the 47 Commonwealth countries, planted in the airport's fenced, well-manicured lawn.
thursday, February 17
- A fact-finding mission from the European Parliament arrived in the island for discussions with Jamaican Government officials and others on the Lome Convention governing cooperation between ACP and EEC countries. Giovanni Bersani of Italy, vice-chairman of the Parliament's Committee on Development and Cooperation, is the leader of the team. Other members of the team are Raymonde Dury of Belgium, Winnifred Ewing of Scotland, and Alexander Sherlock of the United Kingdom. The second Lome Convention is currently at its halfway point, and negotiations for a new Lome convention are expected to begin soon. The mission has already visited Barbados, Antigua, and Dominica. A similar fact-finding mission is visiting Trinidad and Tobago, and Guyana.
friday, February 18
- Barbados announced that it would float its currency against Jamaica's in an effort to regain some competitive edge in trading with her sister Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country. The move was announced by central bank Governor Dr Courtney Blackman six weeks after Jamaica introduced a two-tiered currency exchange system that made Barbados goods more expensive on the Jamaican market. Dr Blackman said the operation of a two-tier system with a fixed and a floating exchange rate could not be easily accommodated within the framework of a multilateral trading system.