On August 6, 1962, Jamaica lowered the Union Jack and gave rise to the black, green and gold.
Scores of celebrations were across the island but none like the event that was held at the National Arena in Kingston. Jamaicans came out from all over the island to join in the celebration of a now-independent nation.
Do you remember where you were and how it felt? Well Flair tracked some persons who do. Here are some snapshots of 1962!
"My twin boys were born in January 1962 and by August they were only eight months old, so I was at home on the day of the celebrations. But I sent my daughter Donna (who was about three at the time) with my family and friends to be a part of the event. I would have liked to go, but I couldn't because I had to stay with the boys. However, to me it was awesome."
- Millicent Scott,
mother, grandmother, great-grandmother.
Barrington Brown witnessed a flag-raising at the Bethlehem All-Age School in St Elizabeth. He went to see the Independence Day parade in the parish.
"For me it was all excitement. Now you know the significance, it's good to have your own thing."
- Barrington Brown, businessman, 60 years old
On Independence Day 1962, Gloria Pottinger went to Cross Roads to watch the float parate with her baby daughter. They followed the parade from Cross Roads to the National Stadium downtown.
"It was an exciting time; everybody was in a celebratory mood. I was happy when we got independence; however, I felt a sadness because I would miss the British currency because it valued so much more."
- Gloria Pottinger, homemaker, 66 years old
Morin Seymour was in his second year at Vere Technical High School when the island celebrated its Independence in 1962.
"We were in the country (Clarendon) so we were privileged to be in Kingston, but we still had our own parades that I watched. It was a rich feeling, time of transition. I felt as if I could look to the future with hope."
- Morin Seymour,chairman of the Kingston Restoration Company
The spirited and outspoken executive director of Jamaica Institute, Vivian Crawford, remembers the valuable and meaningful lesson he was taught on August 6, 1962.
"I had just returned home to Moore Town, Portland, from Mico Teachers' College. I remember my mother spent the entire day teaching me the national anthem."
That day marked the first official and public playing of the national anthem. And being away at school in Kingston, Crawford said he was not privy to learning the words prior to the celebration.
With islandwide fanfare in recognition of the historical moment, Crawford said his community was buzzing with activities. "I felt very happy. I thought that we were too British; it was like we didn't have an identity."
Now 50 years later, another proud moment for the trained teacher is that he had the privilege of teaching the group of students featured on the special commemorative banknotes currently in circulation.
"We should remember that our self esteem and heritage are worth a lot."
- Vivian Crawford, executive director of Institute of Jamaica