Tony Becca, Contributing Editor
Jamaicans are celebrating their golden jubilee of Independence.
Fittingly, they are doing so at the same time the Olympic Games are being held and as if in honour to Jamaica's contribution to the Games since 1948, Jamaicans have, up to now, marked the occasion with superlative performances.
Up to Sunday, the eve of Jamaica's 50th Independence celebrations, Jamaica, thanks to Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Veronica Campbell-Brown, Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake, had won two gold medals, one bronze and one silver, while finishing first and third and first and second in the 100-metre events, and while successfully defending the event in both male and female genders.
And as Jamaicans await, especially the 200-metre events, male and female and the sprint relays, male and female, there seems a lot more to come.
Cricket, as it deserves to be, is also involved in Jamaica's celebration.
Not only has cricket, through Jamaica's cricket team, won the regional title this year for the fifth time in a row, but the West Indies, once the best in the world but recently going through hard times, celebrated victory this past weekend.
In winning the T20 series, the one-day series and the Test series against New Zealand, the West Indies, apart from their surprise win over England in 2009, scored their first victory against a team worth mentioning for the first time in a long, long time.
In celebrating victory, Marlon Samuels, a Jamaican, scored his first century for the West Indies not only in the West Indies, but also in Jamaica.
As we celebrate Jamaica's 50th, however, we should remember a Jamaican who, leading up to Independence Day 1962, carried Jamaica on his back.
Fifty years ago, Easton McMorris was like a colossus.
From 1959 to 1962, McMorris, who played 50 matches for Jamaica, scored 3,800 runs, 13 centuries and 14 half-centuries and took 21 catches for Jamaica, scored five centuries in a row for Jamaica.
Starting in February, 1959, McMorris scored 102 in the second innings versus Trinidad and Tobago at Bourda; in October 1959, he scored 136 not out in the second innings against British Guiana at Bourda; in February 1960, he scored 104 in the first innings versus the MCC at Melbourne Park; in October 1961, he scored 175 in the first innings against Barbados at Bourda; and in February 1962, in the year of Jamaica's Independence, he scored 154 in the first innings versus India at Melbourne Park, in the last first-class match played at Melbourne Park.
Although McMorris - who some called "Crowsie" and some called "Bull" - failed to score in the second innings of the last two matches, maybe because being an opening batsman he was tired after being in the field for so long, batting and fielding, his brilliant form was emphasised by innings of 76 run out in the first innings against Trinidad and Tobago, 92 in the first innings against BG and 74 in the second innings against the MCC.
McMorris, the captain of Jamaica's first winning Shell Shield team in 1969, played 13 times for Jamaica and scored one century, a brilliant 125, while sharing a record 255 runs for the second wicket with Rohan Kanhai (138) for the India-West Indies series in 1962.