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The Classics

Princess Margaret Hospital gets royal treatment

Published:Thursday | March 4, 2021 | 11:46 PM
At the opening of the Princess Margaret Hospital, Morant Bay, Princess Margaret shakes hands with the Matron Miss Hyacinth Guthrie, who was presented to her by the Custos of St. Thomas, the Hon. H. E. Pengelley. At right is Mrs. Pengelley.
A panoramic view of the outpatients department (right) and other buildings of the new 200,000 hospital at Morant Bay which was opened by Princess Margaret on Wednesday, February 23, 1955. Her Royal Highness named it the Princess Margaret Hospital. Note the spacious lawn in the foreground.
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All the way back in 1955, Princess Margaret, Chief Minister the Honourable Norman Manley, and The Gleaner were there for the opening for what was then a modern Princess Margaret Hospital, but the royal also voiced great hope for the future of the country.

The Daily Gleaner, February 24, 1955

Princess sees Jamaica 300 as inspiration to new enterprise at Prince Margaret Hospital opening

 

Expressing delight at being able to accept Jamaica’s invitation to the island in this year of Tercentenary celebrations, Her Royal Highness Princess Margaret made the second speech of her visit yesterday.

It was on the occasion of her formal opening of the Morant Bay Hospital, which she named the “Princess Margaret Hospital”, a modern structure erected at a cost of £200,000 and accommodating 150 beds.

In the speech, made in reply to the expression of appreciation for her visit which the Hon. Norman Manley, Q.C., Chief Minister made on behalf of the people of Jamaica, Princess Margaret said”

       “I was delighted to be able to accept your invitation to come here in this year when you are celebrating 300 years of Jamaica History.

“From all I have seen and heard since I came to Jamaica, I understand the special heritage on which you rightly set such store. I know that in your anniversary year you must be looking back on the achievements of the past with no small pride. But today is not only a time to celebrate past accomplishments. It serves to give inspiration to new enterprise in the years to come.”

Princess Margaret and members of her suits left King’s House at 9:15 am yesterday morning saying farewell to the city through the thousands gathered along the route to see her pass. She arrived amid great welcome at Morant Bay Hospital at 10:30 a.m. and after preliminaries, declared the hospital open feeling “good” that the people of Great Britain and Jamaica could join together in such a noble enterprise. The Princess was making history in that it was the first time that a member of the Royal Family had visited the parish of St Thomas and the fact that she named the hospital Princess Margaret Hospital came as a pleasant surprise to all.

Princess Margaret was also making her second and perhaps final speech in Jamaica in which she replied to a welcome speech on behalf of the Government and people of Jamaica by the Hon. Norman Manley, Chief Minister, who stressed the affection of Jamaicans for the Royal Family and for the Princess in Particular and mentioned the close ties between Jamaica and Great Britain and the acclamation and esteem which the Princess had met on her Caribbean tour.

The third speech of the occasion was made by the Hon. Claude Stuart, Minister of Health, who gave background information on the construction of the hospital which was completed in July last year.

 

PHOTOS TO USE

PrincessMargaretC19550224: At the opening of the Princess Margaret Hospital, Morant Bay, Princess Margaret shakes hands with the Matron Miss Hyacinth Guthrie, who was presented to her by the Custos of St. Thomas, the Hon. H. E. Pengelley. At right is Mrs. Pengelley.

 

PrincessMargaretHospital19550225: A panoramic view of the outpatients department (right) and other buildings of the new 200,000 hospital at Morant Bay which was opened by Princess Margaret  on Wednesday, February 23, 1955. Her Royal Highness named it the Princess Margaret Hospital. Note the spacious lawn in the foreground.