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Published:Wednesday | February 15, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Norman Manley - Gleaner photo
Employees of Jamaica Telephone Company hard at work effecting repairs to phone lines.

JAMAICA's historical landscape is littered with dates which have shaped the terrain as well as the future of the country's diverse inhabitants.

These events range from catastrophic to euphoric, with no shortage of recollection whenever the various milestones are mentioned.

With 2012 marking Jamaica's 50th year of Independence from Great Britain, 'The Gleaner' continues to share events which made the news, this day, in 1962.

Independence Day hitch

Premier Norman Manley and Opposition Leader Sir Alexander Bustamante raised the roof during the plenary session at Lancaster House in the United Kingdom during talks to determine the date of Jamaica's Independence Day.

Sir Alexander Bustamante banged the table, rolled up his sleeves, got red in the face and raged loudly that if Her Majesty's government thought they could deceive the people of Jamaica they were mistaken, for there would be rebellion if Britain tried to keep Jamaica back from Independence by even one date beyond the day asked.

Federation quarrel

Sir Grantley Adams of Barbados, the West Indian prime minister, was upset that Britain had allowed Jamaica to repudiate the West Indies Federation by way of a 1961 referendum:

"Never in the history of the world has there ever been unilateral repudiation of a federation unless written in the constitution. Nyasaland was trying to leave the Central African federation, but the British government said no.

"The influence of Jamaica on the minds of the British government is almost paramount, compared with the rest of the West Indies. There are so many Englishmen who think of Jamaica as the whole of the West Indies, and I think that the British government is doing the same."

Constitution reminders

The Gleaner, recognising its civic duties, published front-page excerpts from the Constitution:

The prime minister of independent Jamaica may be removed from office if the House of Representatives decides by a majority vote of its members that his appointment should be terminated.

If this should happen, the prime minister may request that Parliament be dissolved and ask the people, in new elections, for a vote of confidence.

Seven years and 10 strokes

Hezekiah Trowers of Dunrobin, near Mandeville, before the Circuit Court here on a charge of carnal abuse of a girl under the age of 12 years, was found guilty by a jury of five men and two women and was sentenced to seven years at hard labour, with 10 strokes of the tamarind switch.

Mr Justice Semper made the order. Trowers, who had 11 previous convictions, the last three for offences against women, was undefended.

Justice Semper also sentenced Berrigford Coley of Albion, before the court on a charge of larceny of a goat, to four years' imprisonment at hard labour.

Gleaner vehicle stolen

A vehicle stolen from The Gleaner Company was recovered in the vicinity of Blake Road by traffic police. The van, which was abandoned, was apparently undamaged when recovered. No arrest was made in connection with the theft.

Bread-price warning

A warning has been given by the Hon Wills Isaacs, minister of trade and industry, that bread will be put under control if there is any attempt to increase the price.

The warning came as a result of statements made by Gladstone Chang, managing director of Consolidated Bakeries (Ja) Ltd, that the price of bread might have to be increased as there had been several increases in the price of flour over the last six months.

Unruly wards

The Ministry of Welfare and Culture has asked for a full report on an incident at the Swift Purcell Approved School, Highgate, when the boys there, armed with machetes, are said to have marched on the superintendent's office.

Cabinet meets today

The Cabinet will hold its first meeting this morning since the return of the Jamaican delegation, led by the premier, the Hon Norman Manley, from London last weekend.

It is understood that the Cabinet will deal with the report of the London Independence Conference, which is to be submitted to the House of Representatives.

Further decisions to be taken include the date for the prorogation of parliament as well as the presentation of an interim or holding Budget to tide the Government over the first few months of the new financial year that starts on April 1.

Doctors, dentists restive

It is expected that the situation with regard to doctors and dentists in the government medical service will be among matters discussed by the Cabinet today. The ministers will have to make decisions on proposals submitted for regrading of doctors' salaries and improved conditions of service, as well as on the question of representation.

Resignations to take effect at month end, have been handed in by 58 medical officers, mainly over Government's decision that negotiations on their behalf should be made by the Jamaica Civil Service Association and not the British Medical Association (Jamaica Branch).

Telephone company wires cut

The Jamaica Telephone Company yesterday reported the widespread cutting of cables and telephone wires along the north coast as the strike of some 1,300 workers employed by the company entered its fifth day.

Mr C. R. Dickenson, the company's chief engineer, said the cutting of the wires, which has isolated areas including Ocho Rios, Lucea, and Tower Isle, was sabotage.

Jamaica still being chastised over Federation breakaway

In Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, Finance Minister the Hon Robert Bradshaw devoted a whole section of his 20-minute speech to the question of Federal contribution and expenditure by and in the territory of Jamaica.

Bradshaw offered figures designed to show that the unit territory of Jamaica had received from the Federation more than she had put in as contributions to the central government.

Bradshaw told the house he had given the figures "not by any means to denigrate Jamaica - God forbid - but to prick the thin and spurious bubble and to explode the fiction that Jamaica was carrying the Leeward and Windward Island territories of this Federation".

Jamaica remains investor friendly

Jamaica can strike out alone with confidence, and investors in the island need not be apprehensive of the coming changes. That is the opinion of Peter Runge, chairman of the West Indies Sugar Company, in a statement circulated with the annual report and accounts for the 25th annual general meeting of the company to be held on March 7 in London and published in the Financial Times today.

"Although the referendum at the time had the appearance of being a party political issue, the result has left no residue of rancor and the island will enter talks on Independence without any serious internal differences of opinion," states Runge.

"There is a strong wish that after Independence Jamaica should remain within the Commonwealth, of which the Queen is the acknowledged head."

Railway champions

Railway nabbed the Division 1 soccer title for the 1961-62 season with a 1-0 victory over last season's Senior champions, Melbourne, in their replay at Emmet Park yesterday afternoon. This was Railway's first hold on a major trophy since the 1954-55 season. Railway's win gave them 22 points to the Old Boys' 21. Ten minutes after the start, Railway's inside left, Jimmy Ross, sent a lob across the goalmouth to inside right Joseph Banner, who shifted a defender and slammed into the left corner past a slow-moving Peter Murray.

Netballers leave Windies association

On attaining Independence, Jamaica will cease to be a member of the West Indies Netball Association.

The International Federation of Women's Basketball and Netball Associations recognises one association from one country, so the West Indies body would be unable to act for Jamaica after August 6.

Trinidad is also withdrawing from the West Indies Federation.

As a result of the decision taken by the JNA, no Jamaican player will be eligible for selection on a West Indies team to play England in Grenada in August,

Three Jamaicans are members of the current West Indies team which is captained by Jamaica's captain, Barbara Buckley-Jones.

Penna in charge

The accent was again on physical training yesterday afternoon at Camp as the Jamaica Football Association invitees worked with Brazilian coach Jorge Penna in preparation for the Ninth Central American and Caribbean Games, which are scheduled to take place July 21 to August 4 at the National Stadium.

The invitees went through a number of new exercises in brief spells, but getting more accustomed to the routine showed a bit more aptitude, although most of them complained about the area where the practice takes place.

This area is almost devoid of grass which, as a result, makes It rather difficult for them as there is always dust blowing around.