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Jamaica 50

Published:Wednesday | May 2, 2012 | 12:00 AM

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.

From earthquakes, hurricanes and fires to Olympic glory and Independence, The Gleaner started chronicling Jamaica's roller-coaster history ride in 1834, and has had a front-row seat at every major event since.

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.

Gov't approves plans for celebrations

Government's approval of proposals submitted by the Independence Celebrations Committee was reported to the meeting of the committee in Headquarters House yesterday afternoon.

The chairman, Theodore Sealy, said the Government had also approved the expenditure of about £350,000 to cover their submissions.

Further finance is to be allocated for spreading employment among the people, but this will be done by government departments and local government.

Committee plans included arrangements about countries to be invited, treats to schoolchildren, fireworks displays, souvenirs for children born on Independence Day etc.

The consultative committee recommended with regard to clemency to prisoners, that while the effect should be general and widespread, it should not necessarily be general.

Complete and automatic clemency had to be avoided for security reasons. The Ministry of Home Affairs, responsible for security, the police; and the Ministry of Development and Welfare would jointly produce a formula for clemency.

Sangster in charge of policy, programme

Donald Sangster, minister of finance, has been designated by the premier, the Honourable Sir Alexander Bustamante, chairman in charge of policy and programme for the Independence celebrations, in succession to the former premier, Norman Manley.

The consultative committee now has wider and charged membership. Other members are Edward Seaga, minister of development and welfare; Roy McNeill, minister of home affairs; Florizel Glasspole and, tentatively, Iris King, for the Opposition in the Government; and Theodore Sealy, chairman of the Independence Celebrations Committee.

'Little Eight' London talks, May 8

Talks about a smaller West Indies Federation of eight small islands will open in London next Tuesday. The project was launched after the collapse of the original West Indies Federation, caused by the defection of Jamaica which now gets separate independence in August.

The conference between the British government and the 'Little Eight' was originally due to open in Barbados.

The islands concerned are Barbados, Antigua, St Kitts, Montserrat, St Vincent, St Lucia, Grenada and Dominica.

A conference on independence for Trinidad is to start in London towards the end of this month.