Against a backdrop of black, green and gold, the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) on Wednesday July 18, launched a captivating photo album highlighting important milestones of Jamaica’s journey since Independence.
‘Our Golden Jubilee, Snapshots of Post-Independent Jamaica 1962-2012’ was unveiled in a colourful ceremony at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston to rave reviews from a large audience.
The publication is in celebration of Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of Independence and has over 50 images depicting seminal moments in the nation’s life through the decades.
Minister with responsibility for Information, Hon. Sandrea Falconer commended the JIS for its foresight and creativity in developing the publication. “This timely and welcome publication and our presence here this evening is an expression of support for that thrust to document our life as a nation.
“With this publication, Jamaicans at home and abroad and friends of Jamaica have been provided with a unique opportunity to relive some of the special moments in the story of our glorious independence journey,” Minister Falconer said.
She noted that the publication did not just capture Jamaica to the world, but the world to Jamaica, as seen in photos such as those of Pope John Paul II, Nelson and Winnie Mandela, Martin Luther King Jnr., Queen Elizabeth II and many other dignitaries, who visited our shores.
Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, whose 1993 Miss World victory is captured in the book, endorsed the publication and encouraged Jamaicans at home and abroad to ensure that it s part of their collection. “This book is beautiful. It deserves to be on your coffee tables and certainly in the homes of your relatives and friends in the Diaspora,” she said.
Minister Hanna stated that the publication was another timely reminder that Jamaica 50 is a national effort, and an amalgamation of the work of many entities, groups and individuals.
Describing the JIS as “a storehouse of archival treasures in relation to authentic Jamaican culture and our rich, dynamic heritage,” Minister Hanna said it is encouraging to see that very good use has been made of the organisation’s photo collection of significant moments from the past 50 years.
Sponsorship support for ‘Our Golden Jubilee, Snapshots of Post-Independent Jamaica 1962-2012’ came from Guardian Life Limited, whose President, Eric Hosin, called the publication, “a gem of a keepsake.”
“This book makes you understand that Jamaica nice. Yard really sweet,” Mr. Hosin declared.
The Guardian Life President said the company did not hesitate, when it received the request for sponsorship. “The idea of a pictorial of our journey since independence is something we believe will appropriately record our rich history and tradition…. Each picture says a million words in this book. The photography not only captures the events but the various mood and emotions,” he said.
Chief Executive Officer of the JIS, Donna-Marie Rowe described the book as “a shining reflection of the iconic people and exciting moments in our country’s embodiment of nationhood.”
She had fulsome praise for the project team, and expressed the organisation’s gratitude for their dedicated efforts in bringing the project to fruition.
Mrs. Rowe also acknowledged former JIS Chief Photographer Errol Harvey, who was responsible for many of the photos in the publication as well as Howard Moo-Young and several other persons and institutions that contributed.
The JIS CEO expressed hope that the images will “come alive in the hearts of those who witnessed and felt the passion of the moment.”
The launching ceremony had an audience of over 200 attendees including Governor-General, Their Excellencies the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen and Lady Allen; former Governor- General, Sir Kenneth Hall and Lady Hall, government ministers, members of the diplomatic corps, heads of agencies, and advisory board members and staff of the JIS.
The event, which was chaired by JIS Advisory Board Chair and Communication Consultant, Fae Ellington, featured cultural performances from the CariFolk Singers, and gold medal winners in the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission’s (JCDC) festival of the arts.
By Andrea Braham