Celebrations to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Jamaican independence will take place from mid-July.
A series of events was announced at a special launch evening at Ortanique in Camana Bay on Wednesday, 30 May, which was attended by a host of Jamaican nationals based in the Cayman Islands.
Cabinet Minister Mike Adam read a statement from the premier, who was overseas on business. Cayman, he said, had a historically close relationship with Jamaica, which was occasionally “tempestuous” but akin to neighbours or siblings which went back hundreds of years. During this time, Caymanians and Jamaicans had moved between the two territories.
He said that Jamaica had inspired Cayman in many ways including their National Strategic Planning of the Vision 2030 project, which had offered Cayman much on which to build.
He concluded with a quote from John F. Kennedy, which originally was about the US-Canada relationship, but held true for Cayman and Jamaica: “Geography has made us neighbours. History has made us friends. Economics has made us partners, and necessity has made us allies. Those whom God has so joined together, let no man put asunder.”
Dr. Joseph Marzouca noted that 50 years of independence was testament to the innovative people and told a tale that illustrated the wide spread of the Diaspora in which he had met a Jamaican entrepreneur on the streets of Venice.
He compared the relationship between Cayman and Jamaica with a marriage and ceded that this could sometimes bring difficult times, but that all parties continued to have the best interest in mind for the people. Dr. Marzouca noted that Jamaican labour had helped build much of the infrastructure of the Cayman Islands plus two large Jamaican banks were established here.
“We must always represent our country well and appreciate and respect the shores we live upon. By and large, Jamaicans have been exemplary in that category,” he said.
Jubilee chairman Adlington Stephenson then talked attendees through the events scheduled. Indeed, he noted, celebrations had already begun with performances by the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica and KRI Performing Arts at the Harquail Theatre at the end of May.
Jamaican Art Exhibition, National Gallery
Stella Maris Dance Ensemble, Harquail Theatre (until 22 July)
Independence Gala Dinner and Ball, Marriott Ballroom
Gospel Concert, Lions Centre
Books and Books Culture Evening with Rev Easton Lee, Camana Bay
Jamaica Culture Day, Cardinall Avenue
Family Fun Day, Smith Road Oval
Jerk Fest, Layman Scott Snr High School, Cayman Brac
Ecumenical and Thanksgiving Service, All Nations United Pentecostal Church
Independence 50th Banquet, Alexander Hotel, Cayman Brac
Flag Raising Service, Jamaican Consulate Office
Festivities and Olympics Highlights, Corner Pocket
Independence 50th Concert and Service, Aston Rutty Civic Centre, Cayman Brac
Diaspora Award Ceremony, date subject to change and more details to be announced