Excitement ramping up for Jamaıca celebrations

It’s the 50th anniversary of Jamaican independence and celebrations are taking place right across the world. The Cayman Islands are no exception with a series of events with something for everybody. 

Indeed, Cayman has enjoyed dance events and art exhibitions as we ramp up the excitement toward the big day of Monday, 6 August. Here’s what to do during the next few days. 

The Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort’s Ballroom at Seven Mile Beach is the venue for an Independence Gala and Ball on Friday, 27 July. Expect entertainment and some great food for this one, which is sure to attract the great and good of Cayman’s Jamaican community. Dress code is black tie. Guest speaker is Member of Parliament Lisa Hanner, former Miss World and now Minister of Youth and Culture for Jamaica. Kri Performing Academy plus Morvin Brooks and Island Vibes provide entertainment, as does Karen Smith, the jazz vocalist extraordinaire of Jamaica who never fails to bring sophistication and energy to her awesome talent. 

Sponsors are Tony’s Toys, BAF Insurance, NCB Cayman. CNB, National Building Society, ICWI, VibesTime and Seaboard Marine. 


Gospel magic 

At the Lions Centre in Grand Cayman on Saturday, 28 July, a special gospel concert is taking place. 

A host of great names is lined up including Daszion, Clive Bennett, Clifford Henry, Opal Lorraine and Clarity. 

The night is emceed by Barry G and headliners include Stefan Peninsilyn, Michelle T and George Nooks. There’s also a special tribute to Shirley Willis, former member of the Grace Thrillers. 

Michelle T and George Nooks will also be launching the original song, More Than We Can Bear at the gig – the first time they will perform it together. Weekender’s had a sneak preview and it’s an upbeat slice of religious reggae. Looks like a great night. 

Gates open at 6pm and the show starts at 7pm sharp. Tickets are available from Funky Tangs, Quik Cash, J&M Electronics in West Bay and Reflections. Cost is $15 in advance or $20 at the gate and $1 from each ticket goes to the Cayman Islands Cancer Society and the Jamaica National Children’s Home. 


Poetry and culture 

Head up to Books & Books in Camana Bay in Grand Cayman for a special culture evening on Wednesday, 1 August featuring Rev. Easton Lee.  

The Reverend will be conducting a book signing and performing poetry. The night is billed as Jubilee 50 Pon Di Mike and also will be featuring local poets. Admission is free and it all kicks off at 6pm. Reverend Lee is a playwright, producer and television presenter, actor and a former special assistant to Michael Manley during the 1970s. His best-known play, The Rope and The Cross, has been produced both in Jamaica and further afield. Awards include the Silver Musgrade Medal from the Institute of Jamaica for Contribution in the Field of Culture, Jamaica Press Association Award for TV Production and a Jamaica Press Association Award for Radio Production.  

He has several religious plays to his credit including Once in a Manger, On the Third Day, and They that Mourn. His writings also include poems, short stories and others such as Tarshan Lace and Velvet, My Dear Priscilla and Man to Man. The Wait-a-Bit, Trelawny-born, Siloah, St. Elizabeth-raised reverend is rightly considered a stalwart of the literary and cultural arts of Jamaica and with his life experience allied to passion and spirituality this event is set to be a must-see. 


Still to come 

Check out next Friday’s Weekender for more information. 



Over the years Jamaica slowly gained increasing independence from the United Kingdom and in 1958, it became a province in the Federation of the West Indies, a federation among the British West Indies. Jamaica attained full independence by leaving the federation in 1962. Jamaica’s current constitution was drafted in 1962 by a bipartisan joint committee of the Jamaican legislature. It came into force with the Jamaica Independence Act, 1962 of the United Kingdom parliament, which gave Jamaica independence. 

Jamaica girl

Never too young to celebrate your heritage. – Photo: Jewel Levy

Jamaica jerkman

Jerk is the quintessential Jamaican food. – Photo: Jewel Levy