September 17, 2021

Jamaica Independence Day

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Happy Jamaica Independence Day! Here’s how long the Caribbean nation has been independent

By Phil Haigh From METRO UK

Last Monday (6) Jamaicans across the globe celebrate the independence of their home nation from British rule.

6 August is Jamaica Independence Day as it was on this day that the Parliament of the United Kingdom signed the Jamaica Independence Act, ending British rule of the Caribbean island.

The Queen remains the head of state and Jamaica is still part of the Commonwealth, but the country has now held independence for over 50 years.

Here is what you need to know about when and how Jamaican independence came about…

Jamaica officially gained its independence on 6 August 1962, meaning it has been an independent nation for 56 years to this day.

It was in 1962 that the first Jamaica Independence Festival was held, organised by future prime minister Edward Seaga.

The festival is still going in 2018, running from 1-6 August this year at the National Arena in Kingston.

It features the World Reggae Dance Championship, the Miss Jamaica competition and markets selling local produce among other things.

Jamaica had been a British colony since 1655, but when World War Two came to an end in 1945 there was widespread decolonisation of what had been the British Empire.

The process in Jamaica took 17 years of gradual amendments to the constitution which set the country up for self-governance.

In 1962 the Independence Act was signed and the Jamaican Labour Party (JLP) won an election to install Alexander Bustamante as the country’s first prime minister.

Since 1962 either the JLP or the People’s National Party (PNP) have been in control in Jamaica.

Current prime minister, Andrew Holness, is the ninth to be leading the country having been elected to the post in March 2016.


Andrew Holness


This morning I attended the National Emancipation and Independence Thanksgiving Church Service held under the theme; “One love, one family” at the Constant Spring Road Church of God as part of Jamaica’s 56th Independence celebrations. Let us recommit to Jamaica, land we love.


Sir William Alexander Bustamante (L) celebrates after the final session of the Jamaica Independence Conference held at Lancaster House, London in 1962 (Picture: Getty Images)

A Jamaican band play for spectators who have gathered to greet Princess Margaret and the Earl of Snowdon to Jamaica’s Independence Day celebrations in 1962 (Picture: Getty Images)

The Jamaican flag is iconic (Picture: Getty Images)

Happy Jamaica Independence Day! (Picture: Getty Images)

From Andrew Holness TWITTER

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