Regional

'We used to travel on mule carts and donkeys'

Monday, August 07, 2017

Print this page Email A Friend!


“It was fantastic.”

That is how Lance Neita, a St Ann native, described 1962 —the year Jamaica gained Independence.

“Everybody was aware that we were having this transition,” Neita recalled while speaking to the Jamaica Observer North & East, last week.

Fifty-five years later he still feels the “pride and joy” Jamaicans felt when the nation shed its colonial cloak to join the ranks of independent nations.

He recalled that there was huge anticipation before Independence due to a wide-spread campaign in the media and to word of mouth about the changes to come.

“Every little village had lighting at nights and the music on the radio was also fabulous. Not even the Grand Gala can beat the celebrations then. The first few years were the best. I felt the feeling of the newness; the black, green, and gold was everywhere,” he said.

But according to him, while Jamaica celebrates its independence annually, he believes that it has lost significance among younger people over the years.

“The younger people still do not understand what independence is, so there is no emotion and joy that would have been associated in 1962,” he explained.

Joseph Wellington, from Islington, St Mary, shared the same sentiments.

Although he was only a young boy when Jamaica gained independence, he said he still recalls the sense of joy that people around him expressed.

“I remember my aunt going to the square and returning with her independence cup,” he told North & East.

He said at that time, Jamaicans recognised the constraints and what their foreparents endured as slaves, and as a result celebrated Independence with more passion.

“Many young people don't grasp it,” he said, stating that there should be a greater push towards educating them in this regard.

Ninety-three-year-old Phyllis Green believes that Jamaica has much to celebrate, pointing to what she describes as significant changes that have occurred over the years.

“We used to travel on mule carts and donkeys. We used to have to walk to school,” she said, noting that the country's mode of transportation has improved significantly.

She also pointed out that the majority of Jamaicans had to use pit latrines in the past.

“We used to use pit latrines and we used to use kerosene lamp; we never know about electricity. We used to use wood fire,” Green said while reflecting.

“We never had washing easy as we do now. We used to go to the river to wash with our tub on our heads and walk back with the clothes. Jamaica is much, much better now,” she said.

ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT