Today, Sandals Resorts is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Jamaica’s Independence. On August 6th, 1962, this Caribbean island that we call home became an independent nation.
Jamaica is our hometown and our headquarters…it is where Sandals Resorts first started 30 years ago…and as such holds a place near and dear to our hearts. With that said, today is holiday for us as our Jamaican home celebrates its 50th Anniversary of Independence.
Jamaica was first discovered by Columbus in 1494 and then occupied by the Spanish before falling under British rule. Jamaica achieved complete independence on August 6, 1962 establishing a parliamentary system based on the United Kingdom model, with the Queen as Sovereign. Jamaica is a constitutional monarchy and a member of the Commonwealth of Nations – these are countries that have retained the UK Privy Council, of which The Queen is Head, as their court of final appeal.
You may remember the British Royal family touring around the Commonwealth a few months ago in celebration of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Sandals Resorts and Jamaica were lucky enough to receive a visit from Prince Harry earlier this year:
For those of you that don’t know exactly the Queen’s role in Jamaica …here’s a quick overview:
Jamaica is a constitutional monarchy with The Queen as Sovereign. As a constitutional monarch, The Queen abides by the decisions of the Jamaican Government, but she continues to play important ceremonial and symbolic roles. In all her duties, The Queen acts as Queen of Jamaica, quite distinct from her role in the United Kingdom or any of her other realms. The Queen is head of state, and on the advice of the Prime Minister, she appoints a Governor-General to be her representative in Jamaica. The Governor-General must have no affiliation to any political party. Neither the Queen nor the Governor-General has any real authority in conducting the administration of the country. Real legislative and executive responsibilities rest with the elected representatives of the people. Over the course of her reign, The Queen has visited Jamaica six times to date, touring the island extensively.
You are likely to see big celebrations today not just in Jamaica, but in Jamaican communities all over the U.S. and U.K. as well. There is even a special Jamaica House in London to celebrate during the Olympics. We’ll definitely be celebrating with guests staying at Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts in Jamaica this week with special events and activities. Sandals is a Caribbean based company with Jamaican roots and we are proud to help celebrate such an important occasion for the country.
For more information about Jamaica’s 50th Anniversary, visit:
• 1494: - Christopher Columbus arrived in Jamaica on May 4 1494, however the Spanish formed settlements in 1509.
• 1655: – On May 10 1655, Great Britain took control of Jamaica from the Spanish.
• 1692: Devastating earthquake at Port Royal
• 1831: Christmas Revolution
• 1834: Emancipation proclamation was read on August 1, 1834
• 1947: Autonomy from Britain was granted in 1947
• 1958: Jamaica became a key member of the British-sponsored West Indies Federation
• 1962: Jamaica gained Independence from the British on August 6, 1962.
Happy Independence Day Jamaica from your friends at Sandals Resorts!