Remembering Independence 1962 in Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago

Photos from the 1962 celebrations in Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica

Cake created in honour of Jamaica’s independence. Photograph by © The Gleaner Company Ltd (1962)Dr Eric Williams giving his famous Independence speech. Photograph by © Information Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and CommunicationsDr Williams speaks in parliament after receiving instruments of independence. Photograph by © Information Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and CommunicationsDr Williams, HRH The Princess Royal and Sir Solomon at the flag raising cermony. Photograph by © Information Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and CommunicationsDr Wlliams and the Governor-General designate Sir Solomon Hochoy at the Children’s Rally. Photograph by © Information Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and CommunicationsGuests in the main stand at the National Stadium rise at midnight in salute to the Jamaica National Flag as it is raised. Photograph by © the Gleaner Company Ltd (1962)HRH The Princess Royal presents Dr Williams with the instruments of independence. Photograph by © Information Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and CommunicationsHRH The Princess Royal speaks in parliament. Photograph by © Information Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and CommunicationsHRH The Princess Royal with Dr Williams and Sir Solomon at the airport. Photograph by © Information Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and CommunicationsJamaica’s new prime minister, Alexander Bustamante, greets Princess Margaret on her arrival from London on August 3, 1962. Her husband Lord Snowdon (in the morning coat) awaits with outstretched hand. At extreme left is Governor Kenneth Blackburne. Photograph by the Gleaner Company Ltd (1962)The British flag is lowered. Photograph by © Information Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and CommunicationsThe Trinidad and Tobago flag is raised. Photograph by © Information Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Communications

Jamaica: August 6, 1962

Independence means the opportunity for us to frame our own destiny and the need for us to rely on ourselves in so doing. It does not mean a licence to do as we would like. It means work and law and order. Let us resolve to build a Jamaica which will last and of which we and generations to come will be proud, remembering that especially at this time the eyes of the world are upon us.

Sir Alexander Bustamante, first prime minister of Jamaica (1962-67)

We stand here today surrounded by an unseen host of witnesses, the men who in the past and through all our history strove to keep alight the torch of freedom in this country. No one will name them today, but this house is in very deed their memorial and they are with us in spirit in these great days, and they too moved through the door which opened into our future only one day ago.

And what of the future? We have come to Independence prepared and ready to shoulder our new responsibilities, and united, I believe, in one single hope that we may make our small country a safe and happy home for all our people.

Norman Manley, chief minister/premier of Jamaica (1955-62)

Trinidad and Tobago: August 31, 1962

The first responsibility that devolves upon you is the protection and promotion of your democracy. Democracy means more, much more, than the right to vote, and one vote for every man and every woman of the prescribed age. Democracy means recognition of the rights of others.

Democracy means equality of opportunity for all in education, in the public service, and in private employment – I repeat, and in private employment. Democracy means the protection of the weak against the strong. Democracy means the obligation of the minority to recognise the right of the majority. Democracy means responsibility of the government to its citizens, the protection of the citizens from the exercise of arbitrary power and the violation of human freedoms and individual rights. Democracy means freedom of worship for all and the subordination of the right of any race to the overriding right of the human race. Democracy means freedom of expression and assembly …

All that is our Democracy, to which I call upon all citizens to dedicate themselves on this our Independence Day. This is what I meant when I gave the Nation its slogan for all time: Discipline, Production, Tolerance. Indiscipline, whether individual or sectional, is a threat to democracy.

Dr Eric Williams, first chief minister and first prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago (1956-81)