One more occasion that I really regret missing was the formal ceremony commemorating the designation of Kingston as Jamaica’s capital, 145 years ago, which took place on April 11. I was under the weather that day. I must confess though, I like a bit of pageantry. And I’m a sucker for marching bands, especially of the American variety (there are some good Jamaican ones, too).
Mayor Delroy Williams is a man with vision; he has plans, as I noted in my recent interview with him. This is where the “building the future” part of this year’s theme fits in. Looking back at its past, (this link provides much more detail from the National Library of Jamaica), the City actually came into being after the devastating earthquake of 1692. The city of Port Royal disappeared under the sea, swallowed up by what we might now call a tsunami. Kingston became a place for earthquake refugees. Spanish Town was the new capital of Jamaica, until eventually, after many years of development as a port and trading centre and lobbying from merchants, Kingston became capital in 1872.
So, at South Parade, downtown Kingston on April 11, a celebration of the City of Kingston was held. There were schoolchildren, and uniformed parades and bands, and regular people and invited guests, diplomats and speeches, and curious onlookers. There were beautiful women all dressed up, and men looking very neat in suits. And of course, the Mayor and councillors of the Kingston & St. Andrew Municipal Corporation were in attendance, along with the Custos of Kingston Steadman Fuller.
Here’s a lovely photo gallery, courtesy of the Mayor’s Office. I have added captions wherever I can, which you can see if you put your mouse over the photos. I am not going to miss this, next time!