Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Monday | July 6, 2009
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Jamaica Celebrates - Born with national pride

Kimesha Walters, Gleaner Writer

Building Our Nation, Our Family, Our Home

Garth Wilson exited his mother's womb at the moment the national flag was being raised for the first time and the national anthem was being sung. The little boy squealed and took his first breath of air at the Princess Margaret Hospital in St Thomas.

It was such a special moment that the government at the time gave his mother a silver spoon, emblazoned with the coat of arms and his name, as well as a citation to commemorate his birth. And to this day, the mother and son have cherished the gift, which Wilson still has tucked away in the 47-year-old gift box.

So close

"She keep that spoon so close to her that I wish she did keep me so close to her," he said, grinning from ear to ear. He added that he knows two others who were born on the same day but, unlike him, they did not get a gift. This makes his gift more extraordinary.

Wilson still thinks he was born on a special day and remains awed when he reminisces on the many tales that were shared with him about his birth.

"I have always thought it was a special occasion to be born at that moment. Jamaica gaining independence at that time is something special and I feel good to be born on that day. Every year Jamaica celebrates its birth and I celebrate mine as well. I don't have to do nutten, I just sit down in my living room," said a laughing Wilson.

After a short fit of laughter, Wilson declared that his mother, who did not plan for his August birth, is proud of her accomplishment. "Any mother would be very proud of that and I'm very proud of her for what happened," he added.

Being the only child for his mother, Wilson could never have his own way as she always kept tabs on him and tagged him along for her regular church events.

"I wasn't allowed to run around with the other youth dem, just run around and play."

He recalled that this made him disciplined and he got many gifts for his birthday, especially that 'nice little red mail van' which he cherished.

Despite all the joys that he can recall, Wilson is unhappy with the fact that Independence has morphed into a time for festivities and that people have steered away from the real meaning of that precious moment when he was born.

Meaning of Independence

"I don think they are focusing on what the real meaning of Independence is," he said, referring to the celebrations and parties that are held annually on August 6. "I think the celebrations should be surrounding life and livity, where we are coming from as a nation, where we are heading and where we should go."

The self-employed artist admits that he once did not know the significance of Independence Day, but now that he does, it is something that he will forever hold close to his heart.

"Now that I know what it is, I have to appreciate what it means to us as Jamaicans," he declared.


Class of '62 snapshots

The Rev and Mrs Roy B. L. Whyte who were married at the Providence Methodist Church. Officiating clergyman was the Rev William Blake. The bride is Elma McKenzie-Whyte, daughter of Mr and Mrs Enos McKenzie of Mt Airy, Westmoreland. She wore a New York creation of Chantilly lace over satin, and she carried a bouquet of orchids. The groom is the son of Mr and Mrs G.L. Whyte of Porter's Mountain, Clarendon.

Under-15 netball champions: Convent of Mercy's (Alpha Academy) netball team which won the all-island, schools' league for the Aguliar Cup are (standing from left) Violett Cargill, Lena Neil, Lorna Chung and Pamela Henry. Second row from left are Dorothy Grant (vice-captain), Neva McCauley and Elaine Hall. In front is the captain Jeanette Chin. The competition was held for the first time and Alpha, having won the Kingston title, met country champions Rusea's in the final at Ferncourt, St Ann, on Saturday, June 30. They won 31-7 after a half-time lead of 14-4.

TRIPLE CHAMPIONS: The Wolmer's Boys' School team which did the 'grand slam' of school-boy tennis by winning the Jamaica Mutual Shield, the Alexander Cup and the Bishop Gibson Cup. Seated from left are John Aitken, Tony Eastwood, David Tate with the Jamaica Mutual Shield, Richard Scholefield, and Robert Aitken. Standing are coach Harry Brown, Milton Powell, Mickey West, Sydney Abrahams Jr and sportsmaster George Lazarus.

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