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4 Financial Quotes to Increase Your Wealth

Michelle Sinclair-Doyley of JMMB gives some of her favourite philosophical quotes that have guided her and hopes that they will guide you towards your journey of a wealthier life:

1. “How many millionaires do you know have become wealthy by investing in savings accounts? I rest my case.” (Robert G. Allen):

Savings accounts are designed for safety and liquidity. However, growing your portfolio will require taking greater risk which can include investing in real estate and the stock market; which in the long run should outperform inflation and depreciation of the J$.

2. “The individual investor should act consistently as an investor and not as a speculator.” (Ben Graham):

Well-timed, quick supernormal profits seldom occur. Instead your financial decisions should be guided by facts and solid analysis. Additionally, determine the criteria for the assets to be included in your portfolio, for example, assets selected should meet your investment objective and your timeline, whether 1 year, 3 years or more than 10 years (short term – long-term). JMMB’s website shares market research, stock prices and portfolio strategies to keep you informed and provide you with factual analysis.

3. “Know what you own, and know why you own it.” (Peter Lynch):

It is important to recognize that each asset class (such as real estate, bonds or stocks) and each asset in that class serve a different role. For example, when purchasing stocks it is good to diversify across industries. Ideally, it would be best to include stocks that move in opposite directions. For example, if you have agricultural stocks, a construction stock may be purchased to add balance to the portfolio, in the event of a hurricane, although the agricultural related stock prices may fall, in the rebuilding process, construction related stock prices should increase. Investors should also include different assets in diversifying their portfolio; by including cash to offer liquidity, bonds for consistent cash flow and stocks to outperform depreciation. Unit trusts are also an excellent way to diversify your investment, with the opportunity to benefit from expert management, so that you can reap the best returns on your investment.

4. “Always start at the end before you begin. Professional investors always have an exit strategy before they invest. Knowing your exit strategy is an important investment fundamental.” (Robert Kiyosaki):

With this mindset of the goal at the beginning of the journey, investors should try to purchase assets well below its top price, if not it will be difficult to obtain large profits on the sale of these assets. Additionally, in order to be less emotionally led, set investment guidelines for yourself including your desired profit margin and sell when the market prices reaches your target prices. You can use JMMB’s Moneyline to enter the price for a stock at which it should be automatically sold, making this an automatic process for you.

Taken from JMMB’s Finance Made Simple with Michelle series which appears in The Gleaner. Michelle Sinclair-Doyley, Manager, Client Financial Education, JMMB Group

Zero Hour: Our Region in the Face of the Pandemic

The following is an op-ed piece by Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of the United Nations’ Economic Commission of Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), on the economic and social consequences of the COVID-19 crisis

March 25, 2020

“Everything seems to be one gigantic mistake. We console ourselves by saying that everything has happened as it should not have happened. But it is we who are mistaken, not history. We must learn to look reality in the face; if necessary, we must invent new words and new ideas for these new realities that are challenging us. Thinking is the first obligation of the intelligentsia, and in certain cases it is the only one.” – Octavio Paz, The Labyrinth of Solitude

It is true that history recounts the devastating impact of past pandemics, but none of them broke out in such a populated world (with more than 7.7 billion people) or such an interconnected one, and with a planet that is ailing environmentally. This is the biggest human and health crisis we have ever faced. That assertion must serve as our guiding principle if we are to approach it effectively. It has, of course, profound economic implications, but the center of attention, the focus of public policy decisions, must be on safeguarding one of the most valuable global public goods in existence: people’s health and well-being.

With this in mind, it is fitting to mention that Latin America and the Caribbean will be impacted via five main external channels :

  1. the decline of economic activity in our principal trading partners, especially China;
  2. the fall in prices for our commodities;
  3. the interruption of global and regional value chains;
  4. the steep drop in demand for tourism services, which primarily affects the Caribbean; and
  5. an increase in risk aversion and the worsening of global financial conditions and capital outflows from the region, with the consequent devaluation of our currencies.

The onslaught of COVID-19 came at a bad time. Worldwide, 2019 marked the worst performance in the last decade (2.5% growth in GDP). In the case of Latin America and the Caribbean, this performance was even more dramatic. To find worse growth levels than what the region recorded in the last seven years, one must look back as far as seven decades.

Just a few months ago, and after ending 2019 with poor regional growth of just 0.1%, ECLAC estimated that 2020 would witness a modest rebound and the growth rate would reach 1.3% of GDP. Today, a conservative estimate – based on data that is still in the process of stabilizing – tells us that Latin America and the Caribbean will record negative growth of -1.8% this year, with a probable downward bias.

The effects of this crisis on our main trading partners portend a decline in the value of our region’s exports that could reach a magnitude of -10.7%. This scenario entails a significant increase in unemployment along with heightened labor market informality.

The consequent effects of negative growth and higher unemployment translate into an increase in poverty and extreme poverty. If the base data is confirmed, in 2020 the number of poor people would rise from 186 million currently to 220 million, and the quantity of Latin American and Caribbean inhabitants who live in conditions of extreme poverty would rise from 67.5 million to 90.8 million.

This crisis finds us with fragmented health care systems and without universal coverage, where more than 47% of the population currently has no access to social security. A crisis that is particularly vicious for the 58 million people over 65 years of age in our region.

The challenge is enormous, and it demands that we renew our toolbox. Each country will have to creatively explore and expand the framework of its possible responses, recognizing that there are no known formulas, while also recognizing that there are some imperative steps to be taken.

In the current situation, it cannot be overlooked that massive fiscal stimulus is needed to bolster health services and protect income and jobs, among the numerous challenges at hand. The provision of essential goods (medication, food, energy) cannot be disrupted today, and universal access to testing for COVID-19 must be guaranteed along with medical care for all those who need it. Providing our health care systems with the necessary funds is an unavoidable imperative.

When we talk about massive fiscal stimulus, we are also talking about financing the social protection systems that care for the most vulnerable sectors. We are talking about rolling out non-contributory programs such as direct cash transfers, financing for unemployment insurance, and benefits for the underemployed and self-employed.

Likewise, central banks have to ensure liquidity so the production apparatus can guarantee its continued functioning. These efforts must translate into support for companies with zero-interest loans for paying wages. In addition, companies and households must be aided by the postponement of loan, mortgage and rent payments. Many interventions will be needed to ensure that the chain of payments is not interrupted. Development banks should play a significant role in this.

And, certainly, multilateral financing bodies will have to consider new policies on low-interest loans and offer relief and deferments on current debt servicing to create fiscal space.

It is also urgent that unilateral sanctions and blockades, imposed in the world and in our region, be lifted, because they hamper entire populations’ access to goods and services that are indispensable for fighting this sanitary challenge. Today, humanitarian considerations come before any political differences. Health cannot be held hostage to geopolitical quarrels.

This is a complex time, and it comes as our planet is ailing. It is experiencing one of its worst phases in environmental terms, with polluted oceans and rivers, devastated forests, eroded soil, mass extinction of species, and altered climatic cycles. This must be the time to reflect on the unsustainability of the extractivist and unequal development model.

This new health crisis has exposed the fragility of this globalization and of the development model on which it was based. The breaking of supply chains, the decline in global growth, and the performance of financial markets have exposed the global vulnerability of our economies. In light of the evidence of this crisis, the global community will have to face the fact that globalization did not work as promised and it must be reformed.

The decoupling between financial markets and the real economy’s flows must be contained and regulated. International trade is not an inevitable driver of long-term growth without policies for diversifying and transforming production. Inequalities, between countries and within them, aggravate the fragility of the global system and must be rolled back.

This pandemic has the potential to transform the geopolitics of globalization, but it is also an opportunity to survey the benefits of multilateral action and make room for needed debate on a new, sustainable and egalitarian development model. Because, “if necessary, we must invent new words and new ideas for these new realities that are challenging us.”

Read more from UN-ECLAC: COVID-19 Will Have Grave Effects on the Global Economy and Will Impact the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean


List: COVID-19 Response Measures

Here’s a list of COVID-19 response measures announced by the Government of Jamaica and the Private Sector – so far – to help us navigate this challenging time. This does not include the health sector response. These are only the measures to support other critical aspects in the economy that impact lives and livelihoods. It will be updated regularly but check with Jamaica Gleaner for the very latest. Listed in date order, newest first. Please read all original articles for important details.


COVID Relief For Informal Sector – Cabbies, Barbers, Barmen In Good Standing To Benefit.

““The Government is going to give a grant to individuals that they are not entitled to, that they have not earned, but a grant due to the circumstances,” the finance minister explained, adding that registration authorities would help with verifications.”  Read more here


BOJ Takes Pre-Emptive Measures To Keep Financial System Humming – Expects Economy To Contract 3%, Led By Tourism Fallout

“The eight measures outlined by Byles on Thursday – some of which were previously announced by the central bank – include direct sales of foreign exchange to authorised dealers and cambios, as needed; alongside a halt on investment transactions that require the purchase of foreign exchange.”  There are more.  Read here.


Hi-Lo Offers Discounts To Senior Citizens, Healthcare Workers

Hi-Lo has is now offering a 10 per cent discount to healthcare workers islandwide. It is also extending a five per cent discount to senior citizens on all purchases made between 8 and 10 a.m. daily. A release from GraceKennedy yesterday said both special offers will be in place until further notice.  Read more here


Sagicor Life Implements Coronavirus Measures

According to a release from Sagicor, among the measures is the granting of an additional 30 days grace period for life insurance clients to pay premiums. “Premium payments can be made online using Client Web, a free and convenient platform that also enables policyholders to receive payouts electronically. Online payments can also be made using Paymaster and Bill Express online services. Clients may also pay premiums using bank transfers, standing orders and salary deductions.”  Read more here


Education Ministry Partners With RJRGLEANER Communications Group To Provide Educational Content To Students


The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information has partnered with the RJRGLEANER Communications Group to deliver live interactive teaching sessions across all media platforms for high school students in Jamaica.

The agreement will see the RJRGLEANER brands, Television Jamaica (TVJ), The Gleaner’s Youth Link, Music 99FM, jamaicagleaner.com, televisionjamaica.com, Television Jamaica You Tube, Jamaica News Network (JNN) and 1spotmedia provide live and pre-recorded content to students.

Read more here:


Banks Forgo Asset Tax Cut To Provide $3b For Jamaica’s COVID-19 Response.


  • “This will allow the government to add $3.02 billion to the $7 billion already announced as contingency to deal with COVID-19.”
  • “Special Consumption Tax (SCT) will be waived on 100,000 litres of alcohol which will be donated to National Health Fund.”
  • “Customs charges on liquid soaps, sanitisers, masks and gloves have been waived for 90 days.”

Read more here

See Screenshot of Fiscal Stimulus Measures




JN Bank Suspends Some Fees

  • “Since Saturday, MultiLink fees have also been suspended for persons using JN Bank debit cards at MultiLink ATMs or to make purchases in stores…until Sunday, March 22.”
  • Suspended all fees to conduct in-branch transactions.

Read more here.



BOJ Expanding Access To Local, Foreign Currencies By Financial Institutions. Measures listed in the link.


NCB Waives Some Fees Amid COVID-19 In Jamaica. Measures for personal, corporate and commercial customers, small and medium enterprises.  Read link for details.




Tree Planting (and Maintenance), Climate Action and Me

Tree planting is a long standing activity that has been promoted by the non-profit and public sectors. Did you also know that March 21 was established as the International Day of Forests by a resolution of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and is celebrated annually?

Seedlings collected at the Forestry Department for National Tree Planting Day activities in Treasure Beach. Photo: Do Good Jamaica

In the public sector, this has been done primarily by the Forestry Department of Jamaica via National Tree Planting Day – which was first observed in 2003 – and its Private Planting Programme and other activities. Did you know that, each year, the first Friday in October is observed in Jamaica as National Tree Planting Day?

Other public sector entities promoting tree planting include the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture & Fisheries MICAF) and its agency, the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), primarily for fruit-bearing trees.

The recent announcement of the Government of Jamaica’s ‘Three Million Trees in Three Years’ National Tree Planting Programme has sparked significant interest in tree planting activities. This resurgence of interest in tree planting is great news for many reasons. It represents an activity that can:

  • help to mitigate climate change – as long as it is done properly; discussed in the final paragraph below;
  • contribute to food security and livelihoods;
  • improve air and water quality;
  • reduce land slippage and soil erosion – we all want to protect our property and infrastructure as best we can;
  • provide ecosystem benefits. An ecosystem is a community of both the living (plants, animals, etc) and non-living (soil, etc) components which are connected and interact through the food web, nutrient cycles and energy flows;
  • provide recreational and aesthetic value (forest therapy etc); and
  • preserve our heritage. How many of us have heard about the Kindah Tree in Accompong which is of tremendous importance to the Maroons? And how many of us have a navel string tree or even know what it is?

And to think that those are just a few selected potential benefits.

Naturally, the question then becomes, what does this mean for me, personally? What do I need to consider in deciding whether or not I want to plant and maintain 1 tree or 1,000 trees? Here are a few things I’ve learned, that I tend to think about, and that may be useful to you as well:

Purpose: What sort of functionality do I want from this tree? What type (a.k.a species) of tree is of interest to me? Would I like fruit, lumber/timber, shade, aesthetics, carbon sequestration (this refers to carbon that is stored by trees), or a combination of those and other benefits? Different trees have different characteristics.

Hammock between coconut trees at Treasure Cot, Jakes Treasure Beach

Maintenance: What type of tree do I want to care for? Yes… they do require care especially until they are well established, and they may require care beyond establishment. What is establishment? Establishment is the point at which a seedling requires less care than it did initially (think of caring for a newborn baby versus a more independent toddler). Why might they require care beyond that point? If you have done the work to establish a healthy tree, you want to ensure that you can enjoy maximum benefits for as long as possible.

Care and maintenance are critical. Photo: The Nature Conservancy

Location and environment: Where do I want to plant this tree (hillside or flat land for example)? What sort of environment do I have available? Is it usually wet because there is a lot of rain, or is it drier because there is very little rain? What kind of soil is there and what will grow well in it? Is it a sunny or a shaded location? Also remember that some seedlings will grow into trees that require a lot of space so proper spacing is also important. Different trees have different needs.

Mango tree in St. Elizabeth, the bread basket where farmers are experienced with dealing with drought conditions. Photo: Gary Dean Clarke

When to plant: Planting season in Jamaica usually corresponds with the two (2) traditional rainy seasons… because this makes it easier for the seedlings to become established. Consequently, in Jamaica, planting is traditionally encouraged between April-May and September-November. It is important to note that in recent years there have been some changes to the amount, frequency and seasonality of rainfall in many parts of the island and with the continued impact of climate change we will have to continue to adjust accordingly.

Be careful with bamboo. It is an invasive species and spreads fast.

Plant to strengthen not weaken existing ecosystems. We should also remember that removing and damaging “bush” might actually mean damaging an important functioning ecosystem. The last thing we want to do is cause environmental damage by improperly conducting an activity that is actually aimed at benefiting the environment. For example, removing mangroves (remember that mangroves are trees!) also removes a natural coastal defense system and this might result in coastal erosion (including loss of our beaches in some places), damage to our coral reefs and other marine ecosystems (there’s that word again), and loss of fish and shellfish nurseries and habitat (i.e. natural homes or environment).

Other considerations: Other users and/or consumers of seedlings and trees and the places where they grow may also include our four-legged friends such as goats; some consideration should therefore be given to securing your investment accordingly. Also consider the potential impact of improper planting techniques and choices. The first and most obvious is the reduced likelihood of survival and yield. We want to ensure that the technique we use is the most appropriate technique for the scale, location and type of tree being planted. In many places, seedlings are still planted manually – this is certainly the norm in Jamaica and it has been successful.

There are many ways to be responsible stewards of our environment, and to play a part in mitigating against and adapting to climate change individually, within our communities, as a nation, and globally. This is one avenue that may be explored.

Remember… technical expertise is available.  So if you are not sure about planting and maintaining trees, we encourage you to ask. Some organisations with these technical resources that readily come to mind include the Jamaica Institute of Environmental Professionals (JIEP), the Forestry Department, the Rural Agricultural Development Agency (RADA), and/or the University of the West Indies (for mangroves especially). There are also resources for organic and permaculture techniques. And… if you do not feel comfortable to plant and maintain a tree yourself, consider supporting ongoing tree planting and maintenance initiatives.

Written by Allison Rangolan, Jamaica Institute of Environmental Professionals (JIEP).  This post is to “promote effective science-based environmental management” and is part of a series to commemorate JIEP’s 20th Anniversary in 2020. Connect with them on social media: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and look out for more information and events.


For more about International Day of Forests and annual themes, see here.

The Prime Minister made the tree planting initiative announcement on September 27, 2019 as he delivered Jamaica’s Policy statement at the General Debate of the 74th session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly (UNGA) in New York and officially launched the Programme on October 4, 2019. This Programme complements the role that Jamaica assumed in 2018 at the request of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres: “France and Jamaica will co-chair an initiative to support a political process to “ensure that governments fulfill their pledge to mobilize US$100 billion a year by 2020 for climate action.””

The National Tree Planting Programme is complemented and bolstered by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries (MICAF) fruit tree planting initiative which runs concurrently and was announced by the Minister of Agriculture in late 2018. The objective of this initiative is to plant 5 million fruit trees across the island.


The Importance of Coral Reefs – Value, Threats, Actions To Take

Initiatives we can support include:

  • Disposing of our garbage properly – it often ends up in the ocean, becoming harmful to the environment and to you! This includes supporting recycling activities.
  • Adhering to fisheries laws and regulations and practicing sustainable fishing
  • Reducing critical habitat destruction- e.g. clearing mangroves or seagrass beds for construction
  • Practicing sustainable and climate smart agriculture – e.g. Using more natural fertilizers and pesticides as well as conserving water
  • Ensuring industrial waste disposal and household sewage management systems are up to code, and not flowing into our oceans, rivers and streams.
  • Protection, restoration and monitoring of coral reefs


  • When in the ocean, observe corals without touching them – they are fragile
  • Support community-based businesses that give back to marine conservation
  • Discourage mangrove clearing in your communities
  • Don’t remove seagrass
  • Don’t purchase undersized or out of season seafood products- give the juveniles time to grow and let the adults have a chance to reproduce.
  • Use less plastics, Styrofoam and single use containers – they decompose extremely slowly and often end up in our oceans
  • Know where your seafood comes from and purchase responsibly
  • Refuse, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle – sometimes less is more…

Know more about the role you can play in marine conservation by learning and helping to educate others about good environmental practices – our actions on land have impacts in the oceans even if we can’t see it.

TNC is partnering with some of the world’s best coral science organizations, to try to scale up coral reef protection, restoration and monitoring efforts in the Caribbean to levels that are relevant to today’s coral crisis. The aim is to use the latest science and technology to pursue proactive coral reef restoration in the Caribbean on a scale large enough to compete with global threats like climate change. In addition, TNC is advancing protection and monitoring initiatives that help safeguard coral reefs from local stressors, like overfishing and sediment runoff, to directly benefit surrounding marine environments and the communities that depend on them.

Coral gardeners in Bluefields Bay Fish Sanctuary cleaning corals in a nursery. Photo: © Tim Calver

In Jamaica, TNC has been involved in coral restoration, sustainable fisheries, MPA establishment and capacity building initiatives.  Our work has included support for fish sanctuary wardens and community members in the Bluefields Fish Sanctuary to become coral gardeners with the ability to grow and maintain corals in nurseries.

Over the past 3 years, this initiative has resulted in over 700 coral fragments growing in nurseries and being out planted to nearby reefs.

Coral fragments. Photo: © Tim Calver

TNC Jamaica has also worked to train hundreds of Pedro Bank fishers in sustainable fishing techniques, such as measuring lobsters caught to ensure they are above the minimum legal size before retaining them for sale and encouraging spear fishers to target lionfish for the local market. The Conservancy also supported the management of the South West Cay Fish Sanctuary on the Pedro Bank (Jamaica’s only offshore sanctuary) as well as carried out capacity building of MPA staff to improve management effectiveness.

This post appears courtesy of The Nature Conservancy (TNC).  To learn about TNC’s work in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean, visit The Nature Conservancy website, on Instagram and Facebook

Jamaican Castles

Colbeck Castle

Despite our current economic struggles, Jamaica was once a prosperous land, dotted with sprawling estates, imposing great houses and even magnificent castles. These once spectacular buildings are now ruins, but still stand proud as symbols of architectural greatness. Let’s take a ‘castle tour’ across Jamaica.

Ackendown Castle, Westmoreland – The ruins of Ackendown Castle are located on the northern side of the main road between the towns of Savanna-la-Mar and Black River. It is also across from the Sandals Whitehouse resort. According to a plaque on the inner wall, the castle was built by Archibald Campbell (1781-1833) of the Auchenbreck family from Argyll, Scotland.

The castle consists of the stone remains of an eastern and western tower connected by what is said to have been an underground passage. The castle’s masonry work is more medieval in character, which is unusual in Jamaica.

The Ackendown Castle ruins were declared a national monument by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust on December 21, 2006.

Colbeck Castle, St Catherine – Situated in open country about two miles north of Old Harbour, Colbeck Castle is a massive stone and brick structure with walls standing to their full original height. The castle, built about 1680, is currently owned by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust.

The building is rectangular in shape, consisting of four-storied, tower-like structures at each corner, rising to a height of about 40 feet. Constructed in the Palladio style of architecture, its solid and imposing structure made it a key point in the island’s defence against the Spaniards. A 2006 archaeological impact assessment of the area surrounding the ruins found Taino, Spanish, English and Afro-Jamaican artifacts.

Edinburgh Castle, St Ann – Edinburgh Castle situated in Pedro district, St. Ann, was built by Lewis Hutchinson, a Scottish doctor who also happened to be Jamaica’s first recorded serial killer! The building, perhaps loftily titled a ‘castle,’ was constructed in the 1700s and named by its Scottish architect. It stands small and square with two storeys and two circular loop-holed towers at opposing diagonal corners.

Stewart Castle, Trelawny – The once impressive cut stone mansion known as Stewart Castle was originally fortified for protection against attack, with loopholes for fire muskets placed strategically around the entire building. The rectangular building appears to have been three storeys high, consisting of a cellar, ground floor and first floor. It featured square towers at opposite corners.

A Taino midden found on the property was excavated in 1957 by archaeologist Charles Cotter, revealing insights into the dietary habits of the land’s first known inhabitants. Materials found include marine shells(giant conchs and crab limbs), breast bones of birds and turtle bones.

Ownership of the properties on which the ruins and the midden are located was transferred to the JNHT by Kaiser Bauxite Company.

diG more

There are hundreds of other historical landmarks all across Jamaica. Take a look at Historical Sites in Jamaica Part1 and Part 2.

The Story Of The Gleaner


During the years that Michael deCordova, who joined the paper in 1888, was managing director of the company, The Gleaner became a Jamaican institution. It became a modern internationally recognized newspaper.

Michael deCordova established Gleaner funds to collect money for disaster relief and worthy causes. Among the initiatives was the opening of a fund to purchase bombing planes for Britain. Michael was also a founding member of the Jamaica Employers’ Federation.

In 1969 “The old lady of Harbour Street” moved to a modern five storey plant on North Street, its present location.

In 1976, Oliver F. Clarke joined The Gleaner, accepting an invitation to do so by then-Chairman Leslie Ashenheim. He left Jamaica National Building Society and headed to North Street on secondment for two years.  He remained at the Gleaner for 36 years.

Mr. Clarke initiated and presided over a Gleaner milestone. A $4million mortgage debenture loan, the largest stock issue ever placed on the Jamaica money market at the time, was floated in July 1978 and oversubscribed in four weeks. The debenture was used to refinance existing short-term high-interest loans and helped to steer the company once more into a profitable position.


The Gleaner was one of the first newspapers in the Caribbean to ‘go computer’.

Towards the end of 1982, the production of The Gleaner was revolutionized by the advent of a three million dollar computer system. In the newsroom, typewriters all but disappeared, their incessant bang and clatter replaced by the electronic hum and gentle percussion of computer terminals.

The 1990s also was a watershed era for The Gleaner on December 7, 1992, the name of the paper was changed from The Daily Gleaner to The Gleaner.

Dig More in honour of The Gleaner

In My Opinion….

The Gleaner Company has had a resounding effect on Jamaica as well as on the men and women who have worked there throughout the years. Here is an abbreviated look at what they had to say about their experiences

Gleaner Alumni

A look at the famous Jamaicans that got their start at The Gleaner…

Academic Year 2019-2020 – Jamaica Calendar of School Terms and Holidays

The Story of Emancipation

August 1, 1834 marked a special day for Africans in British colonies as it was the day they received freedom from slavery. In Jamaica, the Emancipation Declaration was read from the steps of the Old Kings House in Spanish Town, St Catherine, the country’s capital at the time.

The bill for the abolition of slavery in the British colonies received the royal assent on August 28,1838. It stated:

“Be it enacted, that all and every one of the persons who on the first day of August one thousand eight hundred and thirty four, shall be holden in slavery within such British colony as aforesaid, shall, upon and from and after the said first day of August, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-four, become and be to all intents and purposes free and discharged from all manner of slavery, and shall be absolutely and forever manumitted.”

The passage of this bill in the British Parliament in England enabled approximately 311,000 enslaved Africans in Jamaica and hundreds of thousands more across the colonies the freedom for which many of their predecessors had fought and died. However, the Africans did not receive full freedom until four years later, as all slaves over six years old were subjected to a mandatory six-year period of apprenticeship. The ex-slaves would work – without pay – for their former masters for three-quarters of the week (40 hours), in exchange for lodging, food, clothing. medical attendance and grounds on which they could grow their own provisions. They could also, if they chose, hire themselves out for additional wages during the remaining quarter of the week. With this money, an ex-slave could then buy his freedom.

Emancipation Day was officially introduced as a public holiday in Jamaica in 1893. The ‘First of August’ celebrations, however, were discontinued in 1962, when Jamaica gained independence. It was replaced by Independence Day, then observed on the first Monday in August. Emancipation Day was re-instituted in 1997 by then Prime Minister PJ Patterson as a national holiday celebrated on August 1. Independence Day was also fixed at August 6.

Here are some useful links for more information about Emancipation Day:

Explore diG Jamaica’s History category for more about Jamaica’s history.

When Heat Becomes Life-Threatening

Increased physical activity and prolonged exposure to the sun during hot, humid weather can bring on heatstroke. a dangerous condition in which the body is unable to cool itself. Heat exhaustion is a condition in which the body becomes dehydrated.

How heatstroke affects the body:

  • Sweat evaporating from the skin cools the body.  When it is humid it is harder to cool off because moisture in the air prevents sweat from evaporating as much.
  • When blood temperature rises, the hypothalamus sends signals to stimulate sweat glands, dilate blood vessels and increase heart rate.
  • Increased blood flow to the skin cools the body by radiating heat.
  • Excessive sweating can deplete fluid and salts.  If fluids are not replaced, heat remains in the blood and organs slowly break down, usually resulting in death.

How to recognize and treat heat-induced illnesses:


Heat Exhaustion: Insufficient water and salt intake are the primary causes.  Faintness, dizziness and fatigue are usually the first signs

Heatstroke: Heat exhaustion, if untreated can develop into heatstroke as heat builds up in the body. People who aren’t treated can quickly die


Heat Exhaustion: Usually cold and clammy with heavy sweating

Heatstroke: Hot, dry and red.  Perspiration usually stops completely.


Heat Exhaustion: Rapid and weak

Heatstroke: Rapid and strong


Heat Exhaustion: Usually low or normal

Heatstroke: Above 103 degrees Fahrenheit (39.4 degrees Celsius).  At 107 degrees Fahrenheit (41.7 degrees Celsius) usually is fatal


Heat Exhaustion: Thirst, giddiness, weakness and lack of coordination

Heatstroke: Fainting or staggering, confusion or delirium


Heat Exhaustion: Lie down in a cool, shady place. Loosen clothing.  Sip water (unless nauseated).  Seek medical attention immediately if vomiting occurs.

Heatstroke: Seek medical attention immediately.  Move to a cool place.  Remove clothing. Apply a wet sheet or immerse in cool water.

See also:

Sources: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Medical Association Encyclopedia of Medicine, Complete Guide to Sports Injuries. This information was published in The Gleaner on 7/16/2019

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