December 15: “Government Move To Take Full Control Of The Jamaica Telephone Company”

1962: A mass migration of farm workers into Florida’s frozen citrus groves began the biggest crop-salvaging operation in the state’s history. Migrant workers idled by loss of vegetable crops in the century’s worst cold wave were recruited from all over south Florida to pick oranges, grapefruits and tangerines before deterioration begins.

1963: The processing plant of Jamaica Cocoa Products Ltd at 4C Darling Street was gutted by fire. Damage to the building, machinery and stock is estimated at £100,000.

1964: Cutting of Christmas trees in the Yallahs Valley Land Authority (YVLA) for the season’s market began in the upper areas, and the authority started delivery of trees to YMCA in Kingston. YMCA is responsible for the sale of these to the public. The YVLA will continue cutting and delivering trees until Friday. Supplies are coming from the Authority’s own properties, from private individuals to the area, and from Forestry Department reserves.

1967: A long-term project for the development of the Hellshire Hills in St Catherine is announced by the Minister of Finance and Planning Edward Seaga at a press conference held at the Ministry of Finance. The project aims at developing 35 square miles of the Hellshire area with the long-term objective of creating a new tropical city complete with resort areas.

1975: Government’s move to take full control of the Jamaica Telephone Company is moving towards finality. Trading in the company’s shares on the Stock Exchange was suspended. The suspension will be effective “during the preparation of an offer by Government to the minority stock holders on a stock market report”.

1983: Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) candidates won all six seats contested in the general election, based on a preliminary count of the votes cast. The JLP will, therefore, be the only party represented in the House of Representatives with the full count of 60 members of parliament, as 54 JLP candidates were declared elected unopposed on Nomination Day November 29.

1983: Five gunmen held up a branch of the Bank of Nova Scotia in Highgate, St Mary, and robbed it of an undetermined sum of money. A police report said that the robbers went to the homes of the chief accountant and a teller on Wednesday night and held them hostage. At around 3:15 a.m., the hostages were taken to the bank and forced to open the vault from which the robbers cleaned out all the money.

2004: Prime Minister P.J. Patterson made it clear that motorists will have to pay to use Highway 2000, and he will not tolerate any threats to stall the construction of the toll road. He, however, stressed that the Government is prepared to give discounts to frequent users.“ I am not going to get into any quarrel with anybody who doesn’t want to use this road (toll road). Those who want to use it, let us be free to use it, but we have to pay,” the prime minister said during a ceremony to officially open the new 21-kilometre Bushy Park to Mandela segment of Highway 2000.